Thursday, November 11, 2021

Good riddance

After four years of dragging its feet, the government has finally introduced legislation to repeal the shameful "three strikes' law

Justice Minister Kris Faafoi is pushing ahead with moves to repeal the "three strikes" law, saying it is an anomaly in the justice system that has led to "absurd and perverse" outcomes.

The law currently requires judges to impose the maximum sentence for offenders who commit a third serious, violent crime.

Faafoi this morning said the government would introduce the Three Strikes Legislation Repeal Bill, as promised in the lead-up to the election, with a first reading expected next week.

Good. This law was manifestly unjust, and led to disproportionate sentences. While one of these was recently overturned by the Supreme Court, that still saw a mentally ill man serve five years in prison for an offence the court said he should have been imprisoned for only six months for. But while the bill will repeal the law and prevent any more such sentences, it won't allow re-sentencing of those already victimised under it. That needs to be corrected. Or is the government not actually interested in justice?