The ACT Party would abolish the consideration of cultural background as a principle of sentencing crimes.
It’s part of a new justice policy released by the party today.
ACT leader David Seymour said “being nice to criminals” hadn’t worked and the justice system needed to “start putting victims first”.
He said that meant ensuring appropriate sentences for offenders that would keep communities safe”.
“People are blown away by weak sentences for grotesque crimes. How does this happen? Is there a problem with the judges?”
He said judges were following the law, so the law – specifically the Sentencing Act – needed to be changed.
A section of that Act – Section 8 – laid out the “principles” of sentencing, none of which he believed dealt with public safety.
“These principles require judges, when sentencing offenders, to take into account the background of the offender, including their ‘cultural background’.
“Criminals can have reports prepared on their ‘cultural background’ and get reduced sentences if they’ve had a troubled upbringing.
“The principles also require judges to hand down the “least restrictive” sentence that is appropriate, which leads to shorter sentences (less than two years) being converted from imprisonment to home detention.
…the charmer in the photo is Tago Kepa Hemopo, he is on trial for being an accessory after the fact to murder and conspiracy with intent to injure.
His juvenile gang signalling when on trial for something as serious as this makes him an incredibly difficult individual to feel any compassion or sympathy for.
If anything, his gross man child performance alongside the serious criminal accusations make him far less likely to find any sympathy amongst any far minded law abiding citizen.
And that’s the ultimate obligation of us as citizens, that even when confronted with vile feral humans doing vile feral shit, we must force ourselves towards justice, not vengeance.
Look, if someone hurt my family our friends, I’d want 5 minutes alone with the person and a baseball bat, I get that terrible harm inflicted on innocent people drives a thirst for righteous revenge, and I acknowledge that, but we are talking about actual social policy here and because of the overwhelming power of the State over the individual in a prison environment, we must demand checks and balances and quantifiable outcomes over a thirst for vengeance.
Remember – the prisoner losing their liberty IS the punishment, making prisoners suffer additionally to that punishment is a recipe for social disaster and that’s why we see a 70% re-offense rate within 2 years of prison release!
We don’t want people in prison because the greatest determinate of whether or not a person will go to prison – IS BEING SENT TO PRISON!
We want our Judges to pass justice, not revenge, and giving them more background understanding of the person they are judging plus the flexibility to focus on attempting to find a way for the prisoner to be punished by losing their liberty AND attempting to rehabilitate them so that violent criminality isn’t an ongoing feature of their character.
Judges having the much maligned ‘Cultural Reports’ is exactly the kind of background understanding we want from Judges so that mercy is what the Court is focused on. You can’t get Justice without using mercy, look our underfunded, over crowded, violent and corrupt prison system only manufactures men more damaged than when they went in!
We don’t allow any rehabilitation to any prisoner unless they admit their guilt – seeing as many of those prisoners are on remand and haven’t had their trial yet, why would they admit guilt?
National placed that rule so as to smear dog shit in the prisoners faces before they could gain access to rehabilitation, it was a needless cruelty and ‘respect my authritah’ big dick virtue signalling by National that has created a massive counter productive backlash that sees prisoners serve their entire sentence never admitting their guilt and getting no rehab.
Look you stupid sleepy hobbits, how about this.
You can lock these men up for as long as your frightened little hearts desire, but just remove the bullshit smearing dog shit into the prisoners face by making them admit their guilt, and just give them access to counselling and rehab services immediately so that there is the thinnest chance that the counselling and rehab might actually have an impact so that when they are released they are far less likely to create more violence.
Why won’t you stupid sleepy hobbits just make that tiny, tiny, tiny change and actually try and heal these broken men in prison or does Tago Kepa Hemopo’s immaturity win and the worst angels of our nature rule the realms of our reason?
We want our Judges to have these culture reports because it gives more insight into the Prisoner and whether mercy is worth an attempt, ACT threatening. to blind the judges and force them to lock men up and throw away the key will not work, and you should all be honest enough to admit it.
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