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escalating violence in our community
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Sensible Sentencing Trust
(16th December 2004)
New Zealand’s Criminal Justice watchdog organization has congratulated Hawke’s Bay Judge, Tony Adeane for slamming a Probation Service report that suggested a violent street assault may have been motivated by the offenders “Maori culture related needs” and a “strong sense of social obligation”.
Judge Adeane made the comments when sentencing a young Maori man in the Hastings district Court on Tuesday for an unprovoked attack on a total stranger.
The Judge said, “It is, in my view, offensive to any acceptable notion of culture to suggest that because individual members (of that culture) value their association with each other, that when they commit crime together they are somehow expressing common cultural values”.
The Judge also questioned the wisdom of such observations saying this was the third time in as many months he had encountered this approach which was apparently the result of some policy decision within the Probation Service.
The Sensible Sentencing Trust have come out strongly in support of the Judge's comments, saying they were “Right on the button and not before time”. Trust spokesman, Garth McVicar said the Probation Service was aggravating a situation that was already like a “Powder keg waiting for someone to light the fuse”.
“The New Zealand Probation Service is being extremely negligent by encouraging Culture to be used as an excuse for any crime, let alone violent crime”.
“Maori are being used as guinea pigs in a politically correct social engineering experiment that is now responsible for Maori being over represented on the wrong side of most criminal justice statistics”.
Mr McVicar said comments like this from the Probation Service are absolute rubbish but cause immeasurable damage and have the potential to inflame an already volatile situation.
Sensible Sentencing Trust.
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