Joy, not anger, at effective three strikes law

Before I get into the story, check out these stats

The Sentencing and Parole Reform Act 2010, or the “three strikes act”, came into force on June 1, 2010.

It meant any offender aged 18 or over who committed one of 40 offences, including all major and sexual offences, would receive a strike on their first conviction.

A second strike would see the offender serving their full sentence without parole.

On a third strike, a judge must impose the maximum penalty.

It must be served without parole unless the court believes that would be manifestly unjust.

By the end of last month there were 2684 offenders on their first strike and 17 on their second strike.

If that doesn’t show that the law is working just fine, I don’t know what does.  Clearly, most scumbags “get the point” after their first strike.  Only 17, less than 1% of “strike” offenders are stupid enough to give it another go.

The whole point of the law was to provide a motivation mechanism, and from where I’m sitting, the motivation not to get a 3rd strike is very strong.

Right, now that’s out of the way, let’s see what the crybabies have to say.  Also remember that Labour, Greens and the Maori party were vehemently against this law.

Anger at 14-year strike 2 warning.

The controversial “three strikes” legislation has seen a young man jailed without parole and warned that if he steals another skateboard, hat or cellphone he will spend 14 years behind bars.

In issuing Elijah Akeem Whaanga, 21, his second strike, Judge Tony Adeane told the Hastings man his two “street muggings” that netted “trophies of minimal value” meant his outlook was now “bleak in the extreme”.

“When you next steal a hat or a cellphone or a jacket or a skateboard you will be sent to the High Court and there you will be sentenced to 14 years’ imprisonment without parole,” Judge Adeane said.

Superb.  If that doesn’t motivate little Elijah to go on the straight and narrow, nothing will. If he is too stupid to stop, then he needs to be in jail to protect the public.

Justice Minister Judith Collins said the case showed the law was working. Sensible Sentencing Trust spokesman Garth McVicar agreed, saying the sentence of two-and-a-half years’ jail with no parole was “fantastic”.

We’re clearly on the same page here.

However.  Get your tissues ready

Victoria University criminology professor John Pratt said the case “highlighted fundamental problems” with the law.

“Was this really the type of offender that the three strikes law was meant to protect us from?”

Whaanga’s offending stretches back to 2006, including burglary, theft, resisting arrest and indecent assault. He served a short prison sentence in early 2010.

In July that year, he and an accomplice committed aggravated robbery. Whaanga punched the victim in the head multiple times before taking $68. For that he earned his first strike in December 2010 and was sentenced to jail for two years and one month.

He was freed on parole in April last year. The Parole Board said he had behaved well in prison, where he had resided in the Maori Focus Unit. He had completed a drug programme and a Maori therapeutic programme and was released on a number of conditions for six months.

Four months later he committed two aggravated robberies with two separate accomplices.

Yes John Pratt.  This is exactly the sort of person the law was meant to protect us from.  He clearly shows he’s a violent man.  And stupid to boot.  The odds are he’ll do it a third time, and then the law will do exactly what it is meant to do.  Protect the public.

Professor Warren Bucklands of Auckland University’s Faculty of Law said Whaanga’s case made a mockery of its promoters’ claim that it would target only “the worst of the worst”.

“Whaanga’s case is an inevitable consequence of the way in which the legislation was drafted and, what’s more, was known to Parliament when it was passed,” he said.

I wonder what Warren Bucklands would think if his ivory tower sanctuary was violated because it was his family that were at the receiving end of Elijah Akeem Whaanga’s stupidity.

Granted, he’s not running around raping women and then dismembering the bodies before eating them, but the law is there to protect the public, not get all teary about someone too stupid to figure out if the risk / reward ratio for his misdeeds are in fact high enough.  Elijah Akeem Whaanga has a choice now.

Rethinking Crime and Punishment spokesman Kim Workman said the public needed to think about the cost of locking someone up for 14 years for robbing a boy of a cap and a cellphone.

While some will say Whaanga will not reoffend if he knows he’s on his third strike, no one knew what he was likely to do given that about 40 per cent of young offenders had neuro-disability disorders such as foetal alcohol spectrum disorder, for which they were not tested, Workman said.

I have a solution Kim Workman:  he obviously wasn’t cuddled enough when he was growing up.  Why don’t you go live with this poor petal of a victim of society and burn some incense while chanting relaxing sounds?  I’m sure that will do it.

Labour’s justice spokesman Andrew Little said there was a concerning increase in random violence and it was clear Whaanga needed treatment.

Credit where credit is due, Little actually recognises that Elijah needs some help to avoid his third strike, and doesn’t attack the law like those academic theorists that don’t have to look the real victims in the eye and explain why Elijah Akeem Whaanga is so incredibly hard done by.

All Elijah Akeem Whaanga has to do is not offend again.

Simple enough, surely?


Source:  Stuff


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  • Gazzaw

    Possible 2014 scenario. Labour/greens need Hone to form a government. Hone says yes but in addition to making me Minister of The Trough I also want a guarantee that the three strikes legislation will be repealed. And the answer will be………………..?

    • Mr_Blobby

      The addition would be that the three strike legislation does not apply to Maori only white mother fuckers. And the answer will be whatever we have to do to get into power.

  • The idiots at Stuff have done it again. The Auckland Uni crybaby’s name is Warren BROOKBANKS, not Bucklands.

    • Apart from that I agree wholeheartedly with this post though; just clarifying.

  • johnbronkhorst

    3 strikes is the ultimate in PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY. You have been clearly warned and show contempt for the system and the citizens of NZ, so it is entirely appropriate that you are sent down for the max. after 3 strikes!!

  • Teletubby

    I read this story and Stuff earlier and my blood boiled instantly. The leftie media and the blending hearts are making out that this guys strikes are for stealing a skateboard, a cap and a cell phone. They have completely glossed over the fact that he has actually accumulated his strikes for bashing the victims of these thefts. Anyone who does that three times is obviously too stupid to learn and should be locked up for a very long time to protect the public from him if nothing else.

  • Patrick

    Get ready for it – Peter Williams QC will be given a soapbox on TV1 & TV3 to come over all cry baby about the poor old crims getting a raw deal.

  • Couldn’t agree more; Whaanga hasn’t been given a non-parole sentence for stealing things. He has “earned” his second strike because he uses violence and intimidation to get things which he wants but that do not belong to him.

    David Garrett may have only been in Parliament for a short time, but in Three Strikes he has left a lasting legacy; far more than most of Parliament’s timer-servers will ever do.

    • Muffin

      More than the bloody marriage for gays law at least.

      • Get over it pedo features….Kiwis are now more equal under the law….suck it up and blub in ya Bible…

        • Mr_Blobby

          Fuck off cunt.

    • Mr_Blobby

      The only change should be that class A drug offenses should be included as well. Then the law will have some bite.

  • peterwn

    What is all the focus on the value of the property stolen? He was not jailed for stealing the property.He was jailed for using violence against the victim. Some people seem to think muggings are a joke – they are aggravated assaults against the victim and a gross violation of the victim’s human rights.

    • Kopua Cowboy

      Don’t be silly, what about poor Elijah’s human rights?

      • peterwn

        You mean the poor sod’s human rights are breached as only one slice of bread is marged in his lunchtime prison sandwiches.

        • Mr_Blobby

          They marge the bread in prison. They should have two choices bread and water or fish head soup and rice, anything else is supplied by the family.

    • That is the big issue. They are looking at the theft of the item. They are ignoring the mugging which was used to obtain the stuff.

    • Mr_Blobby

      He is already on about strike 5 given his previous form. It is very simple strike 1, strike 2, strike 3 your out. Have a nice life. It is just so simple life is about choices, Your choice punk.

      PS: did they ask the dirt bag for a quote, allow me “apple you, you app-ling pears, I don’t give a orange what youse pears think.

  • rightoverlabour

    Fuck you John Pratt. Hope the idiot re-offends and YOU are the VICTIM. And any one else that sympathises with this soft cock approach to dealing with violent criminals….

  • The law was introduced for a specific purpose – removing scumbags from the community – and is working extremely well.

    What is needed is a way to get those on their first strike to reoffend because the more of them locked up for 14 years – the better!

    And dare I ask what namby pamby poofy wankerism a “maori therapeutic” programme is?

    • Kopua Cowboy

      therapy for being a maori?

      • Muffin

        Don’t see much white kiwi therapy being handed out.

        • And that’s an interesting point. There are no schemes in NZ that offer pakeha the chance to improve their parole conditions if they complete a revisionist history lesson and improve their group dancing techniques. How many of the ex-convicts who have completed these deep-immersion courses have won kapahaka competitions after they got out?

    • Nechtan

      Whatever it is, it clearly doesn’t work.

    • Cadwallader

      Maori therapy involves dishing them out more $$$$ swiped from the taxpayers.

    • Mr_Blobby

      No it is not working extremely well, but it is working. It was watered down so that only 7 or 8 people would be 3rd strikers, so as not to flood our prisons with lifers. What I don’t know is how easy it would be to expand the list of strikes.

  • Kopua Cowboy

    My parents have custody of 2 foetal alcohol spectrum disorder children, who have come a long, long way in the last 6 years.

    The good professor is a fuckwit if he thinks Elijah isn’t able to control himself.

  • blokeintakapuna

    This crim is the perfect guy to be sent to China, out-sourcing our recidivist offenders.
    They’d come back with a complete attitude adjustment around personal responsibility and respect for others.

    • Cadwallader

      Better yet: They won’t come back at all!

  • Timboh

    Great comment. A master class in communication, and free!

  • Nechtan

    Other posters have it right, this clown isn’t being jailed for stealing a cap or skateboard he’s in jail because he assaults people.
    Is it just me or does the professor have an appropiate surname?

  • Ronnie Chow
  • david garrett

    Yes, well said commenters…the point is not that he “only” stole a cellphone and a cap the second time – or even that it was “only” $68 in cash the first time – the point is that he did it with VIOLENCE which turns theft or robbery into AGGRAVATED robbery…The appropriately named Professor Pratt is effectively suggesting that we should keep this guy in the community experimenting with “interventions” that just might make him stop stealing other peoples property with violence or threats of violence…well, Professor, to hell with that idea, and the horse it rode in on….If he doesnt get with the programme during this 2.5 years without parole, the proper place for him is jail..or perhaps boarding with you…

    • The $68 is a red herring – if there had been $680 he would have taken it; had there been $68000 he would have taken it.
      This maori bashed someone intending to rob them – and was probably pissed off they only had $68 on them – and so deserves to be locked up as long as possible so decent respectable people can sleep safely in their beds.

    • GregM

      Absolutely agree David. And THANK YOU for getting this legislation through.
      This case is a good example of the intent of this law, and as a result our communities are a little bit safer. Awesome.

    • Mr_Blobby

      Well done but as I said above, Class A drug offenses would have made it more effective.

  • williamabong

    Better idea, third strike hang the prick, solve a shit load of problem,s all round, plus make the place a better place to live.
    Remember little thieves grow into big thieves and indecent assault becomes rape pretty quickly.

  • Just a cautionary note about your statistics. – Many of those with a 1st strike are still in jail and your ratios are not as good as you think.

    Still very effective though.

    Biggest issue with the law – we did not do this sooner.

    • david garrett

      You dont know how hard it was to “do” Brendan…believe it or not, the former Justice Minister Simon Power told everyone who would listen that he would have three strikes “over his dead body”…He never did explain just why he felt that way…

      • Mr_Blobby

        Allow me, he was a completely ineffectual fucktard.

      • Mr_Blobby

        Quick question David. What was the process for adjusting the list of strikes.

  • peterwn

    I suspect that much of the controversy is because of a slip by Judge Adeane or that he was incorrectly reported.He should have said (or be reported as such) “When you next steal with violence a hat or a cellphone or a jacket or a skateboard
    you will be sent to the High Court and there you will be sentenced to 14
    years’ imprisonment without parole”. This was unfortunate as it gave the impression that ‘ordinary’ theft is a ‘strike’ offence when it is not. However taken as a whole there is no confusion.

  • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

    Bros – Twinkle twinkle Little start has spoken!!!

    “The merits of the three strikes justice policy are being challenged.

    It follows the case of 21-year-old Elijah Whaanga, who now faces a 14-year minimum jail term if he re-offends following two convictions for aggravated street robberies.

    Labour list MP Andrew Little says the three strikes law was supposed to deal with the most serious offenders, and to use it for someone like Whaanga is not right.

    “14 years in prison, at the taxpayer’s expense to the tune of $1.3 million, is unlikely to change that.

    “It just shows that this law is not going to be as effective, at least for the taxpayer and for the security of citizens, that some say it will be.”

    He says Labour could repeal three strikes.

    “We’re looking at that.

    “What we want to see is a criminal justice system that actually changes the behaviour of thugs and bullies and all the others that wind up there – that’s going to give the real solution.

    “Not just locking them up, throwing away the key and turning their back on them.”

    How low can Labour go? They encourage criminals for sure.