26 Sep 2016

Rethink urged over American Samoa laws

3:32 pm on 26 September 2016

American Samoa's public defender is recommending the government review the enforcement and applicability of certain laws.

Douglas Fiaui said some laws, such as the criminalisation of underage drinking, are causing more harm that good and lawmakers need to come up with an alternative method of sentencing young people and first-time offenders.

He said convictions for minor misdemeanours follow young people for life, especially when they seek further education, employment or military service.

Mr Fiaui said it also reinforced negative stereotypes of Samoans outside of the territory.