Topic: Politics

Three strikes law to be repealed by Justice Minister

By Talisa Kupenga
  • Northland
  • Auckland
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty
  • North Island: West Coast
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Criminal Law Expert Khylee Quince welcomes the news that the three strikes law will itself be struck out. She says the decision to repeal the law by Justice Minister Andrew Little will have a positive impact for Māori.

The three strikes law will be struck-out by Justice Minister Andrew Little.

"The three strikes law isn't working. It's been on the statute books for eight years now; actually serious offending rates have gone up, our prison population is going up."

But the Act Party which established the law disagrees saying it has been successful in deterring and incapacitating serious offenders.

ACT Leader David Seymour says, "when the Labour Party said they were going to reduce the rates of the Māori Prison population, I never dreamed that they would start by letting off the hardest crims of all."

Criminal Law Expert Khylee Quince says a repeal could help address the disproportionate imprisonment rates of Māori, who were seven times more likely to be given a strike warning by a judge.

"This is supposed to be about deterrence and incapacitation. The theory is that people will be afraid of the potential of the more serious consequences of a second and third strike, none of the data none of the research shows that that's true." 

Seymour disagrees.

“She couldn't be right because the law is only seven-years-old. Only two people have got to a third strike. That in itself shows there's some deterrence going on."

The Minister expects to start the repeal by the middle of next year.