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On May 25 2010, the New Zealand Parliament passed the Sentencing and Parole Reform Bill, also known as “Three Strikes” legislation, sponsored by David Garrett, the ACT Party, and the Sensible Sentencing Trust, and supported by the National Party, under Prime Minister John Key. The law imposes mandatory maximum sentences on offenders who commit three “Strike” offences, removing judicial discretion. An almost identical bill was passed in California in 1994. California’s crime rate remains 11% above the national average, its prison population has increased to nearly 200,000, and its recidivism rate is the highest in the United States.
Written for the APO Composers' Workshop 2010
Text by Alex Taylor, with extracts of parliamentary speeches from the Third Reading of the Sentencing and Parole Reform Bill, May 25, 2010
11 May 2011: APO NZ Composer Development: Works with Words
Workshopped by the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra with actor Stuart Devenie and conductor Kenneth Young at the Philharmonia Hall, Mt Eden, Auckland