Culpae poenae par esto

Written By: - Date published: 1:45 pm, February 14th, 2009 - 49 comments
Categories: law and "order" - Tags:

I just want to second Tane’s comments regarding the sentence for the killer of Pihema Cameron.

A 12 year old Maori child acts as look out for some older kids in a robbery that goes wrong. That kid, Bailey Kurariki, despite not having even hurt, let alone killed, anyone is sentenced to seven years and labelled our youngest killer by the moron media, who hound him on his release. His life is destroyed before it began.

A man chases a boy 300m with a knife and stabs him to death. Bruce Emery gets 4 years (out in 2) and sympathy from the media. He’s always spoken of in the media in glowing terms: ‘businessman’, ‘family man’, ‘good Christian’, ‘father’, while his victim is simply labelled ‘tagger’. In two years, he’ll be released to a hero’s welcome – he’ll even keep his businesses and two houses because people are donating money to him.

So much for equality before the law.

49 comments on “Culpae poenae par esto ”

  1. Was it the same judge in that case, Steve?

  2. Rex Widerstrom 2

    …his victim is simply labelled ‘tagger’….

    Whereas you’re careful to label Kurariki “child” – an equally emotive description that is arguable when applied to someone involved in planning and carrying out a criminal act which had as its desired outcome the harming (though perhaps not killing) of another person. The term “child” conjures an image of someone planning an attack on their playmate’s fort, not a nighttime robbery. Which is probably why you’ve used it, just as the SST and the media use “tagger” to connote justification for making that person a homicide victim.

    You don’t plan a robbery assuming – even at 12 – that shouting “boo” is going to do the trick. You know someone is going to get hurt. Perhaps, given your inexperience you may not realise that the thugs for whom you are looking out can readily lose control and murder someone, and so you deserve a sentencing discount for that, which I think Kurariki got.

    Now before I start sounding like Garth McVicar (and when I do, you have my permission to shoot me) I would certainly argue that Kurariki’s deprivation of liberty should not be in circumstances akin to a prison. At 12 one is still readily able to change one’s attitudes given positive influences… but there’s no doubt that such a process would need to be forced on him by way of sentence given the cachet which he felt his associations gave him.

    But in my work I also meet victims and victims’ families. I’m usually humbled by their understanding and lack of desire for revenge – at least after time has given them some perspective and provided the local versions of McVicar aren’t having an orgy in the blood of their loved ones. But the over-riding desire these people have is that no one else should have to go through the same thing. That means effectively rehabilitating criminals and part of that undoubtedly must be confinement (I avoid “imprisonment” because that too connotes different things) for serious crimes, no matter what the age of the offender.

    Where things falls down is that we attempt to do so in juvenile justice facilities or, worse still, prisons – which aren’t called “universities of crime” for nothing.

    As for Emery, I’ve already expressed my disgust with the verdict. If anger towards another person is to be justification for a lighter sentence for murder, then I wonder if that judge would entertain a similar plea from the perpetrator of domestic violence? After all, being cuckolded, say, tends to be somewhat more annoying than finding some crap sprayed on your fence.

  3. There is a lot of difference in the two cases, first off Bailey wasn’t just a kid on the look out for his older mates, you make it sound like that he was just out for a good time.

    He went with those thugs for the purpose of committing armed robbery, he then just stood looking out, having a laugh, knowing his mates were holding down their victim, and bashing the victims head in with a baseball bat.

    For the next seven or so years he has spent his time locked away, joking about it, showing no remorse whatsoever, in fact he seem to get some perverse enjoyment about his part in this horrific crime.

    He has now violated parole three times and shows no intent on going straight, despite what parole members think.

    He couldn’t care less about what he has done.

    Meanwhile Bruce, didn’t go out to commit a crime, at the start he was a victim of a crime, he had been a constant victim of a crime, he took a knife chased after the tagger and stab him and killed him, it should of been murder, but a jury thought otherwise, thus he got found guilty of manslaughter.

    The difference between Bailey and Bruce is, Bruce has a conscious and has shown remorse, while Bailey doesn’t give a fu*k.

    Personally I thought the judge would of given him home detention, and personally I thought he should of had a longer jail sentence. But until someone can show me the track record of this judge and his sentencing of Pakeha and Maori, there is not enough evidence to show that he is a racist and that skin colour played a part in the jail term of Bruce.

    Lets see the history of this judge, before you throw about wild accusations.

  4. jbc 4

    “…a robbery that goes wrong.”

    Looks like it went as planned. Bunch of guys arm themselves with baseball bats, dial a pizza and lay in wait; presumably planning to beat the shit out of the delivery guy and take his bag of change. Ah, yes. I see what went wrong: they picked a guy with only a few dollars on him.

    Complain about Emery’s sentence as much as you like but there’s no need to belittle other senseless acts of violence to make your point.

    RSA murders next?

  5. Jono 5

    Well said Steve. Brett you miss the point, institutional racism isn’t about an individual being consciously racist – its about the odds being stacked against someone on the grounds of their race. There is no doubt that these two cases do show a bias in the justice system around race, and your comments demonstrate a clear bias too – probably not a conscious one, but a bias all the same born out of your unthinking connection to that part of our culture and society (not meaning to be offensive – but you don’t seem to be doing much analytical thinking). Try looking at the cases as just actions and consequences (a 50 yr old man took a knife chased and killed a young male; a child – what else can you really call a 12 year old emotive or not? – stands watch whilst an older group of kids rob and kill a man) both are reprehensible actions, but one is done with clear knowledge of the outcome and with a direct action, the other without a real understanding of the outcome that occurred and without direct action). And then there’s the whole paradigm which society looks at these situations through – Emery is able to communicate remorse in a way he knows the judge and jury will understand, Bailey probably isn’t and may never have the communication skills to effectively deal with a judge and jury effectively. If a 14 year old son of mine was chased and murdered by a 50 year old man who should know better I sure as hell wouldn’t be happy with a 4 year sentence for man slaughter.

  6. Jono:

    I dont see skin colour in crimes being committed.

    No one is yet to show me, that the Bruce only got four and a half years because he is a middle age pakeha male.

    Personally the reason I think he got off lightly is because he showed remorse and didn’t have a track record for violence.

    As for Bailey not being able to communicate his remorse, well he hasnt ever shown any remorse.

    By the way I don’t think no one is happy with the four years , I just see no evidence though that Bruce would of gotton a harsher sentence if his victim had of been white.

  7. Steve: or to put it another way, a 12-year-old Maori child participates in an armed robbery involving murder and is sentenced to 7 years. 51-year-old Whitey confronts youths vandalising his property, kills one of them in disputed circumstances and is sentenced to 4 years. Is there some useful point of comparison here? I don’t see it.

    Jono: the odds are stacked in Emery’s favour in Steve’s comparison not because of his race, but because he didn’t kill someone while robbing them. There is a difference, and you and Steve know it as well as I do.

  8. Rex Widerstrom 8

    Brett points out:

    As for Bailey not being able to communicate his remorse, well he hasnt ever shown any remorse.

    And that’s where the sentence falls down, Steve. Not on duration, but on almost every other aspect. Arguing length is buying into McVicar’s “more is better” simplicity from the opposite perspective. It would have taken years to reform Kurariki given his upbringing and influences, and forcibly separating him from those influences, through the sentencing process, would have been a necessary first step. But we’ve squandered the opportunity.

    You don’t win points – hell, you don’t survive – in a juvenile facility or prison by showing remorse or acting anything less than just as staunch as the top dog. And you’d better do it from day one, no matter how terrified you are, because once you’re attacked almost everyone else will gather behind your attacker, silently giving thanks that it’s you not them, and eagerly trying to cement your position on the bottom of the heap so they don’t have to fill it.

    I’m certain Kurariki doesn’t feel remorse. Prisons aren’t about rehabilitation or remorse or even reoffending (the discouragement thereof). They’re about punishment, pure and simple. And surviving through agression.

    If the state had been prepared to invest several years in effective and appropriate rehabilitation of Kurariki his life would not only be immeasurably better, but – more importantly – society would be a slightly safer, and better, place.

    Instead we’ve carefully honed a potential psychopath. If he manages to avoid the fate we’ve set out for him – and which the media are only too keen to predict, so they can scream “told you so, should have been longer!” when he offends again – then Kurariki will have beaten the odds like almost no one has.

  9. higherstandard 9

    SP

    I believe you’ve got this one completely wrong with the approach of trying to suggest there is entrenched racism by highlighting these two very different albeit tragic cases.

    For those interested in reviewing the Michael Choi murder I suggest reading the record here (it makes very unpleasant reading).

    http://www.nzlii.org/nz/cases/NZCA/2003/217.html

  10. Pascal's bookie 10

    Well said as always Rex. The other thing about Kurariki’s sentence is the whole “NZ’s youngest killer” tag, that he will wear forever, or at least until someone younger comes along.

    Hear/read “Bailey Kurariki” and “NZ’s youngest killer” is almost always attached, either by the speaker or the listener. Without google who can name the guy that actually did the killing?

    Why is that? He was a few years older, so it wasn’t a story.

  11. Ben R 11

    Steve, as I posted on the other thread, if you changed the race of the offender & perpetrator I still think he would have received a similar, or possibly even lighter sentence. Also, as Rex points out, you are using equally emotive terms like “child” when the guy was 15. Also, you are omitting the detail that the “child” was tagging the guys house. Imagine if you went and tagged a marae, or went to Samoa and started tagging a families fale. I imagine you would get chased as well!

    If you imagine the following scenario I doubt you would be objecting to the defendant being referred to as a businessman or family man:

    A 53 year old Maori business man Mr Tapsell is at home with his wife of 20 years and young daughters. His wife is preparing food for an indonesian church the next day. He lives in a poor white suburb and is the owner of an upholstery business he runs from home. His garage is regularly tagged.

    About 11pm he sees someone tagging his garage door of his home and business.

    There are two, identities disguised by hoodies. Mr Tapsell isn’t anonymous. They know his property and therefore who he is. He hurries downstairs, grabs a fishing knife, gives chase. He is dressed in shorts and T-shirt, his feet bare.

    There is an altercation. The knife had a 14cm blade but penetrated 5cm, so it’s hard to say it was some frenzied attack. Mr Tapsell claims he was defending himself.

    Mr Tapsell is convicted of manslaughter. Mr Tapsell had no prior criminal record.

    Judge John Parata sentences Mr Tapsell to 4 years 3 months in jail. Judge Parata notes the danger of using knives.

    Mr Tapsell’s lawyer sought a sentence of home detention. He also sought donations to help his family. Mr Tapsell did not qualify for legal aid, his business had to close and he had exhausted his finances on his defence.

  12. Ari 12

    there is not enough evidence to show that he is a racist and that skin colour played a part in the jail term of Bruce.

    You misunderstand the term “institutional racism.” Many people guilty of institutional racism are not aware of it: they’re not “racists”, they’re simply acting on racial biases that they ought to have been aware of and compensating for.

    This is a crucial concept a lot of people who defend racism in our country fail to understand.

  13. spot 13

    SP

    Here’s hoping the ‘sentencing council’ angle (and politics of) remains out of bounds in this discussion for the next wee while.

    To me it seems the law can be a brutal as* when it comes to his stuff, managing to categorise (for the purposes of judgement) what is effectively the same outcome (mitigaiton defences, provocation, culpable homicide, manslaughter etc).

    The biggest issue here, in my mind, was when he got manslaughter (and not murder), as that then opened up a whole range of possibilities for sentencing and how the judge/jury “grades” or gives some sort of empathetic or mitigating context to Emery’s actions (which is afterall the “manslaughter” definition).

    I feel for the kids family, but understand how the ‘system’ can produce that sort of result. How to redress, no idea.

  14. John Dalley 14

    What has disturbed me most about Kurariki is the indecent exposure the Press gave to a then 12 year old both then and now. As is correctly pointed out, Kurariki was not the main offender but of course because of his age the press smell a good story and vilify him. No mention is made about the real killer, hell i wouldn’t even know his or hers real name to this day.

  15. marco 15

    I totally agree Emery’s sentence makes a mockery of the system.

    He made a decision to arm himself with a knife and chase a child 300m with that weapon. For a man Emery’s size I’m assuming thats at least 45 seconds to change his mind, 45 seconds to realise that the person he is chasing is a child, 45 seconds to perhaps think about calling the police.

    While there are parts about Kauriki’s sentence I disagree with 7 years of what was essentially rehabilitation was about right.

    Emery on the other hand should be serving at least 10 years as an example to all New Zealanders that you cannot take the law into your own hands unless it is for the purpose of self defence or the defence of another person under physical attack.

  16. FFS marco – “He made a decision to arm himself with a knife and chase a child 300m with that weapon. For a man Emery’s size I’m assuming thats at least 45 seconds to change his mind, 45 seconds to realise that the person he is chasing is a child, 45 seconds to perhaps think about calling the police.”

    Pihema Cameron was not a “child”. “Children” don’t get pissed, stoned and go out late at night tagging.

  17. Pascal's bookie 17

    ffs I2, I eat porridge, but I’m not a fucking Scot, (not that there’s anything wrong with that).

    Whether or not someone goes out tagging, gets pissed, goes to school, has a job, eats their peas off the knife, has no bearing on whether or not they are a child. What makes someone a ‘child’ is their ‘age’ and ‘development’.

    That’s why we treat them differently.

  18. Dunno about “children” these days, but at 15 I was bigger than many adults, knew very well what “illegal” meant and also knew damn well that vandalising other people’s property could get me a severe beating if the owner caught me at it. Please spare us the “child” stuff.

  19. No we won’t because he was a fucking child. How about you lot spare the “he had it coming” stuff.

  20. Jono 20

    Ben R – I wouldn’t have to object to him being termed a ‘family man’ or ‘business man’ in the media – because a brown 50 yr old man stabbing a young white tagger would not be called that in the media – that’s the whole point, I imagine the young white tagger’s family would manage to get the media reporting him as a good kid who had just been on his way home from studying at friends house etc etc. That’s the thing about institutional racism.

    Brett – you don’t get it, so you might want to give it up eh?

    I2 – are you for real? I’m white, educated and middle class and all my friends and I smoked occasionally and got pissed at 14 and we were certainly still children – I’d be surprised if there were many 14 yr olds who didn’t get pissed at least occasionally… and that’s a whole other problem NZ has got.

  21. Pascal's bookie 21

    By severe beating do you mean recovery in the ICU? How about the morgue?

    These kids ran away, the adult chased them down, and one of them ended up dead.

    Because the adult grabbed a knife, chased him down and stabbed him.

    But apparently the adults actions can be mitigated, because some kids are bigger than some adults, which means they aren’t kids, even though the law says so. Or something or rather.

  22. Ianmac 22

    I think that the MSM or parts thereof, welcome Kauriki’s existence because it gives grist to its mill. I cannot remember the names of the others who were culpable for the murder yet know the name of the 12 year old lookout. Funny that. As for his remorse how would anyone know what he thinks. After all you have to keep up a staunch front. If he was to serve his full sentence inside, then what “supervision would he have on actual release?
    As for Emery, he is in a way a very lucky chap!

  23. Jono – I’m also white, middle-class and well educated. I got pissed for the first time at about 17; I’ve never smoked dope, nor felt the need to, and I was brought up to respect other peoples’ property. Perhaps I’m old-fashioned. And perhaps that’s not a bad thing. And for the record, neither of my offspring, now aged 21 and 18 have felt the need to do drugs or roam the streets at night vandalising private property. Ours must be a dysfunctional family eh 😉

  24. Rex. Kauriki was a child, under criminal law, at the time of his offence.

    I didn’t use the word child in relation to Pihema, I called him a boy because he was surely too young to be called a man.

    Brett. The notion that it should matter whether it was the same judge undermines the principle of equality before the law.

    HS. I don’t attempt to justify or excuse the killing of Michael Choy. I’m not denying that it was a crime to be party to the armed robbery in which Alexander Peihopa struck Choy once with a baseball bat – which, being an assault that is unlikely to lead to death but clearly could do, was clearly manslaughter. I’m saying that when you look at what Kauriki did and what Emery did, it doesn’t seem right that Kauriki got more severe punishment while sectiosn of the Right are basically canonising Emery.

  25. RedLogix 25

    Aside from the well-argued perspectives on the justice of this case from most participants here, there is still a fundamental disconnect going on. From the point of view of middle NZ, the underlying issue here is that they see Emery as being an ordinary, productive and otherwise law-abiding citizen who was defending his property from a criminal attack.

    For all human history, for all our mammalian evolution, the notion of the senior male defending his territory is deeply embedded in us all. This is not an instinct that any amount of jawboning is going to argue away. In the eyes of most people Emery was doing the right thing, but tragically went about it in the wrong way, and with an outcome that both he and all the families involved, deeply regret.

    In taking a knife to confront the the two taggers Emery, in a moment of stress and anger, made a serious error of judgement, and the consequences of that will be with him for the rest of his life. But that act cannot be judged in isolation. It occurred in the context of many, many attacks on his property over a period of time, which had cost him substantially. The Police appeared to Emery either uninterested, or incapable of preventing these attacks, creating a sense of helplessness and frustration. Emery made a bad mistake, but his culpability was reduced by the circumstances. This is how your average property owning New Zealander sees the matter. It is also how the jury saw the matter as well.

    Institutional racism may well still exist in New Zealand, but I do not think this sad case is good evidence for it, one way or the other.

  26. How about you lot spare the “he had it coming’ stuff.

    He didn’t have it coming. Which is the exact reason Mr Emery copped a murder charge, a manslaughter verdict and a jail term – or have I missed something?

    By severe beating do you mean recovery in the ICU? How about the morgue?

    That’s the thing about vandalising people’s property – some of them take it worse than others. My advice is, don’t vandalise people’s property.

    But apparently the adults actions can be mitigated, because some kids are bigger than some adults, which means they aren’t kids, even though the law says so.

    Well, no – his act was mitigated by the fact that the poor sod wouldn’t have been chasing after anybody with a knife if they hadn’t come onto his property to commit a crime. That’s a big, fat mitigating factor that you bet a judge is going to take into account when sentencing. But it’s a mitigating circumstance, not a get-out-of-jail-free card – the guy still gets a manslaughter conviction and a jail term, which is all exactly as it should be. Isn’t it?

    RedLogix: Well put.

  27. expat 27

    It’s a sad case.

    Sadder that Labour wonks are testing public opinion on the meme “national are white middle class racists, just look at ‘the system’ ”

    [where are they doing that, expat? SP]

  28. Rex Widerstrom 28

    SP: Yes I was just about to point out to others that your use of the word child was confined to Kauriki – a point that seems to have been subsequantly confused by commenters on both sides of the issue.

    Legally you’re correct… just as legally it’s correct to call Pihema “tagger”.

    I’m merely pointing out that both words are loaded with all sorts of connotations beyond their legal and etymological meanings. The press know that when they call Pihema a tagger and I suspect you knew it when you opted to call Kauriki a child.

    Without wanting to divert the entire debate I have a huge problem with arbitrary age limits on things, given the potentially vast developmental differences between two people of the same age.

    At Kauriki’s age I was focused on what I wanted and hassling radio stations to give me a job. By Pihema’s age I had one, part time, at Radio Windy. But then I had a very different upbringing to either of them.

    Then again, at Kauriki’s I wouldn’t have been inveigled into taking any part in harming another person, even though I engaged in all sorts of other risk-taking then and since.

    Incidentally, that reminds me of another argument in favour of my proposition that we’re talking class not race (though as Tane has said elsewhere, the two are intertwined). When I had my first few jobs I was always asked where I came from. When I replied “Wainui” there was always an awkward silence while a look of confusion crossed the questioner’s face, and then I usually got some comment like “But you’re not… I mean you don’t seem…” I’m sure they then went off to check their wallet was still in their jacket and that the small appliances in the kitchen hadn’t been hocked.

    Then years later I was preceding Winston as a speaker at a nice restaurant in Eastbourne. The MC, Jeremy Coney’s brother (sorry if you happen to be reading this but I’ve forgotten your name) opened with some riotous jokes about how the Eastbourne soccer team had just played Wainui and lost. He attributed it to the competitive instinct bred by there “never being enough saveloys to go around”. This went down very well with the lobster and champagne diners.

    I opened by saying something like “As I drove here tonight over the hill… after ensuring there were enough saveloys for my dozen children…” The crowd at least had the good grace to erupt in embarrassed laughter.

  29. Lew 29

    RL,

    For all human history, for all our mammalian evolution, the notion of the senior male defending his territory is deeply embedded in us all. This is not an instinct that any amount of jawboning is going to argue away. In the eyes of most people Emery was doing the right thing, but tragically went about it in the wrong way, and with an outcome that both he and all the families involved, deeply regret.

    I think you’ve hit the nail on the head here. While I personally think the verdict was indefensibly short and is an utter outrage, I recognise I’m probably out of step with wider NZ society in holding this view. There are deeper matters in play than race here.

    That’s frightening.

    L

  30. Pascal's bookie 30

    The problems caused by those instincts is why we developed laws.

    I don’t get how it’s manslaughter, (I realise that that’s what the jury found, so that’s what the system says he did, but I’m questioning the verdict). It seems to me that if you stab someone with a knife, you should be aware that there is a very real chance that that person will die.

    Most murders are provoked by something. There is always an excuse. Sometimes we can sympathise. But we have laws. It doesn’t matter how justifiably frustrated, upset and angry someone is. Errors of judgment are still accountable. Stabbing someone with a knife after deliberately chasing them down. That is murder. Surely?

  31. Does anyone have enough Latin to know whether ‘cuplae poenae par esto’ is correct? When I googled ‘Latin let the punishment fit the crime’ I got that, but now, The Standard is 3rd in the world when you google ‘cuple poenae par esto’, which doesn’t seem right.

    It looks correct though ‘cuplae=blame poenae=pain par=equal est=is’ Perhaps, the phrase’s origin is in English and it was never really used as a Latin phrase. I don’t know because they’ve dropped nearly all the Law Latin from law school now.

  32. jbc 32

    Lew “That’s frightening.”

    Why is that frightening? I also think RL has come very close to a reasonable explanation here. A single data point (Emery vs tagger) does not necessarily point to institutionalised racism.

    There are other notions that are deeply embedded in us; like a mother defending her children. Replace “businessman (holding fishing knife) chasing vandal” with “mother (holding kitchen knife) chasing boys who beat her child”.

    Neither case justifies taking the law into your own hands, but would the mother also have the sympathy of the public? A judge?

    I’d find it tragic – especially if the bully was my kid – but not frightening.

  33. There is more evolutionary genetics at play than you think. Far from institutional racism. The youths out to ambush the pizza man and the taggers were low status males seeking to raise it by earning “respect”, albeit in a way that nice middle class people would think abhorrent. In the Christmas edition of the Economist there is a relevant piece on the part genetics plays in crime by young low status males. Females are urged to choose successful males to increase the likelihood of success of their bloodline. The way young men are most likely to be able to find a mate is to increase their status.

    Having the state take on the role of father and provider to young mothers through the DPB is a guaranteed way to increase crime by further reducing the status and chances of young males.

  34. whereas, having children grow up in destitution without their parent having any ability to support them legally is a recipe for a happy, successful life.

  35. expat 35

    >> It’s a sad case.

    >> Sadder that Labour wonks are testing public opinion on the meme “national are >> white middle class racists, just look at ‘the system’ ‘

    >> [where are they doing that, expat? SP]

    Right here on this very blog site mate. Of course I may be wrong, it appears not though from my take of things.

  36. Rex Widerstrom 36

    SP, I think your Latin is correct. The Standard’s Google ranking may be explained by a) the recent provenance of the entry and b) the fact hardly anyone discusses Latin in this day and age outside the very dusty halls of academia. But my ignorance of Google ranking algorithms is surpassed only by my inability to correctly parse Latin, so don’t take my word as final.

    The evolutionary genetics argument is interesting. I’m not a mother but I am a father. An attack on my kids vs an attack on my property… I don’t anticipate the emotions aroused by the former coming anywhere close to those of the latter. Does anyone else?

    And while it might be in bad taste to find any humour in tragedy I find it grounds us and reminds us of a shared humanity (something some commenters would do well to reflect upon). So I shall reference this as my vision of Emery’s prison time.

  37. Ag 37

    The youths out to ambush the pizza man and the taggers were low status males seeking to raise it by earning “respect’

    From the evidence it looks like they wanted to stand over a delivery driver and get free pizza. They hit the guy the wrong way, and purely due to bad luck (his and theirs) the injury was fatal. Trying to paint the case as anything but a particular stupid robbery attempt gone horribly wrong just won’t work.

    But the law is stupider. How they expect rational people to have any respect for what is a daft system is beyond me.

  38. jbc 38

    Rex: “An attack on my kids vs an attack on my property I don’t anticipate the emotions aroused by the former coming anywhere close to those of the latter. “

    Neither do I, but that wasn’t my point. If it was parental protective instinct and emotions at play then it would still be just as illegal as the Emery case yet I suspect there would still be some degree of public sympathy for the “criminal”.

    Purely hypothetical case of course, but not untenable. My point was that if you can find sympathy for the stronger emotion case then you shouldn’t be too surprised (or frightened) that there exists some in the weaker. If you could imagine “bounds of reasonableness” for the actions in both cases then there would be significant overlap.

    Random acts of violence I find frightening.

  39. higherstandard 39

    SP

    “HS. I don’t attempt to justify or excuse the killing of Michael Choy.”

    I wasn’t suggesting you were

    “I’m not denying that it was a crime to be party to the armed robbery in which Alexander Peihopa struck Choy once with a baseball bat – which, being an assault that is unlikely to lead to death but clearly could do, was clearly manslaughter.”

    ” I’m saying that when you look at what Kauriki did and what Emery did, it doesn’t seem right that Kauriki got more severe punishment….”

    I disagree and advise that you review the case regarding Michael Choy via the link I posted.

    “…while sectiosn of the Right are basically canonising Emery”

    I agree completely there are some idiots about on both sides of the fence as I have stated here on numerous occasions, you’ll note however that a number of what you would term righties that have posted a response are not canonising emery.

  40. Rex Widerstrom 40

    jbc:

    You’re correct that the actions of a mother defending her child would, in statute law, be equally as illegal as the actions of Emery defending his fence.

    But then the court would be required – by tradition not statute as far as I’m aware (where’s FE Smith, one of Kiwiblog’s best-informed legal commenters, when you need him?! or Graeme Edgeler?!) – to consider mens rea. I would imagine the judge would share the sympathy you believe (and I agree) most people would have for a woman in that situation, and make absolutely sure the jury understood the concept.

    I suspect – though I may be wrong – that the jury would then lend considerable weight to the fact that the mother was driven by a primitive emotion necessary for the very survival of the species.

    Then again, I woud not have thought that a jury would give any weight to mens rea in a case involving a fence… as has already been canvased, I think the culpability of the media in bringing about Emery’s state of mind over something as relatively trivial is an issue which needs widespread public examination.

    But alas it is the media who would we normally expect to be leading such a debate…

  41. Spectator 41

    Steve: “Perhaps, the phrase’s origin is in English and it was never really used as a Latin phrase.”

    I believe the phrase was popularised, if not first coined, by W S Gilbert in the libretto to “The Mikado”. The phrase “short, sharp shock” is also from the same opera.

    It is amusing to see the Risible Sentencing Trust and their “useful idiots” quite unironically lifting their catch-phrases from a famous satire…

  42. Spectator:

    For some reason, when I was reading your post, I had a Simpson’s flashback, the scene when Homer went back to college, and his computer nerd friends were laughing at someone because they thought Captain Picard was better than Captain Kirk.

    I had no idea why I thought of that.

    Weird, huh!

  43. Brickley Paiste 43

    The word “child” is defined in the Children, Young Persons and their Families Act as someone aged 14 years or younger.

    So, a child he was. Not as defined by the media but rather legally and positively by Parliament.

  44. Steve, thanks.

    I’ve not bothered to read the discussions that have followed, I should, but I just wanted to say thanks for the simplicity of this post.

    This situation is unjust and clearly sentencing guidelines need review.

  45. @ work 45

    Interesting comparison in the Dom Post today. A farmer contronted with a violent and threatening gang member, on P, out in the middle of no where, shot him in self defence.

    While not every one here would be in aggreement with me, I’m sure most would. I have no problem with this, all seems above board to me.

    In these cases I have no problem with some one having to kill someone else in self defence, its when they chase them down and attack them, things start to get a bit murkey or they seem to be acting in premeditated self defence ect that I have a problem with it. Thats when people get Garth McViccar, and stories about how they were a good, law abiding, middle class, (white), business man.

    Also interesting to note that Chris Comesky was Emreys lawyer, will the right wing comesky the criminal lover hate fest continue? who will be the first to accuse him of throwing the tiral?

  46. When did Garth MCViccar use the word white, the only people using th word WHITE are you guys.

  47. @ work 47

    Thats why its in brackets, its the implication he gives.

    Anyway, whats with the exceptionally high standards of evidence you and your friends are requiring on this topic, did we hit a raw nerve?

  48. No its not the implication he gives, its only in your mind. Its the left that is seeing skin colour as you guys always do.

  49. QoT 49

    You know, I *did* refer to Pihema Cameron repeatedly as a “child” in my post on the issue.

    And unless everyone in the comments above whinging about that is a vociferous supporter of lowering the voting, consent to sex, and drinking ages to 15? You’re a pack of hypocrites.

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