NZ Herald Sep 23, 2009
A diluted but still hardline version of Act’s three strikes policy is now on the negotiating table with the National Government. Act MP and three strikes architect David Garrett said Act would support any amendment that would have impact, citing a “three strikes and the max” version. Instead of the third strike offence leading to the offender being “struck out” with a 25-year-to-life sentence, they would instead get the maximum sentence for the offence.
Mr Garrett said this would see an offender whose third strike offence was aggravated robbery serving 14 years – the maximum prescribed in the Crimes Act – rather than the four or five years such an offender would likely serve now. The sentencing judge’s discretion to give a lower sentence for mitigating circumstances would be removed. Mr Garrett said this version could avoid many of the “supposed” human rights issues arising from the 25 to life sentence.