An Auckland man who was convicted for firing a laser pointer at an Air New Zealand airliner has been sentenced to 12 months of “supervision” (roughly equivalent to probation in the American judicial system) and 100 hours of community service, according to the New Zealand Herald.
The sentence marks a distinct difference between the judicial systems of New Zealand and the United States, where prosecutors have been fairly aggressive in seeking and receiving years of jail time for the same offense.
Many of the laser strike cases that have resulted in plea deals in the US resulted in two to three years of prison time. In 2014, a federal court in Fresno, California, sentenced a man to 14 years in prison in March 2014—believed to be the harshest such sentence anywhere in the world.
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