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Remittance of Fines by the Courts is Scandalous Says SST

Remittance of Fines by the Courts is Scandalous Says SST

There are many cases where a court will remit the fine of a serving prisoner for a totally inadequate and small addition to the sentence says Gil Elliott Sensible Sentencing Trust Spokesman.

There is in New Zealand a huge outstanding debt owed by people who have been fined for various reasons and many of these fines will never be paid.

Is it for this reason that judges are willing to wipe the fine for a paltry addition to the sentence of a prisoner who won't pay or does not have the means to pay the fine?

If the general public looked through some of the court reports specifically at fine remittances, they would be horrified to see just how lenient the courts are with these.

Take a recent case reported in the Otago Daily Times of a prisoner who had a fine of $5162.30 remitted for the 'addition' of four weeks to his sentence to be 'concurrent on the existing sentence'.

What exactly does this mean? It means that the tax payer has forgiven this prisoner the total amount of his outstanding fine for no extra time in prison.

The Sensible Sentencing Trust says this is an outrage for all law abiding citizens and brings into doubt the whole system of fines in New Zealand.

Why should a prisoner have this right to have his or her fine wiped when those on the outside are expected to pay up and in some case stopped at the border when a fine is owing.

This is just another 'right' enshrined in the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 that gives to prisoners many rights that they do not deserve.


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