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SST welcomes MP's “Coward Punch” bill

SST welcomes MP's “Coward Punch” bill

19 February 2018

The Sensible Sentencing Trust has today welcomed Northland MP Matt King’s Members bill to address assaults causing death.

SST Founder Garth McVicar today said: “Sentencing for manslaughter in New Zealand is notoriously low. The New Zealand judiciary simply does not take killings short of murder seriously. The same was true of the Australian jurisdictions, such as NSW and Queensland which introduced similar legislation to address one-punch killings in the past 3-4 years. Their law changes introduced tough non-parole periods that go some way to restoring a degree of justice for the victims killed through completely unnecessary violence.”

McVicar continued: “Mr King’s bill would fill the gap in our criminal law, between murder and manslaughter. Mr King’s bill would be greatly improved if it specified a decent minimum non-parole period. In our experience of these types of case, without a minimum non-parole period being specified, New Zealand Judges will continue to hand down ridiculously short sentences for such vile killings. Parliament has to be very clear about its sentencing expectations.”

We hope Mr King will engage with us on our knowledge of the case law and international examples to make his bill even more effective.

“On behalf of the many victims and family of ‘one-punch’ killings who have brought their tragic cases to our attention, we say “Thank you” to Mr King for taking this important issue seriously.” Concluded Mr McVicar.



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