Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Living with the psychopath

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  • Hebe, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    I’m a bit worried about him being able to have pets though.

    Beloved suggests a pitbull with compliance issues would be an appropriate canine companion.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2880 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Attachment

    Mention of Mickey Lawhs vigilantism conjures up the term "Mayoral Lynch Mob"
    Now, why does that ring a bell?.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Russell Brown,

    What’s being imposed on him now isn’t a punishment, it’s an effort to protect others.

    Again, Wilson easily counts as one of the Terrible Few.

    Matthew Poole:

    If we shoot him, as the lynch mob wish, where do we stop? I have no terrible objection to killing people who are truly guilty, but the problem is that I have zero faith that it would only ever be guilty people. All the evidence says that the system is fallible, and that innocent people have been executed. Once that happens, the state has lost any moral high ground. Not stooping to the level of those who are being punished must always be a non-negotiable part of any correctional system. Otherwise we may as well just do away with prisons and release convicts to the tender mercies of Michael Lawhs, and Insensible Sentencing’s acolytes.

    Sadly it'll likely take a catastrophic blunder to jolt certain people out of their witch-burning blindness. Like an Amadou Diallo or a Leo Frank. Or even nutbars going Breivik.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5328 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson,

    Why Whanganui? Why not utilise Stewart Murray Wilson for the good of society?

    Auckland is suffering from a housing affordability crisis, move him back in.

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    He has refused all treatment. He cannot be compelled to be treated for his issues, so all we can do is try to keep him out of society for as long as possible.

    This is what I don't like about our corrections system - we've defined crimes in a table of how much we need to punish people based on what they've done. Wilson did 21 years worth of harm according to a judge, so that's what he gets.

    If the system was defined by rehabilitation and by preventing crime by those that come into it, some people might be out a lot earlier, and contribute to society, and Wilson might be there for another 40 years, released only when he's no longer a risk to others.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6242 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Aston,

    He has refused all treatment

    So.
    The Kia Marama programme showed a 10% recidivism rate but, this is interesting, those that don't do the treatment have a recidivism rate of 23%
    Doesn't seem like much of a difference to me.

    This research comes to the conclusion " difference between those who have taken treatment and those who have not is minor"

    If the majority of untreated sex offenders don't re offend then a majority of those doing the treatment wouldn't have offended either. In other words how effective is the sex offender treatment really?

    Taking this further who really gives a shit if a sex offender doesn't want to do the programme , why are we being so nice about it? Can't we design programmes that challenge the offender's denial, that put him through a psychological maelstrom that deconstructs him, opens him up and changes him. Hey while we are at there must be a few mind altering chemicals that could aid this process. If they end up completely insane - no worries we keep them in a secure psyche unit forever.

    I mean why are we being so nice with these guys?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 509 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd, in reply to Richard Aston,

    The Kia Marama programme showed a 10% recidivism rate but, this is interesting, those that don’t do the treatment have a recidivism rate of 23%
    Doesn’t seem like much of a difference to me.

    What? That's huge.

    Suppose we have 100 offenders who go through KM, and 100 who don't. Then of the first group, there are 10 recidivists, vs 23 in the second. So superficially, it seems that the KM program more than halves the number of recidivists.

    Having said that, maybe people who volunteer for KM are people who are less likely to reoffend, and the program itself does nothing except identify those people. Can't say without more information.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3119 posts Report Reply

  • Susan Snowdon,

    Information from the Corrections Dept on Kia Marama seems to indicate that it does make a significant difference to recidivism. The study which compared the Kia Marama men with a control group of prisoners prior to the programme operating says that this was not a true control group, in that sex offenders in prison were already a priority for treatment options. In other words, Kia Marama prisoners were not being compared with a completely untreated group. If that were the case perhaps the recidivism rate would look even better. Also, overseas research may not be useful when looking at a programme designed specifically for New Zealanders. Might we have come up with one that works in our culture, perhaps?

    Since Mar 2008 • 109 posts Report Reply

  • Gudrun Gisela, in reply to Sacha,

    What gets me is that a government including ours seems to be passing all kinds of laws when we are asleep so why not review this one do not let let this misfit of society back in to our world. If you transgress to the degree he has, you forfeit the right to a peaceful existence amongst the people of New Zealand.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2011 • 891 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Richard Aston,

    a psychological maelstrom that deconstructs him, opens him up and changes him.

    US Marine Corps bootcamp?

    Hey while we are at there must be a few mind altering chemicals that could aid this process.

    Yeah, let's give them clockwork oranges to play with.

    I mean why are we being so nice with these guys?

    Because we're better than them. I don't mean that there's some inherent quality in us that they lack, because we all share the capacity for pure evil. I mean that we are better because we choose to be better, we have opted for civilisation over "the law of the jungle", and our choice dictates how we must proceed.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2384 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Richard Aston,

    who really gives a shit if a sex offender doesn’t want to do the programme , why are we being so nice about it? Can’t we design programmes that challenge the offender’s denial, that put him through a psychological maelstrom that deconstructs him, opens him up and changes him. Hey while we are at there must be a few mind altering chemicals that could aid this process. If they end up completely insane – no worries we keep them in a secure psyche unit forever.

    You want to torture the guy?? Not even the Sensible Sentencing Trust is asking for that!

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3884 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Lilith __,

    You want to torture the guy?? Not even the Sensible Sentencing Trust is asking for that!

    Yeah, quite. See the point in the original post about doing justice to our own humanity.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22227 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Gudrun Gisela,

    No. There must always be the chance for redemption. We want a safe society, so it is up to us to make it safe for all members, including those who have transgressed. I do agree that the option to lock people up for the term of their natural lives must be there to protect society from the worst of the worst, but the opportunity to redeem themselves and work their way back into society must be there for all those we lock away. That's not just to protect the innocent from wrongful conviction, or at least allow them compensation for when they are wrongfully convicted. That's because we can't have a safe society unless society is safe for everybody.

    Allow me to attempt a different approach: Leadership sets the tone society will follow. If our leaders - conventionally the government, but sometimes others - sets a tone of brutality - "Lock 'em up and throw away the key! Bring back the guillotine!" - then a tone is set that empowers the likes of Lhaws and his would be lynch mobs and witch hunters. In such a situation justice can not be done, even when the truly guilty are charged, convicted and punished. Justice does require the appropriate punishment of transgressors and compensation, so far as that is possible, for victims, but it must also include the opportunity for redemption and forgiveness.

    ...ummm... sorry, struggling to think of how to explain why I think this way. Just realised I should probably finally sit down and read my copy of Mozi that's been sitting on the shelf above me for so long... But there you go, that's where I'm at with the whole justice thing.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2384 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    I don't agree with your statements.

    There must always be the chance for redemption.

    Justice does require the appropriate punishment of transgressors and compensation, so far as that is possible, for victims, but it must also include the opportunity for redemption and forgiveness..

    I feel the criminal justice system falls well short in providing appropriate punishment - the sentences passed for violent and sexual offending particularly against children are at times woeful as to be insignificant.

    This being an example of a ridiculous sentence.:
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10826832

    There is evil doing and people that possess evil such that there is no possibility of redemption. In these instances permanent incarceration seems best.

    It appears to me the social fabric of NZ is frayed beyond repair - it is not as if schools, health and education are resourced adequately and that doesn't leave criminal justice as regards provision of a chance for rehabilitation as being in a good place.

    I can't see that the NZ is on the right track in so many areas - an example is youth unemployment is presently running at 25% and it isn't a consideration of any political consquence.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1223 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to DexterX,

    This being an example of a ridiculous sentence.:

    One helpfully selected and presented for you by your friendly daily newspaper, yes.

    If you read the story, it seems a bit less ridiculous. It's clearly a horrible, fucked-up scene: assaults committed on a baby by a teenager who presumably didn't know how to cope or admit that he couldn't cope.

    But the judge's reasoning is outlined in the story: he was just below the threshold upon which home detention could be considered. She clearly believed that it was better that he return to work after his year's home detention, not least to financially support his child.

    You might not agree with the judge's reasoning, but I would far, far rather live in a country where judges, and not newspapers or mobs, do the sentencing.

    There is evil doing and people that possess evil such that there is no possibility of redemption. In these instances permanent incarceration seems best.

    You surely are not suggesting this is such a case, though?

    And we do have a provision for permanent incarceration. It's called preventative detention.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22227 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to DexterX,

    I can't see that the NZ is on the right track in so many areas - an example is youth unemployment is presently running at 25% and it isn't a consideration of any political consquence.

    It'll remain that way, for as long as attacking the symptom remains politically erectile.

    Chris W:

    If our leaders - conventionally the government, but sometimes others - sets a tone of brutality - "Lock 'em up and throw away the key! Bring back the guillotine!" - then a tone is set that empowers the likes of Lhaws and his would be lynch mobs and witch hunters.

    And have they ever thought for a moment that if they authorise 'kill on sight' - think Trayvon Martin multiplied by umpteen - I seriously doubt the criminal element will beg on its knees. More likely, the crims will swap their knives or baseball bats for AK47s. And the weapons get bigger and bigger until society collapses under the sheer weight.

    I can picture the scenario: "The good news is, there are no more gangs to deal with. The bad news? You're now dealing with guerrillas."

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5328 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX, in reply to Russell Brown,

    You surely are not suggesting this is such a case, though?

    My comments about permanent incarceration/preventative detention are directed at Stewart Murray Wilson situation.

    As regards Robert Hall he caused injuries to his daughter for a period of four months from Nov 2010 through to March 2011 which included both legs broken - one leg in four places - and he prevented the infant's mother from seeking treatment.

    Should Hall have caused the degree of grevious bodily harm he visited on his daughter to an adult he woudl have received a prison sentence.

    The sentence of home detention for Hall seems to me to ivolve a loss of contact with reality. It places children and the harm they suffer at a lower rung than that of adults. That is the basis of my objection to the sentence.

    Violent harm visited upon a child or an infant does irreparable damage to their psyche, how they relate to the world around them in the formative years. I would say that Hall offending is evil - though he is not old enough to have a long history.

    To my mind Hall needs a prison sentence - I don't feel home detention will help him in the long term.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1223 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    If our leaders - conventionally the government, but sometimes others

    Replying to Chris and DeepRed - leadership - the Key factor is the ommssion of competence.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1223 posts Report Reply

  • Ana Simkiss, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    Or it is sufficiently confined to justify retrospective law? As a servant of the law myself I don't favour that approach, but perhaps in this very limited case?

    Freemans Bay • Since Nov 2006 • 141 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    The fact it is so confined is an argument against a law change: bills of attainder are even more repugnant.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • Gudrun Gisela, in reply to DexterX,

    To even think of home detention is utterly useless. It will teach him nothing. Anyone harming children in such a way needs to be punished severely. Why do you think these individuals offend? Because the consequence is almost nonexistent. He would have hurt that baby because he did not want to take care of it . He gets what he wants. To even think of his career or apprenticeship at such a time is mind boggling. What kind of judge would think this way?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2011 • 891 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    Isn't it rather muddying the waters to introduce the case of the teenage father into the discussion about Wilson? Especially as he's been selected as a poster person by Sensible Sentencing. The horrible outcomes of people who are essentially children having children - and given the often ghastly consequences there's nothing cute or innocent about that - is a world away from the unrepentant Wilson's refusal to engage with society on anything but his own terms.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4525 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Gudrun Gisela,

    Why do you think these individuals offend? Because the consequence is almost nonexistent.

    Do you seriously believe that? That the primary cause of his offending was that he thought it through and decided that the consequences would not be too severe if he did it? Really? Do you actually believe that was the thought process?

    He would have hurt that baby because he did not want to take care of it . He gets what he wants.

    Did you even read the story? He actually kept offering to take care of it and offering assurances he was fine. God knows what was actually going on in his head, but I'm fairly sure it wasn't what you imagine.

    To even think of his career or apprenticeship at such a time is mind boggling. What kind of judge would think this way?

    Perhaps one who had heard all the evidence in court, as opposed to having read about it in the paper once.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22227 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    The horrible outcomes of people who are essentially children having children – and given the often ghastly consequences there’s nothing cute or innocent about that – is a world away from the unrepentant Wilson’s refusal to engage with society on anything but his own terms.

    Indeed.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22227 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    We are going to disagree on all of it..

    The talk moved onto criminal justice - sentencing is a part of that - I would regard Hall as evil and likely borderline - it is fair game.

    In relation to your :

    The horrible outcomes of people who are essentially children having children

    and Russell's

    If you read the story, it seems a bit less ridiculous. It's clearly a horrible, fucked-up scene: assaults committed on a baby by a teenager who presumably didn't know how to cope or admit that he couldn't cope.

    I don't see youth as a mitigating factor here that lends itself to tolerating this level of violence or treating it less severely.

    It is particular to what I will call the “NZ Psychosis” – the profound lack of insight, Hill's infant assault and his sentence are extreme's of that illness – IMO..

    The herald article re Hall isn’t sourced from the "Sensible Sentencing Trust" it comes from the local paper – Hawkes Bay Today.

    I feel too much time is spent looking for the reasons why as to provide an excuse and an entitlement to lesser sentencing.

    This type of sentencing in response to the nature of the crime as I said before places children and the harm they suffer at a lower rung than that of adults. This is the basis of my objection to the sentence.

    You are free to disagree.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1223 posts Report Reply

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