How to stop the trial being a circus

Radio NZ report:

Media outlets have begun discussions on how best to cover the court case of the accused Christchurch terrorist without giving him a platform for propaganda. …

Over the weekend, the accused shooter told his duty solicitor he wanted to represent himself, raising fears he would try to exploit the trial to broadcast his ideology.

This is no surprise. His manifesto said he would plead not guilty and obviously that was so he could get publicity from the trial.

The last thing anyone wants is a two month long trial where he is in the news everyday, milking it for everything he can. And most of all we don’t want survivors of the attack having to be cross-examined by him in court.

So to minimise this Crown Law need to do things a bit differently. Normally in a murder case you call every possible witness, so that there is nothing left which could lead to reasonable doubt and a not guilty verdict.

In this case it is not hard to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt. You just need to prove:

  • He purchased guns
  • He was the shooter
  • The victims died from the shooting
  • He published the manifesto, live stream etc

You don’t need to call 100 witnesses to the shootings. Just call the cops. Use the video as proof rather than spend weeks proving he went into this room then that room etc.

Crown Law should understand this is not really a trial about guilt. Yes they need to provide the evidence to the court, but they need to be aware every extra witness is an opportunity for him to grandstand. Only call people if they are essential. Don’t even bother with motive. You have a video of him doing it.

I’d far rather he was found guilty of 48 of the 50 murders in a two week trial than he was found guilty of all 50 of them in a three month trial. His sentence will be the same.

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