Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Scaremongering Reaches New Low

Scaremongering Reaches New Low
David Garrett MP, ACT New Zealand
Wednesday, April 22 2009

The battle against ACT's proposed 'Three Strikes' law has intensified, with Justice officials, Te Puni Kokiri and various lobby groups issuing dire predictions of killings by persons facing a third 'strike' conviction to avoid apprehension and increased levels of family violence. These follow extravagant estimates of increased prisoner numbers, and massive extra costs.

"These alarmist predictions also occurred in California in 1994 when that state's 'Three Strikes' law was passed. Fifteen years later, facts have displaced fallacies. Homicide and robbery have decreased by 50 percent since 'Three Strikes' became law whereas California's population increased by 25 percent during the same period," ACT New Zealand Law & Order Spokesman David Garrett said today.

"This means that the real reduction in violent crime is actually much greater than 50 percent. Far from doubling, as predicted, the prison population has only increased by about 25 percent. The costs of implementing the policy are approximately a quarter of that predicted by the alarmists in 1994.

"A referendum seeking to weaken the law was roundly rejected by California voters in 2004. It was rejected overwhelmingly in districts primarily occupied by poor black and Hispanic people. These are the very people who are most affected by crime in their communities and who were benefiting the most from 'Three Strikes'. Those people could see first hand the effects of 'Three Strikes' on their communities.

"San Francisco liberals living in nice Victorian villas in districts where crime was low wanted to weaken the law - the people most affected by crime did not want a bar of it.

"It seems that those in New Zealand making alarming predictions are not at all interested in the clear evidence readily available of how 'Three Strikes' will actually work. All they are interested in is scaring the National Party into not supporting the policy - whatever the truth maybe.

"One can only wonder at the motives driving both officials and lobbyists such as Re-Thinking Crime & Punishment's Mr Kim Workman, who make unfounded and alarming predictions. Perhaps Mr Workman and officials should visit California and actually talk to people across the spectrum as I did in 2007," Mr Garrett said.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Political Twins, And On Labour Extending Its Wage Subsidy Scheme

A quick quiz for the weekend. Which political party currently represented in Parliament issued a press release yesterday that contained these stirring passages:
“[We have] long supported a free trade and free movement area between Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom…on trade, immigration and investment, New Zealand must favour countries who share our values. New Zealand must do its part to reinforce freedom and democracy around the world by diversifying our markets and building stronger relationships with those who share our values... More>>


Parliament Adjourns: Adjournment Debate: Speaker Trevor Mallard

The 52 Parliament has sat for the last time before the September Election. It sat for 245 days... More>>


E-Cigarettes: Vaping Legislation Passes

Landmark legislation passed today puts New Zealand on track to saving thousands of lives and having a smokefree generation sooner rather than later, Associate Health Minister, Jenny Salesa says. The Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Vaping) ... More>>


National: $4 Billion Investment To End Wellington’s Congestion Woes

A National Government will invest another $4 billion in transport infrastructure across Wellington, igniting the economy and delivering the congestion-busting solutions the region has long been crying out for, National Party Leader Judith Collins says. ... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Virtues (and Fluffed Opportunities) Of The Operation Burnham Report

One unspoken rule of thumb in any official public inquiry is : whatever you do, don’t conclude you were made to listen to “a litany of lies” even if the evidence of a deliberate cover-up is right there under your nose. In that respect, the report ... More>>


Horizon Research Limited: How Judith Collins Stopped The Bleeding

Horizon Research includes questions on voting from time to time in its surveys – for both forthcoming referenda and general elections. More>>

Your Vote 2020: Bringing Election Coverage To Viewers Across TVNZ Channels And Platforms

As New Zealand gets ready to head to the ballot box this September, 1 NEWS is bringing voters comprehensive coverage and analysis of this year’s General Election. TVNZ’s coverage will draw on the depth of experience held across the 1 NEWS team, says Graeme ... More>>

Economy: 30% Believe Households Worse Off, 298,000 Expect To Lose Jobs

64% of New Zealanders feel the economic position of their households is the same or better than a year ago – and 30% think it is worse or much worse, while 298,000 think they will lose their jobs in the next 12 months. Households’ perceptions ... More>>

State Services Commission: Findings Of Investigation Into COVID-19 Active Cases Privacy Breach

Deputy State Services Commissioner Helene Quilter has today announced the findings of an investigation into a breach of privacy regarding sensitive personal information. The investigation looked into who or what caused the disclosure of the information, ... More>>

International Security: New Zealand Suspends Extradition Treaty With Hong Kong

The New Zealand Government has suspended its extradition treaty with Hong Kong and made a number of other changes in light of China’s decision to pass a national security law for Hong Kong, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says. More>>






InfoPages News Channels