Analysis of Three Strikes so far

first_imgSensible Sentencing Trust August 2014Having endured numerous cases of heinous crimes committed by repeat offenders, New Zealanders increasingly expressed a desire for tough sentencing laws for repeat violent and sexual offenders. SST worked tirelessly for the introduction of a Three Strikes policy into New Zealand law. We achieved this in 2010 and will continue to advocate strongly to ensure this key policy is maintained in the future.How does ‘Three Strikes’ work?New Zealand’s version of ‘Three Strikes’ took effect on 1st June 2010. (Entire Bill is here>>) From that date forward, offenders convicted of one of the 40 specified serious offences in the schedule, all of which are serious violent or sexual offences, and all of which carry a maximum term of imprisonment of seven years or more, receive a ‘strike’ warning.The offences subject to ‘strike’ warnings range from murder, manslaughter, sexual violation and kidnapping at the most serious end, to robbery, indecent assault, wounding with intent to injure and assault with intent to rob at the less serious end.Youth offenders are excluded. A strike can only be entered for an offence committed by a person aged 18 or older. But once entered, the strikes remain on the offender’s record unless the conviction is quashed. The strikes stay with the offender as a constant deterrent against future offending, and increasingly tough sentences if the offender is unwilling or unable to refrain from serious offending.What happens at each ‘strike’?Upon conviction for a first strike offence, the normal sentence the Judge considers fit is handed down, and the offender is given a warning of the future sentencing consequences of another ‘strike’ conviction.Upon conviction for a second strike offence, again the normal sentence the Judge considers fit is handed down – but parole or early release is not available. If the Judge says four years imprisonment, then four years it is. Parole is normally able to be applied for after just 1/3rd of the Judge-ordered sentence is completed – but the second strike rule does not allow this, as the full term must be served. An offender convicted of murder as a second strike will be subject to ‘Life imprisonment without parole’ as ‘Life’ is the mandatory sentence for murder, and second strike sentences must be served without parole, unless ‘manifestly unjust’. The offender is given another warning of the future sentencing consequences of a further ‘strike’.If the offender is unwilling or unable to refrain from committing a third strike offence, the Judge is required to impose the maximum sentence available in law for the offence committed. That sentence will be served in full, without any parole or early release. For example, if the third strike offence is ‘aggravated robbery’, an offence which carries a maximum of 14 years imprisonment, the offender will serve a full 14 years imprisonment. If the third strike offence is ‘wounding with intent to injure’, the offender will serve seven years, as that is the maximum term for that offence. For murder it would be life imprisonment without parole, as life is the maximum term for murder. read more

Big East : Surprising South Florida team looks to establish itself as conference contender

first_img Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on January 31, 2012 at 12:00 pm Contact Jon: [email protected]center_img South Florida isn’t used to being in this position.Last March, the Bulls wrapped up a 10-23 season with a 26-point loss to Cincinnati. The 87-61 setback ended the Bulls’ season, in which they went 3-15 and finished in 15th place in the Big East. And that bottom-feeder status has been tagged on USF since the 2005-06 season, when the school joined the Big East.From 2005-06 to 2010-11, the Bulls are a combined 70-117 and have just 23 conference wins compared to 81 losses. During that time, the team has had only one winning season, one conference finish better than 14th and one postseason tournament appearance — the 2010 NIT that ended in a first-round loss to North Carolina State.But this year is different.‘We’re just trying to be as good as we can be and keep getting better,’ USF head coach Stan Heath said in the Big East coaches’ teleconference Thursday.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAs the Big East schedule creeps past the halfway point, South Florida sits near the top of the conference. A place the Bulls have never been and weren’t expected to be — USF was picked to finish 14th in the Big East preseason coaches’ poll.Following an 81-78 victory over Providence (12-10, 1-8) on Sunday, the Bulls are 13-9 overall and 6-3 in the Big East. South Florida is tied for third place in the conference with Notre Dame (14-8, 6-3) and No. 14 Georgetown (16-4, 6-3). The Bulls have won four of their last five games and have already defeated four teams that were projected to finish higher in the preseason poll.And South Florida will look to make that five of six when it battles Georgetown at 11 a.m. Saturday in the Verizon Center in a game that could legitimize the Bulls as a contender in the Big East or shuffle the team to a place closer to the bottom of the conference. In a conference as tough and competitive as the Big East, one loss can make a big difference.But Heath, who is in his fifth year with the Bulls, believes his team’s defense can keep it in conference games. And with the team now healthy following the return of several key players in early January, the Bulls find themselves in the thick of things in the Big East.Even though Heath isn’t even quite sure what to make of this USF team quite yet. ‘We don’t feel that we’re out of the mix at all. We feel like we got a good basketball team that’s got some strengths,’ Heath said during the teleconference. ‘I think our defense gives us a chance every night to play with people, and when our offense is clicking, we’re at the top part of the league.’Heath won’t attribute the turnaround from last season to just one aspect of the team, but the return of several players from injury this season has been a big contributor to the Bulls’ surprising play thus far.Junior guard Jawanza Poland, averaging 10.4 points per game in 11 games, missed the first 11 games of the season and didn’t return until Dec. 19 against Cleveland State. Freshman point guard Anthony Collins missed the first five games of the season. He’s sixth in the Big East with five assists per game.Also missing time was senior forward Augustus Gilchrist, who didn’t play in three straight games at the end of November. Gilchrist leads the team in scoring with 10.7 points per game and is third in rebounds with more than five per game.‘We’re getting good point guard play out of Anthony Collins, who’s one of the top assist players,’ Heath said. ‘Gilchrist is starting to be a little bit more consistent scoring for us, and Jawanza Poland has been a huge lift for us coming off the bench and probably being our leading scorer in most games in conference play.’Heath says having the whole team together and healthy — which happened right after Christmas — has helped key the turnaround this season.‘We’ve continued to improve since then,’ he said. ‘Our defense has been pretty strong. Our offense is not, but we have improved our offense over the past four, five games, although our last game wasn’t very good.’And the last game Heath is referring to is the 67-47 thrashing from No. 15 Marquette (19-4, 8-2) on Jan. 24, when the Bulls turned the ball over 22 times. South Florida cut down on the turnovers against Providence, serving up only five.While South Florida’s defense has been exceptional — ranking first in the Big East with 59 points allowed per game — the offense has been lagging. The Bulls have scored just 62.1 points per game, ranking last in the Big East by more than four points to 15th-place St. John’s and placing 289th nationally.  Along with a temperamental offense — which on any given night could put up 81 like it did against Providence or 47 like it did against Marquette — South Florida is also facing the challenge of playing off campus due to an ongoing $35-million renovation on the Sun Dome.Instead, the team has been playing most of its home games 25 minutes away from campus at the Tampa Bay Times Forum, home of the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning.But Heath isn’t complaining. South Florida has only lost one game in the arena, a three-point defeat to Connecticut (14-6, 4-4) on Dec. 28.‘We don’t talk about it a whole lot,’ Heath said. ‘The guys do seem comfortable in the building. We do look forward to the renovations in the Sun Dome, which is going to be a phenomenal building. We look forward to that in the future, but right now, we’re just playing basketball.’Big East game of the weekVillanova (10-12, 3-7) at Pittsburgh (14-9, 3-7)Sunday, 2 p.m., ESPNThese two perennial Big East powers are currently tied for 13th in the Big East and neither play again until they meet Sunday inside the Petersen Events Center.After starting 0-7 in the conference, Pittsburgh has won its last three games. The Panthers have beaten Providence, No. 14 Georgetown and West Virginia. A big reason for the resurgence is the return of junior point guard Tray Woodall, who returned to the lineup after missing 11 games. In the three wins, Woodall has averaged 15 points per game and 7.3 assists per game.The Wildcats have dropped their last two games to Louisville and No. 15 Marquette. After starting 1-5 in the Big East, Villanova had won two straight [email protected]last_img read more