Non-Sentences

I recently posted a collection of ridiculous court decisions and asked, “Is The Law An Ass?” I suggested that the law was OK but the people who work in and around courts could well be the issue, and upon reflection I think this is more the case. The mere fact that all of the decisions listed here were made in the United States opens up other options, of course, but we continue to see examples of the law being ‘interpreted’ by some in widely differing ways.

I was interested to read a few days ago that a case that was heard (and ruled on) some time ago was to be brought back to court because the original sentence was possibly passed down by one of these legal ‘asses’. A person was found guilty of abusing his 4 year old daughter (and it would seem there was some suggestion of sexual impropriety in the act?) but the judge, in her very finite wisdom decided that because the convicted man was a public figure, and more, a public figure who made people laugh (he is, apparently, one of our favourite comedians) and gave them joy, he would be discharged without conviction.

Now I am a simple layman but to me this means he was guilty of the charge but because the sentencing judge held certain views and opinions, either about the charge or about the charged (or both) he could go on his way with no record of guilt, a free man who apparently had done no wrong.

If this is the case the law is very definitely an ass. A child had been assaulted- how seriously or whether or not there were sexual elements is to a certain extent immaterial. Or whether by a stranger or a family member. A child was assaulted– a defenceless 4 year old child! And the case had been proven- either by evidence or plea I don’t really care- it had been proven!

There have been other unsavoury outcomes from court actions against ‘personalities’. It is immaterial to me whether the person convicted is a sportsperson, a legal-eagle, an artist, a politician or successful business person, or if they are black, white or brindle- if they are found guilty of the crime they were in court to answer for then any name suppression should be lifted and they should be given a punishment that fits the crime. They should not be hidden under a blanket of suppression because to be ‘outed’ would harm their reputations or their business. They should have thought of that before they beat their child, abused someone, drove drunk, defrauded others or committed any of the other myriad of crimes that we see such people charged with.

I guess there is some merit to suppression before guilt is established, but once you’ve been convicted suppression of name, charges and any other potentially damaging information relating to the crime should be lifted. The advice is simple if one doesn’t want to be seen as a horrible person- don’t commit the offence (and for goodness’ sake, if you do don’t say you weren’t aware of what you were doing!)

Come on, judiciary.

DO I HATE?

Hate or hatred- abhorrenceabominationanathemaanimosityanimusantagonismantipathyaversion, detestation, disgustenmity, execration, horrorhostility, ill will, loathingmalevolence, malignity, mislike, objection, odium, painrancor, rankling, repugnance, repulsion, resentmentrevulsionscornspite.

I have told my children, both my own and those who I have taught over the years that ‘hate’ isn’t a word that should be used too freely. It’s often a bit of a throwaway word that doesn’t really express the true feelings at the time, or, in fact it overstates them. You may well dislike something even dislike it intensely but, in my view that is a decent step from ‘hate’.

This being said I am seriously questioning my feelings towards some elements in New Zealand society, and even some people involved in or with those elements. For example my feelings towards this woman are bordering on hatred but as I don’t know the person then I don’t honestly think I can ‘hate’ her. I DO hate the things she has done, and I DO hate this sort of behaviour from anybody. But, OK, I’ll just carry on thinking she’s despicable, contemptible, disgraceful, obscene, or any combination of the synonyms above.

Now my feelings for THIS woman I also have to think about. Again I don’t think I truly HATE her but, by God I dislike her intensely. For 3 years she has been the Minister Of Social Welfare and has been installed in that position for the next 3 years of the National administration in New Zealand. For the time she’s been at the top of the Welfare Agencies pile she’s continually played a ‘blame game’ as she is doing here that absolves her agencies and puts 100% of fault at the doors of the perpetrators of some of the worst child abuse and cruelty that any civilised society has seen. I almost said ‘condoned’ because so little seems to have been done about it! Baby killers are still walking free, and families of child abusers are still nurturing their own. This is a disgrace that this woman has paid lip-service to for years but has seemed to be ambivalent to if her stated policies with regard to the strata of society who are (in the majority of cases) responsible for violence against children pan out.

The families of these beaten children are the poor, the hungry, the unemployed, the disadvantaged, the disenchanted, the disenfranchised, the down-trodden. These people are taking the lines of least resistance and falling into habits that are dysfunctional and destructive and they see no way out.

How much truth there might be in the abusive mother’s words, they reflect the thoughts that exist in her head, they reflect how her mind rationalises things, and, in part they reflect some aspirational aspects of her life. That she doesn’t have the ability to cope, or manage her actions may or may not be something SHE has to deal with, but in our social welfare state should she have to deal with it on her own? Ms Bennett tells us that 25 different agencies were involved in this case and if this is so over a number of years then Ms Bennett needs to take one of the PM’s ‘steps back’ and do some serious analysis of the work the agencies do. If they were doing all the things they are empowered to do, and if they were failing to bring about change in the life or the girl or the behaviours of the mother then the question must be asked- “Why was the girl still in the care of the mother and her equally suspect father?”

Parents are always told they have a duty of care to their children, and the vast majority of them know and understand this. Our Governments are always told they have a duty of care to the people of their nation, but this government at least seems not to be concerned with this.

National Disgrace Continues

On Mothers Day Kerrie Woodham does some strong writing on the suitability (or otherwise)  for motherhood  of a raft of women in New Zealand. She received some negative feedback from what would appear to be apologists (but they are, instead, activists – huh!!!) Instead of reacting to Kerrie’s condemnation of failing mothers, some of whom become child-abusers and even child-killers, they defended the legion of solo DPB mothers who ‘fall pregnant’  who are supposedly unable to do anything about it. (By the way, is that anything like falling out of a tree, or falling down an unseen step? I could probably do both if I were pissed, or befuddled by dope and maybe that’s the similarity?) Ok, so there ARE a large number of loving and caring mothers in New Zealand who are as appalled as anyone about the on-going litany of child abuse and child mortality by abuse, but it sickens me every day to think that there are people who live among and mix with those who can’t or won’t handle their parenthood, who can’t or won’t control their habits, and who can’t or won’t manage their personal relationships who continue to find reasons for these people’s inadequacies. Still, I can handle that just so long as they don’t make excuses for those among them who do the damage, because what is being done is inexcusable.

And thanks for your views, Kerrie- most in New Zealand agree with you.

HOW MANY TRAGEDIES HAVE LED TO THIS?

Crimes Amendment Bill
While I often do not agree with the oft-used practice of passing legislation ‘under urgency’ I applaud the passing of this law, but ask why it has taken so long to see the light of day? In New Zealand we have a shocking history of child abuse that has been allowed to go on for far too long. Children have been physically abused by parents, whanau and “care-givers” for years and it beggars the imagination to subscribe to the arguments of those around the victims that they knew nothing of what was going on. Defenseless children have been killed and family members have protected the murderers in their midst. Police have met solid walls of silence and protestations of innocence. This disgraceful situation is not a new thing yet our governments have dithered. It sickens me that ANY member of an extended family can stand by and keep silent about the abuse of their beloved wee ones.

I just hope that now, armed with this law the abusers are apprehended and punished and anybody who is responsible for abuse of children is put away for a long, long time, as should be anybody who condones it.

It will be very interesting to see and hear reactions of neighbours and extended family members to apprehension by police and the stories that will be offered in justification of silence.

See also When Will It End?

Follow macgibbons on Twitter

WHEN WILL IT END??

http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/3968782/Beaten-baby-Taylor-dies
Cezar Taylor, just 6 months old has died because he was shaken and beaten by the ‘partner’ of his mother. WHEN WILL IT END!! New Zealand continues to languish near the top of the list of countries that are unable to protect their children. WHEN WILL IT END?? Babies are being beaten. Babies are being shaken. Babies are being neglected (by being left alone while their parent(s) go out drinking or gambling). Babies are being deprived of the one simple thing they deserve- Love. If you care for/love something you will not abuse it. Is it because they suffered abuse when young? Is it because they didn’t experience love when young? Is this pay-back? WHEN WILL IT END???

How will it end? A friend of mine suggested castration should be used as a punishment but sadly would be too late in many instances. With any luck there will be some rough justice when the bastards responsible for these abuses arrive in whichever prison they are sent to. (Then the bleeding heart liberals will raise a hue and cry about the safety of inmates in NZ Prisons.)

I believe whanau (it is Maori Language Week and we are expected to use Te Reo, but I use the term intentionally) must take responsibility for many of the instances that have achieved notoriety in recent years. Families are not blinkered for any other reason than choice. If they choose to pretend not to see, or to not do anything about improper actions they DO see against their mokopuna they are as guilty as the animals who carry out the abuses.

WHEN WILL IT END!!!???

????

We hear that police in Wairarapa have over 100 unheard/unallocated/uninvestigated/improperly actioned/open child abuse cases ‘on the books’. Now we have a case of child (13 year old girl) sexual abuse being dismissed through lack of evidence.

Is there a link here? Is this case (which actually got to court, so we have to guess there was something of a case to answer) the dismissal came on new(ish) instructions of the Solicitor General who outlined requirements of evidence (“From January 1, the Solicitor-General’s guidelines require prosecutions to reach a significantly higher standard. In the past that standard was one of prima facie (on the face of it). The test now requires “evidential sufficiency”. Fair enough.  An admission by the police that they couldn’t present such ‘sufficient evidence’ meant the case was dismissed.

My question is, again, is there a connection, here? What could cause the police to change their minds if it is not because the case wasn’t investigated properly? Surely if there were sufficient cops to do the investigation AND IT TURNED UP INSUFFICIENT EVIDENCE the case would not have arrived at court? If there were insufficient police to investigate the case properly, what were the other policemen doing (instead of  investigating the case)- highway patrol related duties to keep revenue collection up? (God forbid we are seeing police inefficiency, incompetence or indifference!)

To have a situation IN ONE POLICING AREA that has ‘over 100’ child abuse cases going without sufficient investigation and consequential closure is inexcusable.

The situation in NZ Law and Order is, by growing instances, becoming less of both.