The Mental Health defence isn’t a cop out – what we are getting wrong in this Golriz debate


The current debate around Golriz citing mental health after shoplifting allegations is that she is somehow using mental health as an excuse for criminal behaviour.

I think the debate has gotten twisted.

Golriz fucked up. Pure and simple.

She knew she was in trouble in October yet is still repeating the behaviour months later, despite knowing she already had problems.

This isn’t professional criminality, it’s not even recreational and barely opportunistic, it’s a clear red alarm screaming for help level behaviour.

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She fucked up.

Where mental health issues matter is in the level of mercy she receives because the starting point to all criminality is and should be mercy.

What I’m asking for Golriz is what I’d ask for everyone, mercy.

I’m not defending or justifying her theft, I just believe we have to give people mercy as our starting point.

Even the Christchurch Terrorist was shown mercy in that he was free from revenge violence  and given a fair trail with legal rights.

Using Mental Health issues to help explain actions isn’t a cop out, it’s context to justify mercy.

We need to be a fuck of a lot more forgiving and far less judgmental when it comes to individuals.

We need to be kinder to Individuals and far crueller to Corporations.


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  1. The court may show sympathy. They may be lenient. They may be understanding. No one would complain if that was the path taken. But that is a matter for the court, the prosecutor and the defence. How are we, the public, to show mercy to Golriz? We have neither the capacity nor the desire to punish her. We can refrain from judging her ourselves. The vast majority of us have taken that route. Should we also welcome her back into a role of political leadership? That would be to go beyond mercy. It might even be folly. Let her go back to being an ordinary citizen, who like most ordinary citizens and for whatever reason, has made a few mistakes in her life.

  2. Can’t agree more.

    This young women has MS, a condition hard enough – without the shitfuckery that is the NZ parliament. The media and the feral fucks who think its their right to hit women when she is down.

    Every friend I know with MS, suffers everyday from the fear that the condition can flair up, then cripple their existence in new and interesting ways.

    MS is an absolute nightmare of a condition not only because of what it will do physically, but the slow way it progresses and the mind games you play with yourself when you have it. It is a slow, but staggering vicious condition.

    Have some sympathy, show the rest of us you a human being who actually can show empathy.

  3. Golriz Ghahraman will be forgiven. Not by the courts and if found guilty she’ll pay the price and do her best to move on. Most folk will however forgive her. We all make mistakes, for various reasons. Perhaps what she is alleged of doing is not high up there on the big fuck-ups of life – although you’d have to say this one IS a life changer. Theft of private property does also have a certain stigma attached to it – in this case shoplifting – especially given her privileged position as an MP, and she will no doubt be remembered for all the wrong reasons. Forgiven but not entirely forgotten. I do wish her all the best. We all deserve multiple chances in life.

  4. I consider that our present societal conditions and system are insane. So good people can go off the track from trying to behave in a good and ethical way to any situation which actually is likely to result from some twisted piece of law leading to unfair and unbalanced burdens on people already under strain.

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