The Christchurch White Supremacist Terrorist Letter scandal & Youth Court athlete sex fiasco highlights how politically difficult prisoner voting reform will be for Labour

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During the exuberant Justice conference hosted by Andrew Little in 2018, where many good meaning NGOs gathered to demand the necessary reform of our broken, violent, racist and counter-productive prison industrial complex, delegates cheered when their dream outcomes of abolishing prisons altogether were read aloud to the conference.

This is the dilemma Labour face over real prison reform.

Their woke activist base want to abolish prisons altogether while your average Kiwi voter wants to bring back hanging.

Take the prisoner voting fiasco. As one of the first lone voices in the wilderness decrying this draconian social policy when National first implemented it, I’m glad to see the disgust for this spiteful legislation is now a common thread on social media, but outside those echo chambers the debate about re-enfranchising prisoner votes can quickly be derailed by the revulsion of the criminals themselves.

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It’s easy for National to hold up this maggot of a human being and tell voters Jacinda wants to protect his rights…

Wellington man murders woman with mallet in Karori, sexually violates girl

A Wellington man has admitted bludgeoning a woman to death with a steel mallet so he could sexually violate her 12-year-old daughter.

Joseph William Borton was renting a small flat in Lemnos Ave in the high-end suburb of Karori when he met the victims, a 52-year-old woman and the girl.

On April 4, 31-year-old Borton saw the pair entering another home on the street to use the laundry, and followed them into the house with a mallet he’d previously stolen.

…now the seriousness of the crime by this awful person means he wouldn’t be eligible to vote anyway as he would be facing a very long jail sentence and all that is being suggested here in terms of prisoner voting rights is the resumption of those in prison for less than 3 years, but you can close your eyes and see how National will spin this.

Unfortunately, decades of news media using crime porn for ratings and and politicians on both sides of the house using emotive rhetoric to enflame the debate means most NZers thirst for suffering while prisoners are in jail.

While it was the Sensible Sentencing Trust who pushed for harsher sentences in the past, now the new post-MeToo cultural activists are the new influencers.

Take the example this week of the Youth Court ruling on a teen athlete convicted of sexual assault…

Teenage rapist ‘got off very lightly’ after admitting sex attacks on two girls

A teenager who has hopes of being a professional sportsman has failed in his bid to keep any record of his charges for rape and sexual violation from his record.

The teenager, who has previously represented New Zealand on the world stage, admitted the charges in the Auckland Youth Court.

The now 18-year-old has automatic name suppression and, aside from his record noting the Youth Court appearances, he faces no punishment.

An advocate for survivors of sexual abuse says the teenager has “got off very lightly”.

…The Spinoff and Woke Twitter went into hyperventilation over the supposed patriarchal rape culture destroying victims rights etc etc etc.

What no one seemed to even bother to appreciate was that the sentence was actually exactly what we ask our courts to progressively do.

The young man was in front of the Youth Court (something the overzealous millennials who now run the newsrooms of NZ didn’t seem to understand) meaning he couldn’t go to prison and that in this case, the Judge actually waited until the teenager had completed his 18month rehabilitation before sentencing him. The teen was compelled to complete that programme before sentencing, something that we want more of our judges to do rather than just punish.

The ‘you’re a good athlete’ thing played no part in the decision.

The Judge was actually doing what most woke demand, forcing a wrong doer to actually complete rehabilitation before sentencing, unfortunately in their haste to denounce the woke couldn’t see the forest for the trees.

This knee-jerk demand to eliminate human rights for prisoners is being witnessed right now over Tarrant’s letters from jail. Everyone is screaming he shouldn’t be allowed to do this, as someone who has posted prisoner letters online in the past and who had Arthur Taylor blogging from behind prison, I am telling you right now that prisoners have the right to write and send letters, no matter how distasteful that is.

What are people suggesting here, that Tarrant has his right to receive and write letters revoked?

NZ culture, media and politics have been so dominated by vengeance and the need to make prisoners suffer that prisoner rights from voting to writing letters are curtailed with the prevailing winds of the lynch mob making the demands. From the Sensible Sentencing Trust to the new post-MeToo movements, we all want those who have hurt and offended us to suffer because the unresolved hurt in our own lives.

Despite the rapturous applause of the woke at Andrew Little’s justice jamboree we will always need prisons, what we need to review and strengthen are prisoner rights as fundamental and intrinsic human rights alongside a cultural change inside those prisons from environments of suffering to places of healing, unfortunately with an election around the corner, such progressiveness needs to be masked as authoritarian to appease the lynch mobs.

Labour need to sell any prisoner voting rights as ‘Labour will not allow violent prisoners to vote because once you have committed a violent crime you lose your right to vote blah blah blah’, while quietly appealing the law to allow those serving less than 3 years to vote as apart of a rehabilitation program to ‘give prisoners the chance to reform by reconnecting with society’.

In an age of subjective rage trumping objective reality, the phrasing and narrative structure for progress needs to play to the petty hates of an ever rage filled electorate rather than openly challenging them.

The sleepy hobbits of muddle Nu Zilind are simply too blind with fury to be benevolent citizens.

10 COMMENTS

  1. Its a privilege not a right to send a letter. (Such a useful phrase)
    Government is currently falling over itself to remove privileges from the law abiding, free speech, ability to read the shitbags manifesto, but corrections will die in a ditch to let him communicate with who he wants.
    What an insane state of affairs.

  2. Not sure I agree. Are we not then platforming an actual terrorist? Why should he be permitted to taunt his victims and incite strife, and signal his fans, go viral by proxy, torment the traumatized public? He isn’t Nelson Mandela. I can’t stand the way he’s still referred to as “the alleged”. He was apprehended fleeing the scene, is the perpetrator, is the culprit. Not guilty? don’t make me vomit. If justice was swift and punishments fitted crimes he would be 51x dead already. Do you think Kate Sheppards will be rollin in their graves if detained Tarrant types are denied suffrage? Because I doubt it.

    In summary you have to pick your battles because there are some big ones and more important right now, and I might just blind eye to the type of, ahem, terrible, just shocking, egregious rights violations contemplated here. I wouldn’t waste another second, shed a single tear, etc. Prioritizing and the condition of being nearly out of cares to give and especially about verified scumbags. That is the best way I can explain my nefarious, reprehensible views on these matters. I wouldn’t resile from those views though tbh unless you can produce some better reasons.

    • My bad I acknowledge there’s a kink in my suffrage comment re the 3 years split, that was slightly off. But I still can’t see Kate Sheppard spinning in her grave about any of this, is what I should have said. lol, DH

  3. Well, I can’t believe how prepared Martyn Bradbury was for this one. The big issue is that you need money to run a good prision system.

    Also, there are other things that need to be considered, among them is the cause of crime. Crime in poorer parts of the country and wealthier parts of New Zealand don’t have the exact same causes.

    Most prisoners are just normal people who’ve been criminalized for non-violent crime, this in no way excuses them as they should have had more control, but there was nothing wrong with them that needs “rehabilitation,” for these people prison is a puinishment not a rehabilitation centre because they don’t need it, the idea is to show them a horrible existence and make them want to avoid it in future.

    And before anyone brings up some bullshit about murder and rape, I’ll remind you that I believe in capital punishment and some people are just irredeemable.

  4. Maybe if hanging was back on the statute books, people might be disincentivised to commit murder. Just sayin.

    • You’d just as easily incentivez murderers to be even more vicious if they new they had no way back. I think we should always leave the light on for them, maybe write a letter, a vote or something. For these people, and I’m talking about a fraction of the global population who have to satisfy something that’s broken in them with murder. For these people, who are just irredeemable, putting them in jail for the rest of there lives costs a lot of money and if we are going to take there right to vote away and shit the door on them then we should bloody well show some compassion and put them out of there misery.

    • I think if you do a little research you’ll find the death sentence has never been found to be a disincentive to criminal activity. If you do a wee bit more research you’ll find numerous cases people being found not guilty after their sentence of death was carried out.
      Punitive punishment does not correct the criminals behavior it just encourages him towards greater criminality.

  5. Violent crime should be treated not with punishment but with the priority of protecting the next victim. Not to be punitive or even a disincentive, but to make sure the offence is not repeated on some other innocent .
    Non violent crime should be dealt with so that the perpetrator pays , financially and/or materially with his/her labour so that the “retribution” is a benefit to society instead of the huge cost of incarceration thet benefits nobody.
    D J S

  6. Corrections already have systems in place to deal with outgoing mail. They do it on a daily basis, under the Corrections Act 2004:

    s108 Withholding mail

    (1)
    A prison manager may withhold mail between a prisoner and another person if—
    (a)
    the prisoner or the other person asks the manager to do so; or
    (b)
    the other person is under 16 years, and his or her guardian asks the manager to do so; or
    (c)
    the other person is a prisoner, and neither prisoner has first notified the prison manager of his or her intention to correspond; or
    (d)
    it is correspondence that the manager believes on reasonable grounds is likely to—
    (i)
    threaten or intimidate a person to whom it is being sent by the prisoner; or
    (ii)
    endanger the safety or welfare of any person; or
    (iii)
    pose a threat to the security of the prison; or
    (iv)
    promote or encourage the commission of an offence, or involve, or facilitate the commission or possible commission of, an offence; or
    (v)
    prejudice the maintenance of the law (including the prevention, detection, investigation, prosecution, and punishment of offences, and the right to a fair trial); or
    (vi)
    breach an order or direction of any court (for example, a direction given under section 168A (no-contact conditions if family violence offence defendant remanded in custody) of the Criminal Procedure Act 2011) or constitute contempt of court.

    The clauses outlined above already more than cover reasons to withhold letters from this guy.
    I know a number of senior Corrections officers and they have all recanted stories of emptying the mail box (where prisoners put their outbound letters), going through each one and reading it (the letters aren’t allowed to be sealed by the inmate, Corrections do that) and simply tossing any number of them in the waste paper bin if they felt so inclined.
    No one could prove this was done, no one could prove that the letter wasn’t sent (there is no tracking of outbound mail) and when it was not received at the other end, no system could determine what happened to it.
    Simple solution – toss the letters in the bin and try to prove otherwise.

  7. “….highlights how politically difficult prisoner voting reform will be for Labour.”
    No it doesn’t. It just shows how deeply snuggled down into a bottomless pit of bureaucracy neo liberal labour enjoys wallowing in. At $ix figure$ a year plu$ entitlement$ and reimburre$ment$ ? No fucking wonder. All they have to do is play swapsies with the natzo’s and everyone gets a suck at our poor, withered old money-tit.
    Just give prisoners the right to vote back. I could do it in the middle of the afternoon with an email followed by a cup of tea.
    What neo liberals do best is try their hardest to make us believe everything’s sooooooooooo difficult to change and /or amend and requires many weeks, months and sometimes years and at great expense to get anything done. Bull shit. That deliberately delaying bullshit is simply a polite threat to anyone daring to brandish common sense at parliament. Make sense in parliament and you’re fucked. There goes your political career.
    Legalise pot? Send an email to the cops and the courts.
    “Dear Police Persons.
    Please don’t arrest anyone for taking recreational drugs anymore? If recreational drug users look like their in medical trouble? Call an ambulance and wait with the person/s until it arrives.”
    “Courts?
    Recreational drugs are no longer illegal so please release all those currently in prison on drugs charges and pop all pending documents relating to recreational drugs charges into the shredder. Call a cab for those released and give them a $10K petty cash float to help them get set up. Don’t forget to ask for receipts? ( We can be kind but not stupid, )
    There. I’ve just sorted two extremely damaging elements out that, by themselves, cause terrible and on-going societal dysfunction within several paragraphs and I’m just a fellow who’s just eaten way too much Tan Square ( Mmmmmmmm…. Tan……. Square……… Mmmmmmmmmmm ) and now I feel a little bit sick. ( It has, or rather ‘had’ a biscuit base with caramel then icing with nuggets of chocolate then a dusting of coconut over more icing…. O.M.G. )
    If I can do that during a bought of the sugar frenzies with a cup of tea to wash it down? Why can’t our politicians? What the fuck are they doing?
    As I’ve written above. It’s because they’re hiding an institutionalised lie behind logic.
    If they introduced radicle change, as above, easily and without fuss and cost for the better after taking heed of those who’ve already made use of tried and true efforts? We’d be asking why they hadn’t done that years ago, and so where’s our fucking money?
    Portugal.
    https://www.theguardian.com/news/2017/dec/05/portugals-radical-drugs-policy-is-working-why-hasnt-the-world-copied-it
    NZ Incarceration rate as at 2018 was 155 per 100,000 @ pop’ of 4.7 mil
    Portugal @ 122 per 100,000 @ 10.27 million.

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