Collins has no answers on murder increase law

Written By: - Date published: 11:00 am, May 5th, 2010 - 12 comments
Categories: crime, law and "order", prisons - Tags: ,

It was particularly telling that both Justice Minister Simon Power and Attorney-General Chris Finlayson failed to front to speak for the 3 strikes Bill when its second reading was debated last night.

But ahead of that debate, Labour’s Rick Barker took Judith Collins to task:

Hon Rick Barker: Has she read the official advice that National/ACT’s ‘three strikes’ policy is unlikely to have a deterrent effect and will result in fewer guilty pleas, more appeals against convictions and sentences, and possibly an increased rate of homicide; if so, why is the Government proceeding with a policy that will not prevent crime, may lead to increased violent crime, and clearly will make things worse for victims?

Serious questions, very serious. What kind of crime bill doesn’t reduce crime and might cause more murders? These questions deserve a serious answer. We didn’t get it:

Hon JUDITH COLLINS: We have received an awful lot of advice, and some of it the Labour Party would enjoy because of the soft approach it takes to criminals. However, I believe that it is very important to note that we received some very good advice on this issue, particularly from victims and their families. I remind that member that most offenders get a set period of sentence but, unfortunately, all victims get a life sentence every time.

Pathetic. She doesn’t even have the courage to address the fact that the law may increase murders.

And then, this:

Rahui Katene: Is she concerned about claims from Peter Williams QC that the ‘three strikes’ policy is ‘hysterical’ legalisation, that taking away parole means that there is no deterrent for crime and there is also no incentive for people to rehabilitate, and is this a direction she thinks the police should be promoting?

Hon JUDITH COLLINS: No. Mr Williams has spent a lifetime defending the worst repeat violent offenders in this country.

What disgraceful behaviour from that minister in her final response. Every person accused of a crime has the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty and the right to a defence. Yet here is a minister of the Crown (a lawyer to boot) attacking a man who has spent decades in the public service making sure that people get the defence that is their right.

I actually salute people like Peter Williams who have the guts to take on a role that means being associated in the public eye with some truly nasty characters because it is the right thing to do and in a just society someone has to do it.

But that’s a relatively small thing. The real issue is that this is a crime bill that is not expected to deter or reduce crime and may increase murders. That’s not acceptable. It’s not even really a crime bill, it’s a stupid PR stunt that puts lives at risk. No responsible government would pass it.

But this is not a responsible government. It is a government that has overseen a dramatic increase in crime. It is a government that is willing to cause more murders for the sake of appearing tough on crime.

12 comments on “Collins has no answers on murder increase law”

  1. ianmac 1

    Agree with all of the above. It is interesting that the Victim often gets a mention, “However, I believe that it is very important to note that we received some very good advice on this issue, particularly from victims and their families.” but if Collins was seriously concerned she might investigate a greater victim support process. In some countries the victims of crime are paid a significant sum by the state up-front. Why not here? Why doesn’t the SST focus on that instead of retribution and punishment of the criminal?

    • Rex Widerstrom 1.1

      I agree. It’s sickening to hear this “nasty, brutish and short” Minister (to coin a phrase) invoking the pain of victims as a political weapon, while smirking at her own supposed cleverness.

      If the government cared one whit about victims it would not only introduce a form of criminal injuries compensation payment (as indeed is practiced in many other jurisdictions (and, incidentally, is recovered as much as is possible from the offender over as long a period as it takes)) but they would also be supporting organisations like PARS which have an undoubted positive effect on reducing recidivism and thus help avoid creating more victims.

      And if the SST actually gave a sh*t, it’d be saying the same thing.

  2. randal 2

    this is about commodifying crime and greasing up to thye voting bloc that assisted them into power.
    it is kneejerk legislating of the worst kind.
    the paer is filled with out and out and out paranoids getting traeated as if they are criminals because the powers that be are just flat out too lazy and too tired to really investigate the causes of crime in our country.
    like dude if everyone had a chainsaw, a motorbike and a leafblower then everything swould be jake mate.

  3. longarm 3

    This website is taking the mickey right? You guys dont actually believe this, surely?

    The “advice” that the legislation will result in more murders is an opinion. But you quote it like fact. For every opinion you quote, I have dozens more that say otherwise.

    As for the idiotic statement that this government has presided over the increase in crime, in statistics terms you’re 100% right. But 100% wrong in that it takes years of poor social engineering to deliver those sorts of crime stats … time that only the last Labour government had in office.

    • freedom 3.1

      Longarm, you are obviously having difficulty grasping the concept of how three strikes leads to increased potential homicide. Is this clear enough for you.

      when a criminal is facing that third strike and swings anyway the likelihood of any witness being murdered is greatly increased as the criminal has nothing left to lose

      this is primary school stuff,

    • Roger 3.2

      “The “advice’ that the legislation will result in more murders is an opinion.”

      Yes it was…an expert opinion based on research from the Ministry that is expected to provide advice and opinion. Judith Collins should atleast state why she is choosing to ignore this particular piece of qualified advice and accept other advice that helps the PR exercise.

    • ianmac 3.3

      longarm: Funny how you and your mates made such a thing about crime rising in NZ before the last Election. “The Labour Government has done nothing to stem the rising tide……”
      The stats denied that. But now the rising tide of crime since the Election is a stat. So to be consistent you must accept that it is since Nact has been in power it must be their fault. And if considered opinions from experts (as in the Post from Marty) are ignored, wouldn’t that be a further reason to blame this Government if there is a further rise?

    • Bright Red 3.4

      “In terms of statistics, you’re 100% right”

      Yup. I think that’s pretty much all we need to know.

      Oh, unless we want to listen to longarm’s wild, unevidenced speculation on why a crime increase under National is Labour’s fault.

      And on what basis do you disagree with Justice’s expert advice? Are you more expert in this area than them? Do you have some evidence to present?

      • Rex Widerstrom 3.4.1

        I’d avoid Labour v National comparisons altogether if I were you, Bright Red. Having done nothing much of any use is better than doing harm, but not by much. Especially if you’re measuring the number of victims left in the wake of shortsighted policies*.

        * I’m talking here only of justice / rehabilitation/ corrections policies. Other policies, affecting the economic and sociological drivers of crime would, I admit, show a greater disparity between the two, in Labour’s favour.

  4. But Marty

    You seem to think that cold hard headed analysis is more important than the stroking of bigot’s prejudices. What makes you think that?

  5. This is what happens when you have a moron for a minister. Very very few victims of crime are in a position to provide advice. Perspectives and opinions maybe, but there would be precious few with the knowledge, expertise and qualifications to provide the minister with advice; this is of course assuming anyone with an education would even bother trying to talk sense so such a stupid dolt.

    Secondly, its more of the victims meme, by victims, she more likely means the sensible sentencing trust, Garth McVictim should be the one in jail.

    Please don’t confuse what Collins is doing for anything else, shes a coward, she is hiding behind (dead) human shields. National; More victims = More votes.

  6. Ron 6

    right link this time
    My Aussie friend thinks she looks like Agent Smith:
    http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=604224175&v=info&ref=ts

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