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  Reply # 1104711 8-Aug-2014 10:58
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vexxxboy:
dafman: Let's put aside the fact there was a death for a moment ...

If I was to walk up to someone at the bus stop this morning, king hit them, and then continue to hit them while they were down - I would be charged and convicted of assault. That this happened in a school yard is irrelevant. At a minimum, there should be an assault conviction. End of. I hope the Crown appeal.


when was the last time you saw someone get charged with assault  on a sports field from a fight. 


Can't remember the details but I recall a lower grade rugby game had an ugly incident that resulted in the Police taking a case, this was about 10 years ago




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  Reply # 1104718 8-Aug-2014 11:11
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vexxxboy:
dafman: Let's put aside the fact there was a death for a moment ...

If I was to walk up to someone at the bus stop this morning, king hit them, and then continue to hit them while they were down - I would be charged and convicted of assault. That this happened in a school yard is irrelevant. At a minimum, there should be an assault conviction. End of. I hope the Crown appeal.


when was the last time you saw someone get charged with assault  on a sports field from a fight. 


It happened with this case, did it not?

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1104784 8-Aug-2014 11:52
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MrJonathanNZ: If its illegal to kill a human being what right does a judge have to condemn someone to death.
The death penalty isn't about justice, its about economics, people only mention it because they don't want to house prisoners.


That may be true for some, but in my case I very much am in favour of the death penalty depending on the crime, but only if there is absolutely no shadow of a doubt that the accused is responsible for the crime they are convicted of and there aren't any legal technicalities that convicted them based on circumstantial evidence. As far as I am concerned, if you kill someone (murder, not manslaughter) you have effectively robbed someone of their human rights which in my opinion forfeits your own. An eye for an eye may be an old-fashioned belief and certainly not 'politically correct' but I'll be damned if someone is going to convince me it isn't just.




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  Reply # 1104796 8-Aug-2014 12:07
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Lias: If I was Stephen's father, I'd be very tempted to arrange justice myself, given that the farcical joke that is our legal system has clearly failed to deliver any justice here.

I'm just wondering what "justice" would be in this case in your opinion, either dished out by the system or vigilante?

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  Reply # 1104832 8-Aug-2014 12:46
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Demeter:
MrJonathanNZ: If its illegal to kill a human being what right does a judge have to condemn someone to death.
The death penalty isn't about justice, its about economics, people only mention it because they don't want to house prisoners.


That may be true for some, but in my case I very much am in favour of the death penalty depending on the crime, but only if there is absolutely no shadow of a doubt that the accused is responsible for the crime they are convicted of and there aren't any legal technicalities that convicted them based on circumstantial evidence. As far as I am concerned, if you kill someone (murder, not manslaughter) you have effectively robbed someone of their human rights which in my opinion forfeits your own. An eye for an eye may be an old-fashioned belief and certainly not 'politically correct' but I'll be damned if someone is going to convince me it isn't just.


Old-fashioned, just or not, it certainly screws around with the minds of the people charged with carrying out the state's will - for anyone interested, there's a fascinating audio doco (the mp3 link on the right) on:

http://www.soundportraits.org/on-air/witness_to_an_execution/

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  Reply # 1105693 10-Aug-2014 00:35
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A coincidence beyond reasonable doubt that the boy had heart issues at much the same time as he was punched unconscious and thereafter. As the charge was for assault I would have thought he would have got at least SOME time in prison. Even to serve as a message to others.
My perception is there is a growing culture of violence in NZ and the rest of the world for that matter, it needs to stop. 


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  Reply # 1105706 10-Aug-2014 01:27
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Demeter:
MrJonathanNZ: If its illegal to kill a human being what right does a judge have to condemn someone to death.
The death penalty isn't about justice, its about economics, people only mention it because they don't want to house prisoners.


That may be true for some, but in my case I very much am in favour of the death penalty depending on the crime, but only if there is absolutely no shadow of a doubt that the accused is responsible for the crime they are convicted of and there aren't any legal technicalities that convicted them based on circumstantial evidence. As far as I am concerned, if you kill someone (murder, not manslaughter) you have effectively robbed someone of their human rights which in my opinion forfeits your own. An eye for an eye may be an old-fashioned belief and certainly not 'politically correct' but I'll be damned if someone is going to convince me it isn't just.


couple of comments:

witnesses get it wrong
witnesses lie
experts disagree
police sometimes make mistakes / are corrupt / incompetent / fixated
evidence is abused and fabricated
the accused sometimes confess to things they did not do
money buys a better defence and racial and socioeconmic factors play an uneven role in murder convictions and subsequent death penalties


given the above there are not many cases where there is "absolutely no shadow of a doubt"

and this is borne out by the numbers freed after new trials / dna evidence proving the convicted as innocent / "witnesses" recanting etc etc

and it simply does not work as a deterrent http://blog.amnestyusa.org/africa/5-death-penalty-myths-debunked/

and is this the sort of company we would want to keep as a nation? really?


nor IMHO is it part of what a supposedly civilised and humane society would do to its own - not even to the worst among us.

/end rant



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  Reply # 1105750 10-Aug-2014 09:08
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sxz:
surfisup1000: Would you expect to be let off without any consequences if you went and bashed someone who subsequently died from an existing heart condition?   From your comments, maybe so?





Put it another way.  What if you were at a roundabout  not paying attention because you were changing the radio, and you accidentally had a nose-to-tail that was 100% your fault, and the person you hit died from a pre-existing heart condition set off by the shock of the collision?  Should you go to prison for manslaughter or was that death not really your fault?



Bad analogy. Most offences require two elements:

1. The intent
2. The act

Assaults require both these.

Careless driving does not require any intent (its a accident that most people didnt intend to happen).

Comparing Careless Causing Death (which only requires the act) to Assault (which requires act and intent) is chalk and cheese.

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  Reply # 1105753 10-Aug-2014 09:11
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Lyderies:
andrewNZ: Sorry, but the death penalty doesn't work, in fact I'm pretty sure it makes things worse.

If someone commits a crime, and they know the penalty is death, they have nothing left to lose. A person with nothing to lose is very dangerous.

Penalties DO NOT prevent crimes.


Letting them off prevents it as well? Or they just re-offend usually with a worse crime than they previously did?


100% agree. Discharge without conviction, ie no consequence, WHY would you stop assaulting people? I mean you got away with it the first time....

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  Reply # 1105757 10-Aug-2014 09:18
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itxtme: I think the key thing in this case is that the kid did die, and to some degree that was caused by the assault.  Now that assault has been discharged without conviction.  


Well summed up.

We dont know to what degree the heart condition was a factor (not sure the judge did either).

But whenever you assault a person you take a *risk* that, albeit sometimes unlikely, as a result of that assault there could be a serious consequence (ie death).

Normally where death is the outcome of a reckless (ie assault) action = manslaughter.

Its a shame it was reduced to the injuring charge, IMHO irrespective if the heart condition when you assault someone you take a risk that you actions will have unintended consequences.

Does this mean that everyone with a medical condition should expect less justice if they are assaulted because of that medical condition?





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  Reply # 1105758 10-Aug-2014 09:26
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... and we don't usually haul those boys before the court"


So for some reason other school yard violence hasnt been brought before the court and therefore neither should yours? What terrible logic.

The judge said they were "punches thrown in a school yard fight"


I really hope thats a misquote. Definition of a fight suggests blows or punches should be traded.

It has been reported that this boy never said a word in anger or retaliated in anyway - thats not a fight.

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  Reply # 1105774 10-Aug-2014 10:37
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It is a very long time now since I studied law as part of my degree - and a reasonable while since I had any need to put that knowledge to use - but IIRC there was a case (Smith v Leech Brain & Co I think) which established the doctrine known as 'Eggshell Thin Skull' in tort and in criminal cases.

It holds that a tortfeasor must take their victim 'as they find them' and that means they are liable for the extent of injuries even where they are greater than what might be expected given normal circumstances.

Now, this is UK law and precedent but I have seen UK cases referred to in NZ court judgments before, so clearly they are relevant in some way. Without actually reading the judgment in full, I have no idea what was argued in court or whether the judge referenced the doctrine but discounted it for some reason.

Overall, I find judges in NZ to be unduly lenient, however, and far too willing to accept excuses.





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  Reply # 1106121 10-Aug-2014 23:20
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http://www.radiolive.co.nz/Take-a-read-of-Judge-Winkelmanns-decision-in-the-Stephen-Dudley-case/tabid/721/articleID/51700/Default.aspx

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  Reply # 1106258 11-Aug-2014 10:54
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driller2000: couple of comments:

given the above there are not many cases where there is "absolutely no shadow of a doubt"

and this is borne out by the numbers freed after new trials / dna evidence proving the convicted as innocent / "witnesses" recanting etc etc

and it simply does not work as a deterrent http://blog.amnestyusa.org/africa/5-death-penalty-myths-debunked/

and is this the sort of company we would want to keep as a nation? really?


nor IMHO is it part of what a supposedly civilised and humane society would do to its own - not even to the worst among us.

/end rant




If you read my first post (the one you didn't quote) I think you would see we are actually in agreement. :) I am not proposing wholesale slaughter of criminal offenders. But how should we deal with a repeat offender caught red-handed after a brutal murder, for example? Let him languish in a warm comfortable prison to ponder his transgressions and perhaps plan the next one while the relatives of his victim(s) are left to grieve and wonder how the law is meant to protect anybody if it can't deliver justice?

As for your suggestion that there are few cases where there is absolutely no shadow of a doubt - by proxy that infers that no criminal should ever be punished as your statement would be true regardless of the crime committed.




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  Reply # 1106295 11-Aug-2014 11:46
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Demeter:
driller2000: couple of comments:

given the above there are not many cases where there is "absolutely no shadow of a doubt"

and this is borne out by the numbers freed after new trials / dna evidence proving the convicted as innocent / "witnesses" recanting etc etc

and it simply does not work as a deterrent http://blog.amnestyusa.org/africa/5-death-penalty-myths-debunked/

and is this the sort of company we would want to keep as a nation? really?


nor IMHO is it part of what a supposedly civilised and humane society would do to its own - not even to the worst among us.

/end rant




If you read my first post (the one you didn't quote) I think you would see we are actually in agreement. :) I am not proposing wholesale slaughter of criminal offenders. But how should we deal with a repeat offender caught red-handed after a brutal murder, for example? Let him languish in a warm comfortable prison to ponder his transgressions and perhaps plan the next one while the relatives of his victim(s) are left to grieve and wonder how the law is meant to protect anybody if it can't deliver justice?

As for your suggestion that there are few cases where there is absolutely no shadow of a doubt - by proxy that infers that no criminal should ever be punished as your statement would be true regardless of the crime committed.


We have a number of remote, cold and windswept islands many miles from NZ.

I suggest turning one or more of them into penal colonies where crims are just dumped with no further contact from NZ and left to their own devices.





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