Methamphetamine (meth) dealers who can prove their own addiction caused their drug offending could have their sentences
cut by 30 per cent, according to a landmark judgement released by the Court of Appeal.
The role of an offender in a drug network will also have a greater bearing on the length of a prison sentence, that is
if they are jailed at all!
Sensible Sentencing Trust have expressed grave concerns regarding this ruling. They say they have noticed an increase in
violent offending, much of it due to meth use or deals gone wrong and allowing sentences to be lessened, will not deter
the offender from dealing – in fact the trust believe it will only increase crime and gang influence.
SST National Spokesperson Jess McVicar says “Police, Anti-Drug Advocates, Rehabilitation Centres and Medical
Professionals are dealing daily with the consequences of New Zealand’s drug problem; mainly meth. We have seen heinous
crimes that have stemmed from the use of meth and now those that cause this harm will be given the ability to cause even
more. We believe this is a dangerous decision to allow the dealers free rein to continue to distribute this evil drug.”
While the weight of the Class-A drug will still be important in sentencing, Judges will now have more discretion to take
into account whether the individual is a kingpin making millions of dollars, or simply a street dealer. Poverty and
deprivation of a drug dealer are now to be considered as potential mitigating factors.
Jess says “People are being murdered over drug deals gone wrong and it should not make a difference what level of
dealing the offender is at, they are harming the community – full-stop. How can these ‘professionals’ honestly believe
that discounting sentences is the way forward for reducing the effects of this drug, the dealers will not stop dealing.”
Jess says sadly the protection and safety of our community has become the afterthought for this Government, and this is
now flowing through to the courts with a large list of changes being applied based solely on lowering the prison muster.
“This year we have seen so many changes based on offenders getting a lesser sentence; we have sex offenders receiving
home detention, violent crimes getting discounted sentencing due to a disconnection with their family, discounts for
guilty pleas and now we will discount drug dealers!”
Jess says Andrew Little appeared to speak all the right words to make the public and Victims think he wanted a fair and
just system and that he heard the concerns of Victims, but this latest madness seems to point toward that this was not
his intent and the trust believe that sadly, was just a distraction while he was working on these changes to suit his
agenda. The system will descend into mayhem.
“The government can claim all they want that this decision has nothing to do with them, but this fits all too well with
"Andrew Little needs to decide does he want less murder, rape, kidnapping and child abuse or does he want a lower prison
muster? Which is more important?”