31 May 2010

'Three strikes' based on failed US policies - lawyer

12:14 pm on 31 May 2010

Rotorua lawyer Annette Sykes says it makes more sense to use Maori rather than American values in reforming the justice system.

Ms Sykes, from Ngati Pikiao, says the Sentencing and Parole Reform Bill passed into law last week is based on failed policies from the United States.

She told Waatea News that the idea of three strikes - that people should be given extremely long sentences after their third conviction for a violent or sexual crime - comes from the American game of baseball.

The new law is likely to increase the percentage of Maori in the prison population, Ms Sykes says.