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Rethinking Joins Sensible Sentencing in Call for Bail Review

Rethinking Joins Sensible Sentencing in Call for Bail Review

“We support Sensible Sentencing Trust’s call for a review of the bail laws”, says Kim Workman, of Rethinking Crime and Punishment. He was commenting on tomorrow’s launch of a campaign known as ‘Christies Law’, in remembrance of the tragic death of Christie Marceau, killed by, Akshay Anand Chand, who was on bail at the time and facing charges of kidnapping Christie just two months before her death.”

“There needs to be a review of this particular incident, so that the parents, family and friends can receive full information about this incident, why the decision to bail (Deleted) was made, and whether the current law is sufficient to prevent such an incident from happening again.”

“Before we can decide whether tougher laws are necessary, it will be important for the public to know what the current law provides, and whether the legal requirements are being properly followed. A review would make that information publicly available, and at the same time consider the need for change.”

“In the last ten years, the sentenced prisoner population increased by 33.7%, while the remand population increased by 116%. New Zealand has a very high custodial remand rate, at 41 per 100,000. That is far higher than Australia (30). England and Wales are lower still at 25 remand prisoners per 100,000, followed by Ireland (15) and Finland (10). While Maori are imprisoned at a rate 6 times higher than non-Maori, they are remanded in custody at a rate 11 times higher than non-Maori.”

“We need to establish whether, when an incident of this kind happens, it’s because we’re not remanding prisoners in custody in sufficient numbers, whether the criteria is either ethnically biased or unevenly applied, the extent to which Police opposition to bail affects the outcome, and whether there is something wrong with judicial decision making. A review should be able to help in that regard.”

ends

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