Three Strikes – Sentencing and Parole Bill

The New Zealand Council for Civil Liberties was invited to make a further written submission on the Sentencing and Parole Reform Bill, also known as the “Three Strikes Law”.

The Council’s submission was that the Three Strikes Law is inconsistent with the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 and ought not to be passed.

In one way the Bill was softened from the original in that the third strike, provided it was not murder, attracts the maximum sentence for the offence, rather than life imprisonment.  In another respect the final form of the bill was more draconian as it spreads the net wider to catch all those who are convicted of a qualifying offence, rather than only those whose offending is sufficiently serious to attract a qualifying sentence.

The Submission says that the Three Strikes Law is inconsistent with the right not to be subjected to disproportionately severe punishment, the right of those imprisoned to be treated with humanity, and the right not to be punished again for the same offence.

The full submission is attached to this post.