Sentencing

Another violent criminal behind bars with a strike on the record

The opposition love criminals, they support them.

Why do I say that, well, it’s easy, they are soft on crime and opposed the three strikes law.

The latest example of scumbag thugs who should be permanently in jail but aren’t has recently played out in the courts.

The Sensible Sentencing trust explains:

A recent Christchurch case reminds us all what a wonderfully effective and discriminating tool the “three strikes” law promoted by Sensible Sentencing Trust, and passed into law in 2010 by the then National – ACT government is proving to be.

After a criminal career comprising 45 previous convictions – nine of them for violence – a Judge has finally put Shane Archbold behind bars for 5 1/2 years, and given him a “three strikes” warning for an aggravated burglary  during which Archold told the victim he was going to “take his eye out” with a tyre iron.

“This guy is an excellent example of why ‘three strikes’ was so sorely needed” said Sensible Sentencing Trust founder Garth McVicar.

“During his 45 conviction criminal career – a quarter of which were for violence – this man has no doubt served a number of prison sentences and been through the revolving door  at the front of the prison that was the criminal justice system. Were it not for three strikes,  at age 36 he could easily have gone on to rack up another 45 convictions, and continued to be let out on parole part way through each pathetic sentence” McVicar said.   Read more »

Stephen Franks lashes a judge for her dodgy 3 strikes ruling

Stephen Franks lambasts a judge over her wonky and dodgy 3 strikes ruling last week.

There has been surprisingly little attention paid to the Court’s decision last Friday not “to order that [a gang murderer] serve a life sentence without parole” despite the judge’s admission that she was “required [by the three strikes law] to order that [he] serve that life sentence without parole” unless it would be manifestly unjust.

She then converted that requirement to find manifest injustice  into the standard pre-three strikes judicial quibbling about disproportionality. With breathtaking ease she slid past a previousmanslaughter to focus on the ‘relatively minor’ nature of the offences that triggered the three strikes law application, managing to take into account also the ’signs that you wish to be more pro-social as noted in the presentence report’ .

She completely turns on its head the law’s intent that offenders get greater certainty about the consequences of offending, noting that the murderer would not have known at the time of the earlier offences of the three strikes certainty.

Judicial naivete at its worst. It is only by applying the law, that offfenders believe that it will be applied. The most clear lesson  from the experience where three strikes certainty was followed by dramatic reductions in offending, was that pitiless certainty finally sent the message to offenders that they could no longer gamble on meeting soft judges and gullible parole boards.

Sensible Sentencing is correct to highlight this judgment in their Judge the Judges website.  But the judge concerned is orthodox.  Judges generally resist punishment as a legitimate and sufficient purpose of sentencing. With Parliamentary sanction they have collectively warped criminal law from doing justice on behalf of victims and the innocent, into a primary role of therapy for the criminological needs of offenders. They do not respect the common sense intuitions of ordinary people. They resent the demand for retributive, incapacitating and deterrent punishment. To them only rehabilitative objectives are truly noble.

Read more »

US looking for substantial savings by reducing drug sentences

The Us is certainly looking like they are dialling back the so-called “war on drugs”.

They are starting to realise that incarceration has failed when it comes to drug use.

Not only is it expensive it is also ineffective.

The Justice Department is formally backing a proposal being considered by the U.S. Sentencing Commission that would shorten the amount of time that federal drug offenders currently behind bars would have to spend in prison.  Read more »

What does it take to get rid of a dud judge?

Dud judges cause no end of grief. But what does it take to get rid of dud judges.

Take Philippa Cunningham…she is the judge who thought “The Comedian” child sex offender should be discharged without conviction because amongst other things he “makes people laugh”. That decision was overturned on appeal after the Crown challenged Cunningham’s original sentence. He was then sentenced to 8 months home detention.

Now Cunningham is making news again with another of her pathetic sentences overturned.

A man who was sentenced to home detention after permanently disabling an elderly woman when he robbed her at an Auckland shopping mall has had his home-based sentenced quashed and a prison sentence of more than twice the original length imposed.

Darrin Murphy Fidow was originally sentenced to nine months’ home detention after being convicted on aggravated robbery and burglary charges.    Read more »

Public Protection Orders Bill introduced to parliament

While Labour seeks to get John Banks and wasting 3 questions in parliament this afternoon, Judith Collins is setting about amending laws to protect people from recidivist criminals.

This is the law that will be used against the likes of the Beast of Blenheim, Stewart Murray Wilson and other criminal scum. A Q&A document has been released (43K PDF)

Justice Minister Judith Collins introduced legislation to Parliament today that creates special orders to better protect the public from serious sexual or violent offenders.

The Public Safety (Public Protection Orders) Bill will allow the High Court to order offenders who pose a very high risk of imminent and serious sexual or violent offending after they are released from jail, to be detained.

Public Protection Orders (PPOs) would see offenders held in a secure facility until the High Court is convinced they are safe for release.

“This Government is committed to delivering on our election promise to introduce a civil detention regime for the most high-risk offenders,” Ms Collins says.

“The safety of New Zealanders is paramount and it should not be jeopardised by a small number of offenders who continue to be a serious threat after they are released from prison.

“PPOs are a new tool to deal with society’s worst offenders in a way that current sentencing and release provisions, such as extended supervision orders and preventative detention, don’t allow.”

While Labour plays gotcha politics, National is getting on with the things that actually matter to voters.

And their point is what?

Liberal panty-waists are carping that our three strikes law will fill up our prisons, like that is a bad thing.

A man charged with his “third strike” has no incentive to plead guilty and could subject his alleged victim to a needless trial, a legal expert says.

Under the three strikes legislation, an offender must be sentenced to the maximum sentence without parole regardless of their plea.

The Herald on Sunday revealed last week a 20-year-old from Wellington is believed to be the first to be charged with his third strike.

President of the Criminal Bar Association, Tony Bouchier, said: “There is no discount for early guilty pleas, no discount for remorse, it’s just black and white.

“We are simply going to fill our prisons with people who are required to do very long terms of imprisonment.”

Justice Minister Judith Collins said legislators were aware of this when they passed the bill in 2010.

“You are talking about people who are rapists, murderers, very serious recidivist offenders. who by the third strike have been given every chance possible. The thought that they care one scrap about the victims is slightly naive.”

Presumably Tony Bouchier wants rapists, murderers and serious recidivist offenders walking free on our streets rather than incarcerated. Perhaps he should retire…we are over liberal panty-waist crime hugger like him.