Brenton Tarrant gets sentenced today. It has been a moving three days as victims and their families testified on the impact of them. I’ve been moved to tears by the story of the three year old who was shot, but also by the families who told Tarrant they had no room for hate, so they forgave him. It was reported that even Tarrant reacted to this. One can only hope that perhaps it got through.
The other aspect which is worth noting is how many people told him that his plan to cause hatred and backlash backfired. This is objectively true. He picked the wrong country to do this in. Again credit to Jacinda Ardern for her role, but NZ’s response to this actually got praised around the world by many Muslim countries and caused within NZ a huge uprising of goodwill towards Muslim New Zealanders. I can only hope he realises what he did was wrong and achieved the opposite of what he wanted.
But we will never know. For reasons not apparent Tarrant both pleaded guilty and has also chosen not to speak at his sentencing. I don’t know whether this might signify some empathy for his victims, or it might just mean he thinks his message through his manifesto is stronger without him adding to it.
Regardless of his motives in pleading guilty and not speaking, I am glad of both. Many feared he would use the trial to try and justify what he did and promote his views.
One can only hope he does get a Life Without Parole sentence so his victims and families never have to think about him again. They will never have to face multiple Parole Board hearings in a few decades time, where they have to relive what happen as they argue to keep him in prison.
Just because he saved the state the time and money of a trial should not mean he gets a lesser sentence for such an unparalleled crime. Again yes he did spare the multiple victims a contested trial, but there are only so many victims because of what he did.
Let’s hope the Judge agrees.
UPDATE: He has been sentenced to Life Without Parole. Beyond pleased.
UPDATE2: Tarrant didn’t oppose Life Without Parole, which probably made it easier to occur. I do wonder if he didn’t oppose it as he wants to be a martyr to his “cause”, but regardless we can now forget about him and let him rot.