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Everybody got together on that day as one brother

Written By: - Date published: 8:45 am, August 27th, 2020 - 32 comments
Categories: law, law and "order", terrorism, uncategorized - Tags: ,

I thought that the sentencing of the Christchurch Mosque mass murderer would be something of a circus and do nothing but open up old wounds and allow the person in the dock to spread his message of hate.  But so far it has been a cathartic event and has given the victims the ability to vent their feelings.  And it has provided a chance for us to reinforce our solidarity with our Muslim brothers and sisters.

The messages delivered to the murderer have run the full gamut.

Jana Ezat, whose son Hussein Al-Umari was one of those murdered, found it within her heart to forgive the killer.

From Radio New Zealand:

I decided to forgive you … because I don’t have hate. I don’t have revenge,” she said directly to the terrorist.

In our Muslim faith we say . . . we are able to forgive, forgive.

I forgive you. Damage was done and Hussein will never be here so I have only one choice to forgive you.”

Others chose to ridicule him.

Abdul Aziz Wahabzadah was the person who grabbed an eftpos machine and ran after the killer.  He drew gunfire but the bullets missed.  He then grabbed a discarded gun and speared the side window of the killer’s car with it and forced him to flee.

After the arrest he asked the police to allow him to spend 15 minutes in a cell with the defendant to “see how much guts he has without a gun”.

From the Herald:

On Wednesday, he told … that his idea to breed hate between religions has failed.

“Everybody got together on that day as one brother,” he said.

He felt sorry for his family but felt nothing for the killer, saying he should feel grateful he didn’t catch him that day.

“It would’ve been a different story. The government would’ve saved a lot of money,” he said.

Wahabzadah ended by telling him: “Never forget these two eyes you ran from.”

As he left the courtroom, Justice Cameron Mander stopped him.

“Before you go,” the judge said, “I’ve seen the video and I want to acknowledge what courage.”

It prompted a spontaneous round of applause in the public gallery.

I have chosen these two examples as the most exceptional examples of the sorts of responses that have been given.  But every single victim has contributed to the hearing.  And I hope that this process has helped them with their healing.

There are reports this morning that the killer will not make any submissions.  Maybe the outpouring of grief and emotion have made him reflect.  If he does not speak this will be best.

The Sentencing Act provides that the Judge must impose the maximum penalty prescribed if the offending is within the most serious of cases for which that penalty is prescribed, unless circumstances relating to the offender make that inappropriate.  The maximum sentence for murder is life without parole.  I do not think that determining whether the killer’s actions can be categorised as the most serious of cases will be too difficult.

Update: he has been sentenced to life imprisonment without parole.

32 comments on “Everybody got together on that day as one brother ”

  1. Ad 1

    Total respect for all those I heard on RNZ yesterday giving their view directly to the killer.

  2. gsays 2

    I was mightily impressed with Jana Ezat's statement, that she was able to forgive her son's killer.

    The compassion and strength she showed, moved me to tears when I heard her speak.

  3. Anne 3

    Maybe the outpouring of grief and emotion have made him reflect.

    Oh, it made him reflect alright but more likely when it came to the crunch he is too much of a coward to make a submission.

    Always easy to be full of bravado before an event…

  4. anker 4

    Amazing testimonies. My heart goes out to all victims of this unthinkable event.

  5. Patricia Bremner 5

    The testimony which stayed with me was "Who is the other now?'

    May they all gain strength and peace.

  6. Enough is Enough 6

    [The killer] is evil personified.

    After today he will spend every living breath stuck in a grey dreary cell in Paremoremo isolated from the general prison population for his own safety.

    That existence is too good for him.

    [As a policy the site does not mention him by name – MS]

  7. bwaghorn 7

    We really should have a death penalty for extreme cases like , we put down dogs that bite .

    • Andre 7.1

      To me there's one argument against the death penalty that overwhelms any and every possible argument for it: places that have the death penalty sometimes apply it to innocent people. It's simply not possible to have enough safeguards against that happening.

      As it turns out, even in places with a justice system as rabid as the US that nevertheless still have some semblance of due process, it's cheaper to keep someone in prison for life than to go through the rigmarole of all the steps to actually legally execute someone.

      Then there's the consideration that locking someone up for life is actually likely to be a harsher punishment than a humane execution.

      • Chris 7.1.1

        Mander said “Your crimes are so wicked that even if you are detained until you die, it would not exhaust the requirements of punishment and denunciation.”

        Not sure if it's up to the judiciary to comment on the adequacy of maximum sentences, which he must be doing because he imposed the maximum sentence. What can Mander be implying here? That we do need a death sentence? Or if a death sentence, as you’re suggesting, could be less severe than life without parole, then torture as well? Hard labour?

        https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/christchurch-shooting/122577663/christchurch-mosque-gunman-jailed-until-his-last-gasp

        • Andre 7.1.1.1

          What I'm getting from Mander's comment is that there is no conceivable punishment that matches the heinousness of the fuckwit's crimes. Which I fully agree with. Life in prison is inadequate to express the revulsion at his acts. As would be applying a death penalty. I don't intend to exercise my imagination as to whether something dreamed up by Saudis or Pootee's poisoners might adequately express my feelings.

      • greywarshark 7.1.2

        As Andre says – the availability of the death penalty just takes those inclined to abuse their position that step further. Innocent people get it dumped on them. We can't afford to give that power out in civil society and it is bad enough when there is defence and attack personnel in some small or large war.

        It would be a good quick way to rid ourselves of people who have turned against humanity. But then again why? Babies are born innocent, it is the affect of being brought up in a coarse society where respect for each other and oneself is absent. If there is little caring between people and children, and there is no regular patterns of good social behaviour, erratic parenting being perhaps the worse approach, then the behaviour patterns set down are negative.

        In other words, parenting is very important and I am always on about having support for all parents, regular workshops where problems can be discussed and information be given, and actual classes for the very young, the lone parents, and those who have had problems. It would reduce the fallout from society.

  8. Cinny 8

    Much, much love and respect to all the brave people who stood up and spoke their truth via victim impact statements over the last few days. Our thoughts are with you all.

  9. Patricia Bremner 9

    This terrorist event is a reminder of how we need to increase the inclusiveness of communities and cultures, and support victims. Society has to always be aware and on guard to out the behaviours which lead up to this.

    Thanks to those who stood outside the court with heart posters and open arms to greet the survivors after the sentencing.

    May their faith and fellowship bring them comfort on the long road ahead.

    Thank you for the sensitive reporting, it has been appreciated.

  10. Ad 10

    Can anyone else remember where they were on that day?

    One of our broader company team was shot. He recovered, slowly.

    In the late afternoon of that day our whole construction crew of over 200 gathered for a shared dinner, and our sole devout Muslim called the prayer.

    It was the first sacred moment I've seen in any private sector workplace.

    We had no problem just letting our guy go to support the community in Christchurch for several weeks.

    • mickysavage 10.1

      I spent the morning at the School strike for the climate protest downtown and caught the train back to work. When I tuned into the interweb all hell was braking loose.

      The next morning I went to Ethkick, a local soccer tournament involving teams from different ethnic communities. It was really surreal. There were cops there with guns. But everyone insisted on celebrating our diversity.

      It really was one of those where were you when you first heard …

  11. bwaghorn 11

    @Andre the guy was caught in the act it's an open and shut case , the same as that wetherston scum bag .

    If you had fro only those caught red handed it is fail proof.

    • Andre 11.1

      Who else in the last fifty years in New Zealand do you think should have got the death penalty?

      • mickysavage 11.1.1

        The trouble with open and shut cases is sometimes they turn out to be not so open and shut. Although this one seems to be clear.

        • Andre 11.1.1.1

          Indeed.

          The Innocence Project have uncovered some real shockers. And given the limited scope of what they take on, I'm sure what they've shown is just a glimpse of the iceberg viewed through heavy fog.

  12. bwaghorn 12

    Only those two spring to mind

    • joe90 12.1

      This fucker's a candidate, too.

      As proof of his attempt to dominate the relationship, 23-year-old Bromley had written chilling lists about how Ford could improve herself.

      But it wasn't enough for him.

      She died in a flat near the university's Palmerston North campus on March 13, 2015.

      Ferris-Bromley was originally charged with murder but the charge was changed to the less serious charge of manslaughter, and he pleaded guilty.

      He also pleaded guilty to two charges of causing grievous bodily harm with intent to injure – fracturing ribs in the month before she died, and causing bleeding on the brain in the four days leading up to her death.

      The fatal incident was a severe impact that ruptured her duodenum and caused peritonitis.

      She might have been saved if he had called for help immediately.

      Instead he wiped away the blood coming from her eyes and waited until she stopped breathing before calling for an ambulance

      […[

      He said Ferris-Bromley had sought to dominate and control Ford, and became increasingly violent.

      Ferris-Bromley had written two lists about how Ford could improve herself, such has "sort out and admit mistakes", and "think about what Jesse says".

      They were chilling evidence of the dominance he tried to impose on her, the judge said.

      After she died the pathologist counted 55 bruises on her front, back and arms.

      Her right kidney was torn and there had been bleeding on her brain.

      She had cracked ribs that would have been very painful in the weeks before her death but she continued her daily routine and going to lectures.

      A pharmacy assistant remembered Ford buying bruise cream, and seeing the bruises under heavy make-up she wore.

      https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/79186783/jesse-ferrisbromley-sentenced-for-palmerston-north-manslaughter

    • Andre 12.2

      So, leaving aside all the moral and ethical considerations and the risk that once it's on the books the eligibility criteria get expanded, do you think it's worth keeping all the physical and legal structures in place to be able to execute someone, just for the satisfaction of being able to bump off an indisputably deserving arsehole once every two or three decades? Set against being able to picture the fuckwit sitting in his cell rotting forever, every time you're unfortunate enough to think of him again?

      Legalised execution really is a big business by the time you add up all the layers of lawyers involved, and just the simple mechanics of doing the deed get awfully involved. That's a substantial part of why most states eventually got rid of the death penalty, and why there's only a few dozen executions carried out annually in the barbaric states that still have it.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capital_punishment_in_the_United_States

  13. Pingao 13

    Apart from any other considerations, I think people would be more reluctant to find someone guilty if there were a possibility that the death penalty would be imposed.

  14. bwaghorn 14

    The expansion thing is a risk so you'll be voting against euthanasia for the same reason.

    I'll admit I'm completely ignorant to how hard/easy it is to have an operating death penalty on the books .

    The cost would struggle to be the $5k a day its going to cost to keep this shit heal in jail for 40 years .

  15. Patricia Bremner 15

    I always worry that the inhumanity that someone has to have to kill another human in cold blood causes the whole society to question their values when there is a death penalty.

    We know violence gets violence. We need to do more to educate the young about respect for others in situations of anger and sexual arousal.

    Recognising whether you can delay responses or whether you are triggered easily, is often a first step., and having a coping strategy.

    This was something else.!!! Who among us could do that, then walk through the bodies to shoot a terrified three year old?? A sadist. That is who.

    Let us now forget him and support the survivors through the difficult years ahead. Kia kaha.

  16. Ad 16

    Great to see Australian PM Scott Malcolm happy to take that Aussie murderer to serve out his time there.

    Might be 'too early' for Ardern, but not for Winston or the Australian PM.

  17. My prediction: he'll find a way of topping himself. I give it three years at most.

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