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New Zealand: The Country Where Killers Can Walk Free

Sentence discounts for serious and violent offences must end, says Sensible Sentencing Trust.

“New Zealand’s justice system has completely lost its compass, now seeing regular cases of innocent people losing their lives at the hands of others and their killers walking free," says co-leader Darroch Ball.

“There is no justice for victims, no accountability for offenders, and certainly the safety of our community is now an after-thought for the courts handing down wet bus ticket sentences.”

“Danny Taylor was shot and killed by his partner who was found guilty of manslaughter – Taylor’s family are now devastated at the sentence of just nine months home detention for his death.”

“Despite both the crown and defence acknowledging the seriousness of the charges and asking for a starting point of prison time, the court applied their ridiculous discounts with a final sentence of just a few months home detention.”

“It is an unbelievable situation where we have a law set with the intention of protecting our community, accountability for the offender, and giving some sort of justice to the victims, only to then have the courts apply insulting levels of discounts which renders the sentence utterly meaningless.”

“This isn’t an isolated example. Just last week there was a 5-month-old baby who was killed by the mother who was found guilty of assaulting and ill-treatment of her child – only to receive just 10 months home detention. Walking free.”

“Last month, Tai Massey-Hunter, who had methamphetamine and cannabis in his system, drove straight through a give-way sign killing 54-year-old father Craig Wilton Stills – and received just nine months home detention. Walking free.”

“The list goes on.”

“Where has the moral compass of our society’s justice system gone?”
“There should be no allowance for discounts when sentencing serious or violent offenders. It only serves to undermine the entire intent of what the sentences are designed for.”

“No more discounts. No more culture reports. No more reductions of sentences.”

“The justice system shouldn’t revolve around the offender; it is designed for the protection of the community and justice for victims.”

“The current system is demonstrably failing at realising both of those most important things.”

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