9 votes

Man accused of Christchurch mosque shootings pleads not guilty to 51 murder charges

9 comments

  1. [2]
    rkcr
    Link
    It seems like part of his goal was to maximize exposure. Creating a circus of a trial is a good way to do that vs immediately going to jail.

    It seems like part of his goal was to maximize exposure. Creating a circus of a trial is a good way to do that vs immediately going to jail.

    12 votes
  2. [2]
    Octofox
    Link
    I mean at that point you really have nothing to lose by trying.

    I mean at that point you really have nothing to lose by trying.

    5 votes
    1. Algernon_Asimov
      Link Parent
      He's not trying to be found innocent. He's trying to have his day in court so he can say his piece. He knows he'll have a worldwide audience listening to him while he gets to spout his manifesto...

      He's not trying to be found innocent. He's trying to have his day in court so he can say his piece. He knows he'll have a worldwide audience listening to him while he gets to spout his manifesto as his supposed "defence". That's what his court-appointed lawyer said after the accused man dismissed him: "I suspect that he won’t shy away from publicity, and that will probably be the way he runs the trial."

      10 votes
  3. [5]
    Ephemere
    Link
    While I am of course displeased that this man finds continuing ways to be breathtakingly awful, I suppose the only part of this I'm actually surprised by is that the trial is estimated to take six...

    While I am of course displeased that this man finds continuing ways to be breathtakingly awful, I suppose the only part of this I'm actually surprised by is that the trial is estimated to take six weeks. Given the circumstances of the crime, is there any particular doubt as to his guilt? Not that I'm suggesting that the man be railroaded, as due process is indeed due even to the most horrible among us, but will it really take that long to demonstrate that this man deserves a maximum sentence?

    2 votes
    1. [4]
      Algernon_Asimov
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      I'm no lawyer, but here are some thoughts. There are 51 separate murder charges in this case, plus 40 separate attempted murder charges. That's 91 charges to deal with. Even if they're not...

      I'm no lawyer, but here are some thoughts.

      There are 51 separate murder charges in this case, plus 40 separate attempted murder charges. That's 91 charges to deal with. Even if they're not complicated charges individually, there are still 91 of them. I assume they can't just be bulked up and treated collectively. I assume each charge has to be proven individually. You can't just say that, because someone killed person AA at the mosque, we can automatically conclude that they killed persons AB through BY, and attempted to killed persons BZ through CM. Each murder and attempted murder has to be separately proven. That's going to take time.

      And that's not counting the crowning charge of committing a terrorist act. This is a whole different level of complexity. For this charge, it's not enough to demonstrate that the accused person picked up a gun, pointed it a person, pulled the trigger, hit the person, and caused the person's death - all of which are fairly objective events. The charge of terrorism has to look at the accused person's motivation: why did they pick up the gun? That will require a lot of digging and history and discussion. The manifesto is going to get presented and discussed in detail, and pulled to bits in an attempt to prove the accused shooter's motivation was to instil terror, rather than merely (!) to cause deaths.

      6 weeks x 5 days = 30 days. With 91 separate murder & attempted murder charges to deal with, that's about 3 charges per day - plus one terrorism charge which will definitely take more than a few hours to demonstrate. Suddenly, that trial seems rushed to me.

      6 votes
      1. [3]
        Ephemere
        Link Parent
        I suppose my thought was that it would only take some small number of that to max out the punishment he could possibly receive, at which point the rest of the charges could be held pending unless...

        I suppose my thought was that it would only take some small number of that to max out the punishment he could possibly receive, at which point the rest of the charges could be held pending unless it should become necessary that they be so.

        Then again, brevity is probably not a virtue here, and the families of the victims would probably prefer that each be tried, regardless of whether it makes any difference.

        2 votes
        1. [2]
          Algernon_Asimov
          Link Parent
          I was reading an "explainer" piece about this case earlier today, and it explained that New Zealand convicts serve their multiple sentences concurrently, rather than consecutively. If the accused...

          I was reading an "explainer" piece about this case earlier today, and it explained that New Zealand convicts serve their multiple sentences concurrently, rather than consecutively. If the accused shooter gets convicted of 51 murder charges, and gets a life sentence for each one, he'll serve all 51 sentences at the same time, rather than one after another. There is no "maxxing out".

          And, as you say, each victim's family deserves their own justice. Would you want to be the person who had to tell 30 or 40 families that their loved one's murder wasn't important enough to be tried in court?

          2 votes
          1. Ephemere
            Link Parent
            Thank you for posting that, it was very interesting. I suppose as the crimes under consideration are unprecedented in New Zealand, they may make novel choices, but it certainly informs what to...

            Thank you for posting that, it was very interesting. I suppose as the crimes under consideration are unprecedented in New Zealand, they may make novel choices, but it certainly informs what to expect.

            I suppose quite a bit depends on the accused's behavior in court. While indeed I imagine everyone wants justice, we probably also don't need a speech from the man about how glad he is to have killed each person by name. I suppose I have very low expectations regarding the alleged mass murderer.

            2 votes