Rodney Hide writes in the NBR:
Some 135-plus New Zealanders are walking about today not bashed, beaten or worse, thanks to the Three Strikes legislation. It’s a good result. Another 135 fewer people are in prison. That too, is a good result.
The numbers aren’t mine but lawyer Graeme Edgeler’s, who, while opposing Three Strikes, nonetheless has the intellectual integrity to gather up the data and report that, yes, the law is having the hoped-for deterrent effect.
Three Strikes is a dramatic example of the economics of crime and punishment. Do would-be criminals weigh the costs and benefits of crime? Are they rational? Does the risk of being caught, convicted and the extent of expected punishment enter their decision-making?
Crime experts say No. Economists say Yes.