Life in prison for New Zealand shooter who killed 51 at two Christchurch mosques

Originally published at:

Terrorist Brenton Tarrant will spend life behind bars, no parole


Imagine… living in a country where the laws are actually enforced and committing a hate crime has actual negative consequences.


Must have been a nice case for the judges. No agonizing if the man was guilty or not or what punishment was appropriate. Just lock him up and throw away they keys.


I believe the process included some agonizing victim impact statements.


There was a lot of concern that the shooter was going to manipulate the process so he could rant in court, but I’m glad to read that didn’t end up happening. I’m not sure if they made it clear to him that they weren’t going to give him the opportunity, so he gave up, or what, but thankfully everyone was spared that.


That’s true, I was referring to the judging part. It’s not as when you, for example, have to deal with a woman who killed her abusive husband and try to decide if it was justifiable or not or when you only have circumstantial evidence and don’t know if you are about to let a murderer go free or lock up an innocent person.

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That’s … not the judges job.


It depends on the country, but lookng it up I see that Zew Zeeland have jury trials, which, I suppose, shouldn’t have surprised me giving its british ancestry.


The judge presumably had to justify handing down a sentence of life without parole, because it is the first such sentence in New Zealand’s history.


A “life sentence without the possibility of parole” was not authorized prior to 2010. According to this article the standard sentence for murder is “life, with a chance of parole after between 10-17 years”, with exceedingly rare deviations upward or downward.

So sentencing the shooter to “life with no chance at parole” was not only unprecedented, but far in excess of the norm. Appropriate under New Zealand law? Probably. But the judge still needed to exercise legal judgement.


You can read the judge’s decision here - it’s quite readable by nonlegal people and worth the read, you’ll likely be in tears.

It seems the terrorist recanted his beliefs, and the judge was not convinced his remorse was genuine


I applaud the New Zealand response both from the media and the impact statements. They essentially took away (and I will not name this piece of shit) his platform and and any ability to be a ‘hero’ for racists and far right terrorists.

Please read:

New Zealand media put Christchurch gunman in his place with focus on victims

‘You are weak’: floodgates open as more Christchurch victims come forward




Good. Sounds like an appropriate sentence.

This made me curious what ended up being Dylan Roof’s sentence, and he got the death penalty and is on death row. So that’s good too.

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Disagree. Roof wanted to become a martyr for his cause. Life without possibility of parole would deny him that.


Hmm. I guess… I don’t know if it really matter to people who idolize his actions if he died in prison of old age, or was executed. Is anyone not going to hold him up as an example of a white supremacist who sacrificed himself for the cause just because he is still breathing in a cell?

But either way, he didn’t get some bullshit 20 years with possibility of parole. If he was in there for life that would be fine with me.

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Back when it happened, many of us listened to the NZ Prime Minister’s speech. She repeated the request not to name the shooter, to not give him and people like him infamy. I wish more news outlets and sites including boing boing would catch on with that practice.


I used to be a big MTG player, never seen your username outside the game and an awesome Ian Miller illustration.

Tanisha are folklore monsters to the native Maori people of New Zealand. Username checks out. Legit, dude. I learned the name of a new monster. Very cool.

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Yep, and when another white supremacist (who redistributed footage of the massacre) violated the terms of his parole, he was arrested.

@Xeni, please don’t name him: reason here nonotoriety…com