Posts Tagged law & order

Scott Guy verdict poll

Stuff reports:

The survey of 750 New Zealanders aged 18 years and over, conducted in the days immediately after the verdict, shows almost half of the respondents believed Macdonald was guilty.

When asked “From what you have seen, heard or feel about the case, do you think it is more likely Ewen Macdonald is guilty or not guilty?” 48 per cent said guilty.

A further 20 per cent said not guilty, 28 per cent said they were unsure, and 4 per cent of people refused to answer. …

The survey also showed support for major changes to the criminal justice system similar to those advocated for by Sensible Sentencing Trust spokesman Garth McVicar this week.

This included getting rid of a defendant’s right to silence, which would mean they would be forced to give evidence at the trial. Of those surveyed, 61 per cent thought this was a good idea. …

Three-quarters of people thought juries should be able to return a verdict of “not-proven” alongside “not guilty” and “guilty,” as used in the Scottish legal system. A “not-proven” verdict is essentially an acquittal, but gives juries an option where they feel that the charges have not been proved but they equally cannot say the accused is “not guilty”.


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Pauline Colmar Poll on Crime issues

Pauline Colmar did a poll for the Sensible Sentencing Trust in May 2011 of 1,000 people. Findings:

  • 73% think prison sentences for violent crimes, (such as murder and rape), are too short with only 2% thinking they are too long
  • 61% think punishments given in New Zealand for Youth Offending, (such as graffiti, vandalism and petty theft), are too soft and only 2% think they are too hard
  • 86% think that if a person commits three crimes and is sentenced to one year prison for each crime, that their total sentence should be for 3 years; just 9% think the sentence should be for 1 year
  • 71% think DNA should be recorded for people arrested and 24% think not
  • Additionally, 65% think that the level of violent crime in New Zealand is getting worse and only 4% that it is getting better. 26% consider the level to be about the same.
  • The Sensible Sentencing Trust has high awareness with 65% of all New Zealanders 15+ years having heard of the Trust.


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