Monday, 6 October 2008


This from the Herald

A life sentence will literally mean life for murderers who already have violent records, says the National Party's policy on parole, to be announced today.

This is great news. It will come at at cost financially but there are some violent criminals who should never see the light of day - remember BB spent 4 years working in a a corrections facility.

National will abolish parole for the worst repeat violent offenders.

And it says this will require a new $314 million prison to hold them and an extra $43 million a year to keep them there.

Under the policy, repeat violent offenders will have to serve every day of a sentence if they have previously been convicted of a violent crime and sentenced to five years or more in prison.

This will mean a murderer with a violent record will stay in prison until they die.

This is a much better option than having innocent people die if they are released

If a criminal sentenced to seven years for an aggravated robbery already has a serious violence conviction, they will serve the full seven years.

The "life means life" sentence would have applied to high-profile offenders such as prison-van basher George Charlie Baker, RSA triple-killer William Duane Bell and samurai sword assailant and killer Antonie Dixon.

Good examples - no one in their right mind would ever want to see these men living in their neighbourhood.

All have been sentenced to lengthy non-parole periods and may not be released anyway, but National's policy would deny people like them any chance of being free again.

It is understood National's research shows that of the 144 offenders convicted of murder since 2002, 10 would be in this category.

Preventive detention - a jail sentence with no release date set - can be imposed on serious or repeat offenders.

But parole is still available and National says that since 2002, five offenders sentenced to preventive detention have been released.

I think that this is outrageous. no-one on preventive detention should ever be allowed to see the light of day. But BB is pretty staunch on this issue - to the point that she believes that the death penalty should also be considered in extreme cases.

The policy would have a big effect on the full spectrum of violent crime. Repeat robbers, repeat rapists and those who repeatedly commit violence within the home would not get parole.

Those denied parole under this category would also be monitored for a fixed term when they were released, "rather than being left to their own devices".

Excellent idea.

National's policy says "parole is not a right for prisoners, it is a privilege".

Offences that will lose an offender the right to parole if they offend again would also include attempted murder, kidnapping, rape, grievous bodily harm and some serious assaults.

National leader Key promised this year that one of the first things he would do if he became prime minister would be to toughen parole, bail and sentencing laws.

Good on them - what we also want to see is more resource put into first time offenders - its the only other time that society can make a real difference.

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