6 APRIL 2009 - ACT MP David Garrett, sent an email to supporters last Friday, knowing that the information he provided was wrong. He claimed that if the "three strikes" bill had been in place in May 2008, 78 lives wold have been saved, as 78 killers would have been prevented from killing their victims. Mr Garrett had received a letter from Rethinking Crime and Punishment Director, Kim Workman a week earlier, with official information from the Department of Corrections confirming that none of the none 423 prisoners currently serving life sentences had three qualifying sentences for serious violent offences (or strikes) prior to their most recent life sentence, under the proposed legislation. That included the 78 lifers with three previous convictions for serious violence.
"What beggars belief is that after being informed that none of the lifers in prison would have been effected by the legislation, he then deliberately misled his own supporters", said Kim Workman. "I can understand that a parliamentarian might choose to confuse or mislead his opponents. That he should choose to confuse and mislead his supporters, is incomprehensible."
"ACT also claimed earlier that murderers William Bell and Antoine Dixon, would not have killed, as they would have been in prison under the three strikes law. Corrections also confirmed that Antonie Dixon and William Bell would not have been affected by the three strikes legislation.
Last Friday's email from ACT advised supporters they believed the National Party will not support the "three strikes" part of the bill beyond the Select Committee stage unless there is massive public support for it. Mr Garrett urged supporters to make a submission on the bill, and instructed them as to what to say. He concluded by saying: "One of the most common claims against "3 Strikes" is "this will not work." Clear evidence that the bill will work is the 77 killers in jail as at May 2008. ..You may wish to emphasise that it is a matter of simple arithmetic (so statistical analysis is unnecessary) that had a "three strikes" law been in place at the time they killed, their victims would be alive today."
If Mr Garrett were a criminal, he would by now be eligible for 'three strikes'.
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