Here’s Key describing the Nats’ “three strikes” law back in 2010 – Govt announces three-strikes policy
Repeat violent criminals could get a maximum sentence with no parole under the Government’s three-strike policy announced today.
“I’m taking about those people who consistently pose a very real threat to the safety and security of other New Zealanders,” he said.
“Some people will say this bill is harsh, but it’s only harsh on the very worst and most dangerous and repeat offenders.”
RNZ today reports – Seven years jail for pinching a prison guard’s posterior
The first person to be sentenced for a third strike offence has been jailed for seven years — for pinching a bottom.
Raven Casey Campbell appeared in the Hamilton High Court yesterday, where Justice Toogood was bound by law to sentence him to the maximum seven years for indecent assault.
The key words here are “bound by law” – the judge was not able to apply any discretion in this case.
So the first application of “three strikes” is an example of exactly one of the main problems that opponents of the law raised. Remove discretion and you can get perverse outcomes. Indecent / sexual assault is nothing to joke about (and I don’t know the details of the previous two “strikes”) – but on the face of a 7 year sentence for pinching a bottom seems wildly disproportionate. Hardly an example of “the very worst and most dangerous and repeat offenders.”
It’s a bad law.
RNZ has futher relevant interviews
– Architect of three strikes law defends bottom pinch sentence (that would be the disgraced David Garrett)
– Seven year sentence for pinching a bottom under fire