17 Jul 2020

Barrister calls three strikes law 'abject failure'

From Morning Report, 8:17 am on 17 July 2020

A defence barrister says the three strikes law is a "complete and abject failure" that has had little effect on the country's crime rate.

The Court of Appeal has ruled that it cannot overturn a seven-year prison sentence for a man who tried to kiss a stranger in Wellington's Cuba Street in 2016.

The offence would not normally have lead to a jail term, but it was the third strike for the man who has mental health problems and a long history of drug and alcohol abuse.

Christopher Stevenson is the co-chair of the New Zealand Defence Lawyers Association.