Common-sense should see limits on prisoners’ right to Court

Press Release – Sensible Sentencing Trust

The Sensible Sentencing Trust (SST) Wellington branch would like to voice our support for a law change that would see limits implemented on prisoners’ right to access the Courts. A startling case drew our attention to this issue. Common-sense should see limits placed on prisoners’ right to Court

The Sensible Sentencing Trust (SST) Wellington branch would like to voice our support for a law change that would see limits implemented on prisoners’ right to access the Courts. A startling case drew our attention to this issue.

At present, Arthur Taylor (who has 120 prior convictions and is currently serving a seven year sentence for his part in a drug ring run from inside prison) is using the Courts to challenge the legality of the recently introduced smoking ban in prisons. Taylor, who www.stuff.co.nz describes as a “serial jail-house litigant”, has even had an office space complete with a computer and a small law library for his personal use during his time in prison.

For the tax-payer to fund the ‘wannabe lawyer’ hobby of a serious convicted criminal in this fashion is simply a gross waste of tax-payer dollars. For most hard-working Kiwis the right to our justice system is something we hold dear and to see convicted criminals such as Taylor wasting its time and resources is simply a kick in the guts. Whilst victims of serious crime often wait for up to two years to have their cases heard in the High Court, Taylor waltzes right in. Why? More importantly, why should he even have the right to that Court?

The Sensible Sentencing Trust calls on all politicians to support a legislative amendment which would see a prisoner’s right to the Courts removed entirely with the only exception being their own appeal/s.

Such an amendment would help see our justice system working for ordinary Kiwis rather than the criminal minority like Taylor. New Zealand once was, and can be again, one of the safest countries in the world if we have the will and determination to stand up against criminals and refuse to accept their behaviour as a part of our lives. Criminals like Taylor don’t deserve the right to spend our money on their hobbies. Criminals take away our right to be free of crime and when in prison it is only fair that they give up some of their rights in return. The removal of a prisoner’s right to the Courts seems not only fair, but just plain old common-sense… and it would even save the government (and all of us) money.

The Sensible Sentencing Trust believes we all have a right to be safe within our own homes, streets, and communities. We will continue to fight for that right and advocate for a tough stance to be taken against those who would have those rights taken away from us.

ENDS

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