Crown Law

Crown Law appealing soft Three Strikes decisions

Crown Law is lodging an appeal in two cases where judges refused to send criminals to prison for the rest of their lives under the three-strikes law.

The law, which was an ACT Party initiative to deal with repeat violent offending, states if a murder is committed on a second or third strike, the punishment is automatically life without parole.

But a judge can give a minimum non-parole period instead if they feel a lifetime in prison would be extremely unfair or manifestly unjust.

Life without parole has never been imposed in New Zealand – and ACT says the appeals should determine whether judges have been too lenient in interpreting the three-strikes law.

One of the two sentences being appealed is that of Justin Turner, who could be serving life in prison with no prospect of parole for the 2014 murder of Auckland man Maqbool Hussain.

The judge decided to sentence him to life with a 15 year minimum non-parole period, in part because Turner had shown remorse.

A life for a life isn’t that unreasonable when we’re talking Three Strikes. Clearly the crim is hard of understanding and by then it is the public that needs the benefit of the doubt.  Read more »

Attorney-General Chris Finlayson can see no evil, hear no evil, but happy to cover for evil

The Attorney-General says there was nothing wrong with Crown Law’s conduct throughout the court case against former ACT leader John Banks.

Mr Banks was acquitted in May of charges relating to falsely declaring donations from Kim Dotcom over his failed Auckland mayoralty bid in 2010 and the Court of Appeal ruling he shouldn’t be retried.

Following the ruling, he called for Solicitor-General Mike Heron QC to stand down so an inquiry could be held into the case, which he called a three-year “jihad”.

Chris Finlayson, the minister responsible for the Crown Law Office, said he’d take a “careful look” at Crown Law’s management of the case.

Initially, the private prosecution was taken by Graham McCready, and the decision to go to trial was an independent judicial one, Mr Finlayson says.

“Apart from limited involvement at various stages of the case, Crown Law briefed an independent barrister to conduct the prosecution. It did so for a number of reasons, including the involvement of Mr Dotcom as a witness and the politically controversial nature of the case. Read more »

Has Amanda Banks exposed the dark underbelly of the Crown Law office?

John Banks has done us a favour and shown our justice system to be truly broken. But what chance would he have had if he had been a young man, down and out, up against the system, or even an average person or, indeed, an ordinary MP?

He or she would have had no chance.

As it was, Banks had hundreds of thousands of dollars to spend.

And spend it he had to — to clear his name.

He had a wife who, stung by Justice Edwin Wylie refusing to believe her testimony, hunted down the key witnesses who turned the case around.

The Crown didn’t do that. The fancy lawyers didn’t.

Banks was, of course, a Government Minister, a party leader and a critical vote in Parliament.

It was never an everyday case and we would expect the Crown prosecution to be at its very best and most professional.

The real problem here is that we can’t step beyond the idea of mere incompetence, and instead we are tempted to infer political motives.  And if that’s the case, is it limited to the QCs involved, or were they acting on advice?   Read more »

Crown to appeal Dotcom court ruling

via AAP

via AAP

Word around the Mansion is that things aren’t going very well for Kim.  Lots of shouting and begging being heard.

Odd how the pressure comes on when the money runs out.

So the decision by the Crown to deny Kim Dotcom more of his assets for the time being will be hurting Kim badly.  Many of his plans fall apart unless they have a steady flow of cash to fund them   Read more »