How many people in these cases have been criminalised for smacking?On 16 May 2007, the anti-smacking law was passed through parliament. Ever since, Family First’s Bob McCoskrie has been trying very hard to get information of people who have been criminalised for smacking. That is because John Key has said that if anyone is criminalised for smacking, he`d change the law.
By criminalised, I assume he means landed with a criminal conviction.
McCoskrie has taken out another full page ad in today’s daily papers, with “compelling evidence” that people have been criminalised for smacking their kids.
Now, I’m no fan of the anti-smacking law, but some of these examples trolleyed out by McCoskrie are not even smacking cases. None have gained a criminal conviction. Granted , some of the cases went to court, but the defence would not have been a smacking defence. In other words, had the Section 59 defence been available, it would most likely not have been used as a defence, let alone succeeded. Therefore police discretion to prosecute was not discretion under Section 59, it was badly used discretion irrelevant to Section 59. The case of a of a 70-year old bus driver taken to court for “ grabbing the arm of a rowdy boy” is not a smacking case, neither is a case where an uncle threw a cushion at his nephew. Yet these cases are claimed to be smacking cases by McCoskrie.
Some are not Section 59, and McCoskrie is wasting his supporters money in leading a misinformation campaign claiming that they are – and claiming that because they are criminalised for smacking (but without a criminal conviction), that John Key should change the law.
Labels: section 59