December 03, 2020
Anger leads to bad law says Just Speak
Justice reform group Just Speak is warning against a call to impose mandatory life sentences without parole for anyone who kills a police officer.
The call came in a petition presented at parliament yesterday by Diane Hunt, whose son Matthew Hunt was shot and killed on June while doing a routine police traffic stop in west Auckland.
Police Minister Poto Williams referred the petition to a select committee.
Just Speak spokesperson Tania Sawicki Mead says New Zealand has a history of politicians passing laws in a hurry because of high profile incidents, which have long term negative consequences for the whole system.
She says while anger is an understandable response to grief, calls for more punishment aren’t the solution.
"What they tend to do is trap us in a cycle of violence and oppression which makes incidents like this more likely to happen in the long run rather than help us firstly identify how to prevent gun crime in our communities and secondly to help those who have experienced gun crime to heal from that and to find peace," Ms Mead says.
She says an imported justice system grounded in punishment has done disproportionate harm to Māori communities.
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