Three-strikes bill ‘not tough enough’

NZ Herald Mar 11, 2010

The controversial three strikes bill is a good start, but is not tough enough, says lobby group Family First. In a written submission to law and order select committee, Family First said the bill discriminated on grounds of age, and the list of qualifying offences did not include the manufacture or sale of the drug P. Despite the battle on P being a priority for the Government, Police Minister Judith Collins, who is responsible for the bill, said drug offences are not being considered for the three strikes rule. The committee is considering the Sentencing and Parole Reform Bill, which sets a standard sentence after one strike, a sentence with no parole for the second strike, and the maximum sentence for the offence and no parole for the third.

There are 36 offences, ranging from murder to compelling an indecent act with an animal, that qualify as a strike. Family First national director Bob McCoskrie said aggravated assault and assault with intent to injure should be added to the list. But excluding youths was the worst aspect of the bill. “This means that offenders such as Bailey Junior Kurariki, and Kerikeri teenager Hermanus Kriel, who was convicted last month for the murder of Liberty Templeman, receive no warnings because of their age,” he said.

READ our original Submission on the legislation
READ our Submission on the amended legislation