17 Jun 2013

Guam senator revises two strikes bill, still criticised

1:08 pm on 17 June 2013

A Guam Senator, Brant McCreadie, has submitted amendments to his two strikes bill after it attracted sharp criticism from the legal fraternity during public hearings last week.

Bill 107 seeks to impose a mandatory non-parole sentence of life in prison for anyone convicted of committing a violent or aggravated felony for a second time.

The Marianas Variety reports Mr McCreadie as saying he has removed several offences from the bill in an attempt to find a more balanced approach to dealing with offenders.

But a defence lawyer says the entire bill is fraught and is the wrong way to go about solving crime.

Randal Cunliffe says the money to accommodate extra offenders would be better spent combatting Guam's methamphetamine problem that he says is behind most crimes.

"Oh it's pandering to the voters. The senators are up in arms and they want to show that they're strong on crime and they're going to put people in jail. I mean just locking people up is never just the answer. The United States has the highest population of prisoners in the world and most of it's because of drugs."

Randal Cunliffe says he doesn't believe the bill will pass the Senate.