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Labour Chooses Blind Ideology Over Public Safety

The Sensible Sentencing Trust has today expressed its disappointment at Labour’s announcement of their policy to repeal the successful and popular Three Strikes sentencing law. At least one public poll has shown the law is hugely popular across the political spectrum – even 48% of Green voters approve of it.

Sensible Sentencing Trust National Spokeswoman, Jess McVicar today said: “Three Strikes targets the most serious repeat sexual and violent offenders in New Zealand, and vulnerable New Zealanders are entitled to protection from their repeated criminal offending.

“Three Strikes deters those serious sexual and violent offenders who can be deterred through a system of judicial warnings, and incapacitates by longer periods of imprisonment those who are unwilling or unable to be deterred” continued Ms McVicar.

Labour Justice Spokesman Andrew Little is on record saying Three Strikes doesn’t work. What he actually means is he doesn’t like the way that it works – which is by removing discretion from gullible Judges who far too often impose soft sentences for repeated serious sexual and violent offending, or the Parole Board to repeatedly believe such offenders have reformed – when most have not.

“What we know about Second and Third Strike offenders is that they have:

  • 32 convictions on their record, on average. Their record of Youth offending is suppressed
  • More than half committed their Second or Third Strike while on bail, parole or serving another sentence
  • 91% have been assessed at a high risk of re-offending or causing harm to others
  • Two out of three are burglars (in addition to their “strike” offending)
  • Almost 40% have additional “strike” convictions committed prior to Three Strikes becoming law in 2010”

“It would be difficult to design a scheme to more effectively target proven serious recidivist sexual and violent offenders.” continued Ms McVicar.

“Labour’s commitment to repeal Three Strikes is a triumph of ideology over practical, proven and effective policy that reflects what the majority of New Zealanders want. A public poll* conducted in 2018 showed 68% of New Zealanders supported Three Strikes. Even a majority of Labour voters - 63% - supported Three Strikes in that poll.” concluded Ms McVicar.

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