Posts by David Garrett

  • Legal Beagle: Three strikes (w/ updates),

    Hopefully you're over the oil rig posturing - dressing up as some kind of Village People stereotype's hardly likely to get anyone to take you seriously, in or out of jail.

    I haven't a clue what you are on about..Although I guess back in Aberdeen in 1977 some of us did have large moustaches.. I don't really know why I am bothering with this...

    <quote>Maybe you missed that magnificent portmanteau coinage "prolier than thou" - the suggestion is that it is something you aspire to, what with the repeated allusions to your rough and tough background.<quote>

    What "repeated allusions" would they be? I responded to some dork suggesting that I was an uneducated redneck ...I mentioned my work history prior to returning to the Ivory Tower I had abandoned 11 years previously just once...

    But this is getting here - ironically it seems with the exception of Lucy Stewart - is at all interested in debating the "three strikes" all intellectuall lefties, you just KNOW you're right and those of us who disagree are redneck idiot bigots (feel free to add another alternative label)

    auckland • Since Feb 2009 • 6 posts Report

  • Legal Beagle: Three strikes (w/ updates),

    David, since you're participating, how many of those 78 people you mention had been sentences to three or more sentences of more than five years? You say they had served more than three "sentence" episodes; you do not mention whether in all cases the length of these would have qualified them under the three strikes law.

    Yes Lucy, they were all convicted and sentenced for offences which would have qualified them as "strikers" under the Bill as I drafted it, which actually had, as "strike" offences, pretty much the same list as it has now. I then thought the list a little too broad and narrowed it down; (see the version on the ACT website) the Nats have pretty much restored my original list of offences.

    Now perhaps someone can help age 51, I find some of the terms used on here meaningless...what is a "prole" ?? Surely these sneering references to my wining a "king of the proles" competition cannot be a reference to members of the proletariat, which is what "prole" meant when I were a lad?....

    This is a left wing site isn't it? Are you all champions of the "proles" or is that only the ones who agree with you?

    auckland • Since Feb 2009 • 6 posts Report

  • Legal Beagle: Three strikes (w/ updates),

    David, your first comment here attacked Lucy for allegedly being "middle class", so maybe the high horse could use a rest, huh?

    I am unsure how suggesting that Lucy is probably middle class is an "attack" since I am, by definition, a member of the middle class myself...the difference is that I was not always so, and I had experiences during eleven years working in the oil drilling industry in several different countries that most middle class people have not had. Guys who work on offshore rigs - particularly out of Morgan City Louisiana - are not usually choir boys...although a surprising number regularly attend church's just that they go armed in case of trouble!

    At one time or another, several guys who have done lengthy sentences have been personal friends or at least acquaintances. Their experiences and perspectives are an interesting counterpoint to the academics' ...and those of the Wadestown liberals....

    auckland • Since Feb 2009 • 6 posts Report

  • Legal Beagle: Three strikes (w/ updates),

    I don't how to incorporate his comment (as others have done in their posts) but this is an attempt to respond to Stephen Judd.

    The answer to your question - as usual in academic papers - is less than clear. And as usual, different academics say different things, depending on their own bias. We see that here in NZ - Dr. Greg Newbold's views are pretty much the polar opposite of those held by Professor John Pratt.

    The two effects you refer to are known as incapacitation (you can't reoffend while inside, or at least not against the general public) and deterrence.

    Interestingly , a paper referred to in the explanatory note to the Bill itself (which is complied by the Justice Department, whose officials hate the "three strikes" idea) suggests that there is a 20-30% deterrent effect on those in jail for their first strike, in other words because of the three strikes law, they are 20-30% less likely to reoffend on release than they would have been had there been no three strikes law.

    I have no training in statistics, and the paper is quite technical, but that is its conclusion.

    The incapacitation argument is much easier to understand as you would expect. I can best illustrate that by our claim during the election that there were 78 killers in jail (now 77 since Dixon topped himself) who, at the time they committed the homicide for which they were incarcerated, had served at least three prior "sentence episodes" for violent offending.

    (In Corrections Dept. speak, a "sentence episode" for violent offending is one trip to jail for one or more offences of violence. In other words, many of those 77 will have committed many more than three offences of serious violence. Due to our illogical concurrent sentencing laws, one "sentence episode" may be for - say - two armed robberies, an assault, and an attempted escape from custody.)

    In other words, had a three strikes law been in force when those 78 people killed someone else, their victims would be alive today - or at least their deaths would have been from some other cause.

    I have repeated that claim in parliament a couple of times - to deafening silence from the Labour party - presumably because they know I can back it up by producing OIA responses from the Ministry of Corrections which confirm those figures. Getting those answers took more than six months and a threat to make a complaint to the Ombudsman. Not surprising when you think about it.

    auckland • Since Feb 2009 • 6 posts Report

  • Legal Beagle: Three strikes (w/ updates),

    Some of the comment since my post has been reasonable; much has simply been ad hominem argument directed at me personally - no surprise there.

    May I suggest that anyone considering adding to this "debate" first looks at the post by Mr Edgeler which began this ("thread" - is that what it's called? I am new to this "blogging")

    He begins with a caveat to the effect that he is not in favour of "three strikes" type legislation, then concedes that the bill I drafted has carefully addressed all the faults in the Californian version. I also wonder how many of the people commenting have actually READ the Bill? The ACT version is still available on our website; the latest incarnation which blends ours into National's Sentencing and Parole Reform Bill is available on parliament's website.

    Those who can be bothered to actually look at both will see that National's list of "strike" offences is actually considerably broader and longer than mine. But then why bother actually reading the bills? Much more satisfying to simply rant on here!

    Oh, and for the contributor who suggested I should get some data from a university, I have a BA in politics and history, and an LL.B (Hons) from the University of Canterbury. When drafting the bill I took advice from several left wing academics in the US with strong - and perfectly valid - objections to the California version. I remain in touch with one of them.

    I have several academic papers containing data which show considerable crime reduction effects in several American States with "three strikes" laws, but then you probably wouldn't want to bother with them either....

    auckland • Since Feb 2009 • 6 posts Report

  • Legal Beagle: Three strikes (w/ updates),

    Lucy Stewart illustrates the reality that by and large, the middle class don't understand that deprivation of liberty per se is NOT a great punishment for many criminals.

    You are quite right; depriving me of the ability to stop in at the pub for a beer on the way home from work or go down to the dairy for the Sunday papers would indeed be considerable punishment, and not the central heating and flat screen TV wouldn't make up for it at all.

    But if you are criminal living in some hole in South Auckland with the IRD chasing you for unpaid maintenance, the "missus" (or several of them) asking you to make at least some contribution to bringing up the kids, and bills that keep rolling in, prison can actually be quite a nice alternative - I know this because unlike you, (I'm betting) I actually have known quite a few who have done time! (And no, not just Greg Newbold.)

    Habitual crims are relatively happy with three square meals a day cooked and paid for by someone else, TV 24/7 if they wish, gyms that as Simon Power said in the House that would cost a hefty annual fee out in the community, and being in a place where work is entirely voluntary.

    Have you actually BEEN inside a prison Lucy? I have, several of them.

    auckland • Since Feb 2009 • 6 posts Report