A judge has ordered that prisoner’s “cultural identification” be officially changed from Pākehā to Samoan as he begins a four-year jail term.The cultural report also led to an additional reduction in his sentence, after his guilty pleas to all charges in June.
The criminal justice system’s records for James Anthony Finn, 29, will be changed after Christchurch District Court Judge Jane Farish referred to the system’s “colour-blindness” at his sentencing on 27 drugs and stolen property charges.
Finn appears to be Pākehā, and is recorded that way in the system, but he had a strong link back to Samoan culture because of his family background.
A cultural report was prepared ahead of his sentencing, which acknowledged his background. Finn found it strange and uncomfortable to be identified as Pākehā, Judge Farish said.
So he got his culture changed from Pakeha and that led to a reduction in his sentence.
I can see this catching on.
UPDATE: I’m informed that the full report from the sentencing doesn’t have his sentence reduction linked to his culture, so the two issues were seperate.