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Tue 14th May 2013

Then and Now

Filed under: General — allan harvey @ 9:08 am

What a difference 50 years (2 generations) make.
Woman begins an affair and has extensive written conversations with her lover. They head off to Aussie for a while. Her husband is distressed; he discovers the stash of love letters and follows them to Aussie but fails to locate them there. The lovers return home and come to the family farm to collect her belongings and tell husband that she is leaving for good. An argument ensues, the lovers leave in their motor vehicle, Husband follows and three shots are fired. Driver of car is killed and husband is arrested.

Jury decides within half an hour that husband is not guilty of murder but he is convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to one year in custody. How times change.

32 Responses to “Then and Now”

  1. golfa says:

    In cases like this, I always fell like the wrong person was killed …..

  2. colin says:

    Poor bugger must have been heart broken, but no excuse for violence no matter what the pretense

  3. Down Under says:

    It’s ok for a man to pick up a weapon to defend his country but not his home?

  4. Skeptic says:

    Ah yes, how times have changed.
    These days being aware of draconian NZ family law and how it affects men he sensibly wouldn’t get hitched and have kids in the first place.

  5. Down Under says:

    Another way of saying that perhaps – if you are going to bother to build a home, why would you have a woman in it.

  6. mongo says:

    if you are going to bother to build a home, why would you have a woman in it.

    Just make it small and impossible to envy.

  7. Down Under says:

    @ mongo, we need a like button for that one.

  8. Luther Blissett says:

    When the defence of provocation was removed for murder cases we were told that provocation would be taken into account in sentencing instead. However, that is rarely happening in practice for men who murder under provocation. It will be happening for women though, in fact the provocation defence while not being used overtly seems to operate de facto so that women who murder men still tend to be convicted only of manslaughter or less. Even if they are convicted of murder involving unnecessary cruelty, women rarely receive a sentence beyond the basic ten years, while men who murder under provocation and in the least cruel way possible will nearly always receive a minimal non-parole period of more than ten years. This is now the justice system in place for the second-class gender.

  9. Down Under says:

    One of the cases I watched closely was a stabbing in Auckland where the husband returned from work overseas and was in the kitchen cooking dinner when his wife started goading him about how much better the sex had been while he was away.

    He happened to have a knife in his hand at the time and turned around and stabbed her. From memory his name was Brown and it would have been back 10 – 12 years.

    By all accounts he was a decent man that momentarily lost it. In the end I think he did 12 months mainly because the evidence really stacked up against her.

    She sold up took the money and the children out of the country and it then became a family court case. I recall him trying to locate his children but he was denied access to the Hague Convention (a ruling by Jan Dougue?).

    It would be interesting to know what happened in that case – if he did see his children again and what happened to them after that.

  10. Too Tired says:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10883885

    sorry to post this here, but if you haven’t read this you should,

    I can’t believe you could say we haven’t got equality in parliment, with the oppertunity for the top job to be in the hands of a women 33% is a huge share of the pie.
    I would think some of these pro-women would realise they are also advocating for more women to give up being mums and get out there to represent 50/50 work placements. Does that mean they also advocate 50/50 at home dads in this country? Never here that one as the solution!

  11. black pete says:

    Let me be the first to explicitly state: Sorry, provocation is not an excuse. He took a gun and shot recklessly enough to kill. Maybe intentionally to kill. He deserves a full murder sentence.

  12. Ministry of Men's Affairs says:

    Black Pete (#12): Let me be the first to explicitly respond: Sorry, just because you say something that doesn’t mean it’s so. You are entitled to your opinion of course no matter how shallow the thinking.

    There is no such thing as a ‘full murder sentence’. The normal sentence for murder is life imprisonment with a minimum non-parole period of 10 years. Even after release by the Parole Board the offender is still on the life sentence and can be recalled to serve it at any time. However, there is provision now for a Court to impose a lesser sentence than life. In practice women normally get the 10yrs minimum while men get longer non-parole periods. Provocation used to be a legal partial defence that would reduce the conviction to manslaughter. The argument that intentional killing should be considered murder regardless of provocation arose mainly from the (mis)application of the defence in cases of ‘homosexual panic” but also arose from feminist ideology; “we shouldn’t reward men who lose self-control and commit violence”.

    However, anyone with a shred of empathy would recognize that every human has a breaking point and that normal humans can experience emotional reactions so intense that they become temporarily insane. The defence of insanity is not available in such situations because it has a high threshhold and the diagnosis of a relevant mental illnesses will entail longer periods of symptoms being evident. Also, a person found to be insane cannot morally be held responsible at all for his/her behaviour. So the partial defence of provocation was a realistic acknowledgement of normal human fallibility. While there may have been some reasonable arguments for removing that partial defence, surely it will then be important to consider any provocation in sentencing?

    You ‘black pete’ imply that murders are all the same and should be punished equally. So do you think that someone who murdered to cover up a vicious rape, to steal a wallet or just for the enjoyment of watching someone in fear suffer should be punished the same as someone who was extremely confused, distressed and emotionally threatened through finding their spouse having sex with someone else or plotting to take the children away? If so, then I doubt it would be useful attempting to continue any rational communication with hyou.

  13. black pete says:

    Luther, it is precisely the reverse gender roles often heavily denounced on this site, whereby women excuse their violent actions in the name of ‘finally reaching breaking point’ and so forth, when committing acts of domestic violence against men.
    Society can’t have it both ways. You can’t excuse a man’s actions when committing murder because of his wife having had an affair and run-off with her partner, vs. any other kind of provocation of domestic violence. This man had a choice, however unpalatable that is. He chose to retreive a gun and pursue his wife and her partner. Had the genders been reversed, and it was an aggrieved wife who fired the shot, would you still excuse her blatent act of domestic violence? That is not the track-record of past posts on this site (and I’m not attributing any past posts on this type of DV, to you personally).
    When I talk of “full murder sentence”, I am not talking about how many years sentence should be awarded, parole or minimal non-parole or other similar matters. I am simply talking about murder, as opposed to a sentence of manslaughter.
    Manslaughter implies he did not know his actions could result in murder, or it was not premeditated, and other similar mitigating factors.
    He had already followed the two of them to Australia. He went back for a gun (and bullets). That reeks of premeditation at least from the time of pursuing them with a gun. His aim was pretty damned spot on. I believe he is guilty of murder.

  14. black pete says:

    Just one example,
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/assault-and-homicide/news/article.cfm?c_id=124&objectid=10468196

    http://menz.org.nz/2007/woman-guilty-of-violent-husbands-manslaughter/

    A typical post from this site:

    I found another link to the story through the NZ Herald site, you’re right UF, it makes it sound like this guy deserved to be stabbed and she was right for committing the crime.
    I fail to see how the killing of a man cannot be murder, but instead described as man-slaughter,(it didn’t happen accidentally) she killed him, she is a murderer.
    Let’s not pussy-foot around this by using un-equal terms.

    That article, Woman snaps; commits serious DV via stabbing resulting in death.
    This case (subject of this post) is basically no different. Man snaps; commits serious DV via shooting resulting in death.

  15. Ministry of Men's Affairs says:

    Black Pete (12,14 and 15): I agree with your general argument (as far as I can make it out) that provocation if recognized in the culpability of male offenders should equally be recognized for female offenders. However, you haven’t actually acknowledged that provocation should be considered at all. You still haven’t answered my question in #13:

    So do you think that someone who murdered to cover up a vicious rape, to steal a wallet or just for the enjoyment of watching someone in fear suffer should be punished the same as someone who was extremely confused, distressed and emotionally threatened through finding their spouse having sex with someone else or plotting to take the children away?

    I would appreciate an answer. Instead your wording (e.g. “…provocation is not an excuse… he deserves a full murder sentence”) implies that provocation shouldn’t be taken into account in considering the crime and its punishment; in this I disagree with you. Whether provocation is treated as a partial defence reducing murder to manslaughter or instead taken into account in sentencing for murder, I don’t really have a preference. But what has happened is that attitudes like those you have expressed here have led to clear and proven provocation being disregarded almost completely for crimes when committed by men while women continue to receive great consideration for provocation even when it hasn’t been proven or when the definition of provocation is seriously stretched.

    You imply that people in this thread were calling for the partial defence of provocation to be reinstated. I haven’t seen that anyone has done so. You assert that “provocation is not an excuse” and you imply that people here are suggesting it should be an ‘excuse’, but I haven’t seen that either. Arguing that provocation should be taken into account in some way in considering the crime and/or its punishment is not excusing that crime.

    You allege that “the track record” here is of people wanting provocation to be used as an excuse for men but not for women. I haven’t seen that either. Although this is a relatively unmoderated forum and some contributors have fired off strong, ill-considered views, these have not been representative of the many writers who made it clear they did not condone the violent acts they were commenting on. You put forward one post from 2007 that you claim supports your allegation of double standards, but I don’t see that it does. One person in that 2007 discussion gave an opinion that a deliberate killing should be seen as murder, but that person did not suggest the same should not be true for men. The concerns expressed were about the validity of the killer’s claim that she acted in self defence, but that her claim cannot have been credible because if she had acted in self-defence then she would have been acquitted fully, so why was that claim allowed to be accepted as a partial defence? A further concern suggested in that 2007 discussion and expressed by others on MENZ was the general trend of women killing men, often when the men were sleeping or otherwise non-threatening, then claiming with little or no evidence that the killing should be blamed on the men’s violence towards them over some previous period of time (and without mentioning the violence they had also used against the men). Dead people of course are unable to tell their side of the story.

    Most contributors on MENZ would call for equal treatment of men and women for the same crime. The details are important in considering each crime and any role of provocation or other extenuating circumstances.

    Deliberate killing is not always treated as murder. Reasonable self-defence is a total legal defence if the Court can be convinced of its validity. Deliberate killing by soldiers in combat or by police to protect others from imminent harm will not be treated as murder. Even when there is a murder conviction there is now no such thing as a “full murder sentence” because Courts are allowed to sentence less than life imprisonment in various circumstances.

    The killing at the basis of the current thread happened after the unfaithful wife brought her lover to the jilted man’s home while he was there. No dispute about that fact. That is provocation in my book. If someone produced good evidence that they had been subjected to serious partner violence in the past, had cause to believe the violent pattern had ended but was then subjected to another violent act (that was not initiated by their own violence), then I would also consider that provocation. Often though the truth is that the killer had been a violent drunk herself and the killing was simply an extension of her angry, jealous and/or drunken violence that may have been mutual in various forms between the pair. Provocation in those cases seems a stretch, unlike being confronted in one’s own house by one’s unfaithful wife in the company of her new lover.

  16. Down Under says:

    @Ministry of men’s affairs

    Whether provocation is treated as a partial defence reducing murder to manslaughter or instead taken into account in sentencing for murder, I don’t really have a preference.

    Personally you may not have a problem with this but if that is the position of the Ministry of Men’s affairs then I have a problem. To put it simply, a partial defence is a legal position and taking into account in sentencing is a political position.

    In the former the issue must be examined in the court process and then considered by the jury. In the latter, while sentencing is executed by a judge it gives significant weight to political positions and in a country where the social climate despises the male of the species you will not see comparative sentencing.

  17. Ministry of Men's Affairs says:

    Down Under (#17): The position of the Ministry of Men’s Affairs has not been clarified at this stage and that’s why I stated I don’t have a preference, but if you wish to join the Ministry then you could contribute to its policy on this matter.

    You make a good point that the partial defence of provocation provided a more reliable way of recognizing provocation whereas the idea of taking it into account in sentencing is currently totally vulnerable to gender poltical attitudes. However, that may be a matter of tightening the legislation to require Courts to reduce sentences by at least a certain proportion if provocation were established as a factor, and of requiring Courts to maintain gender equality in sentencing. The issue of provocation could still be managed adequately in sentencing if the law truly required this. Instead, judges have simply been given carte blanche to consider it to whatever extent they choose to or choose not to.

    Provocation is not just an issue in killing cases but in many other offences. The partial defence of provocation in killings perhaps singles out that extreme crime whereas a more generic way of recognizing provocation may be preferable.

    It’s good to think about these things, develop our views and I thank you for your input.

  18. Black Pete says:

    To Ministry of Men’s Affairs.
    I don’t actually intend to answer. That is the feminist approach, to force men to take positions on emotive arguments. That is not dissimilar to an argument of, for example, ‘abortion should never be condoned (permitted)’… ‘but what if the woman was raped and got pregnent’. Whatever I answer next will never satisfy the feminist.
    Now this does not make my thinking “shallow” or that I am somehow unable to enter into rational arguement (debate). Indeed, it is precisely because of these dismissive statements attached to my first statement, that result in me not answering. They are precisely the closed-mind thinking a feminist would bring into the equation, by suggesting that only a ‘correct’ answer in your eyes will satisfy, and any opposing answer is not worthy of ongoing debate.
    As a general point, if provocation was to be a mitigating factor, then there must be equal standards applied regardless of the offenders’ gender. That really was the point of my first statement. It is nothing short of blatent hypocrisy to jump to a man’s defence, to minimise or justify his violence, simply because he is a man, and then to completely dismiss any provocation defence as a ‘pussy pass’ when the offender is female.

  19. Ministry of Men's Affairs says:

    To Black Pete (#19): Actually, I don’t think asking a simple question is a feminst approach at all. Much more resembing a feminist approach are the following:
    – Slipping and sliding rather than answering simple questions to clarify your position
    – Remaining coy about what you really think about a matter
    – Issuing poorly reasoned proclamations as if you have the wisdom of God
    – Making a statement that you later claim said something different from what it actually said
    – Refusing to acknowledge, and probably neglecting to read and understand, the responses of people you disagree with
    – Refusing to concede any valid points made by someone you are arguing with
    – Continuing to argue about matters that another person has already agreed with you about, as if he had not done so
    – Putting forward inadequate evidence for the claims you make then acting as though those claims have already been proven correct

    As I previously wrote, I agree with you in arguing for gender equality under the law. I don’t agree that there has been much hypocrisy from contributors to MENZ about this. Each case stands on its own merits. Provocation may be a credible factor in some circumstances, such as when an unfaithful wife unexpectedly confronts her jilted husband at his home in the company of her new lover, but not so credible in other cases such as taking revenge for a long list of past wrongdoing or deciding that the next time your partner behaves in that undesirable way you will kill him instead of following any other plan. However, I agree it’s important that those in the men’s movement are careful to avoid double standards.

    The ‘pussy pass’ is a term that applies to cases in which a female offender receives more lenient treatment, consideration or punishment than any male offender would receive in similar circumstances. This appears to happen for female offenders in almost every case with very few exceptions. You will know that already. MENZ is a forum where such state sexism is exposed. There are plenty of other forums complaining when male offenders appear to be treated too leniently, even though it will seldom have been as lenient as routinely applied in similar cases of female offending.

  20. Black Pete says:

    My apologies Luther, when I read your first statements that I was entitled to my opinion no matter how shallow the thinking, and, unless I answered certain other situations of murder, ( which I believe are simply red-herrings) meant you doubted it would be useful attempting to continue any rational communication with me, you somehow communicated that unless I communicated a response to your questions, then I was shallow and not worthy of rational communication.

    Because I choose not to state a position on the several scenarios you put to me, is because you have in my view pre-judged me, unless I give you a satisfactory answer. There is no logic in answering your scenarios. They are not the subject of the article posted. I beleive you were seeking to entrap me. From your most recent response to me, you have now declared me to contradict my earlier responset. This,along with your earlier statements (‘shallow’ et al) is clear proof that you are happier to simply attack the person rather than debate the topic.
    By the way, badgering and goading people into responses such as you have decided to do to me, reminds me of how lawyers and politicians act. Therefore as I respond repetedly to hopefully say the same thing differently, yeah for sure, people can pick my printed words apart and look for inconsistency and contradiction. Good on you. I would love to have the ability to never stumble on my words, to be 100% totally consistent on everything I say and do, but I have never yet acheived that pinnicle of perfection. I would dearly love to have the wisdom of God, but alas I am but a mere man.
    You have previously taken the position that provocation should not be a mitigting factor. I interpret this from you post dated 22/12/12, when you use irony and state:

    Bets are open for the sentence. My bet: The crime has a maximum of 7 years jail, the pussy pass will knock at least a third off that so that brings it down to about 4.5 years max. The pussy pass will also mean that provocation is taken into account, so provocation will knock about half off again, bringing it to 2.25 years (after all, any woman would be severely provoked if a mere male partner did something without her permission). She may well claim that she was abused emotionally or financially by the deceased, that will be believed immediately without any need for evidence, and that will halve it again to 1.12 years. The judge will then reduce it a bit more to allow home detention, so my prediction is 9 months home detention. However, it may well be considerably less than that. After all, it’s only a male who is dead, she actually did the women of NZ a favour, award her a special ceremonial white ribbon for her sterling efforts.

    (that is how I interpret your post on that ocassion).
    That I take the same position and applied it to the man just found guilty of manslaughter, that this man is simply a murderer, and that provocation is not a defence, clearly differs from your current views.
    And yes, I know the circumstances on that case you responded to last year differ from this current case, but then so too, would the sceanrios you insist I answer.
    So i stand by my statement that your approach is reminiscent of the type of feminist approach we all decry on this site. The lengthy list you applied in your last response is nothing more that emotional balckmail designed to basically attack me, rather than enter into reasoned debate. You are simply reinforcing my view that not answering you for the reasons I have given, was the right decision for me on this ocassion.
    You will no doubt reply to further discredit me and my responses. Good on you. I will not reply any further on this topic in this thread. No doubt you will bring this all up whenever i post in other threads. Good on you. My ex use to get historical too, always bringing up the past. And for the record, I am entitled to my opinion, however shallow, and will continue to state it here as i see fit.
    I suspect you and I both, like most men here, seek to decry the gender injustices agsinst men. I think its better done on a consistent non-hypocritical way, and without simply and arbitrarily attacking fellow men.

  21. Luther Blissett says:

    Black Pete, I’m not sure why you are addressing your response to me.

  22. Black Pete says:

    roflmao and funny ha-ha.
    Not only have you (presumably you) changed the name under your original post #13 so that it is now from MOMA, then replied @ #16 under the name MOMA, with a direct link back (“You still haven’t answered my question”) to your earlier post. Then my response #19 (Ministry of Men’s Affairs (a.k.a. Luther Blissett)”) has been mysteriously edited to simply “To Ministry of Men’s Affairs)”. And now, back under the name Luther Blissett, you question why I am addressing you personally.
    Such manipulation to firstly ‘hide’ behind a generic MOMA (yes, I understand Hans Laven and possibly others use that title too), and then deny any earlier involvement (i.e. authorship post 13) is simply hilarious.
    My god! I must have imaged it all.
    btw, when you are signed into this site, and you change your user name, all past posts under your user name change with you.
    Now, it might actually be that someone else under the label MOMA has usurped your persona. ah well, thems the breaks.

  23. Black Pete says:

    The dishonesty of editing posts and then pleading ignorance, is belied by the power of Google.

    A simple search has already implanted your first post far and wide …

    Auckland Men’s Centre North Shore – MENZ Issues
    menz.org.nz/support/auckland-mens-centre-north-shore/‎
    Luther Blissett on Thursday, May 16: Black Pete (#12): Let me be the first to explicitly respond: Sorry, just because… black pete on Thursday, May 16: Let me be …

    More Dishonest Spin from Women’s Refuge at MENZ Issues
    menz.org.nz/2013/more-dishonest-spin-from-womens-refuge/‎
    May 4, 2013 – Luther Blissett on Thursday, May 16: Black Pete (#12): Let me be the first to explicitly respond: Sorry, just because… black pete on Thursday, …

    Changes to child support signed off. at MENZ Issues
    menz.org.nz/2013/changes-to-child-support-signed-off/‎
    Apr 9, 2013 – Revenue Minister Peter Dunne said the current system focused too …… May 16: Black Pete (#12): Let me be the first to explicitly respond: Sorry, …

    About MENZ – MENZ Issues
    menz.org.nz/about-menz/‎
    Luther Blissett on Thursday, May 16: Black Pete (#12): Let me be the first to explicitly respond: Sorry, just because… black pete on Thursday, May 16: Let me be …

    COSA – Casualties of Sexual Allegations – MENZ Issues
    menz.org.nz/cosa/‎
    Luther Blissett on Thursday, May 16: Black Pete (#12): Let me be the first to explicitly respond: Sorry, just because… black pete on Thursday, May 16: Let me be …

  24. Black Pete says:

    and again…

    MENZ Issues
    menz.org.nz/‎
    20 hours ago – A community group calling itself the Ministry of Men’s Affairs has …. Pete on Saturday, May 18: To Ministry of Men’s Affairs a.k.a. Luther Blisset.

    A Better Intervention to Reduce House Prices at MENZ Issues
    menz.org.nz/2013/a-better-intervention-to-reduce-house-prices/
    23 hours ago – A community group calling itself the Ministry of Men’s Affairs has … Pete on Saturday, May 18: To Ministry of Men’s Affairs a.k.a. Luther Blisset.

  25. Luther Blissett says:

    Black Pete (#25). Whatever gets you off. But the comments you were responding to came from the ministry of men’s affairs and it’s normal and appropriate to direct your responses to the poster to whom you are replying rather than to someone else.

  26. Bl;ack Pete says:

    That is impossible when the poster’s names are mysteriously changed. Google cache proves that to my satisfaction. Changing those details and then pleaading ignorance is simply dishonest. The very first post in response to anything I posted had a clear and direct link back to the first response underwhat was at that strage, Luther Blisset.
    There may or may not be a governance on how to post and reply in this site as determined by MOMA; I wasn’t aware this site was owned, run or moderated by MOMA.

  27. MurrayBacon says:

    It is easy to blame the teenager, but isn’t a large part of the responsibility resting on the parent’s shoulders? They were unable to care for their own child, yet the child was left in their care for many, many years. In these cases, the Government has to take responsibility, but it acted so late, that the damage was already done to the child.
    CYF spent $500k trying to help troubled teen
    The only way that children can be protected from parents that are unable to parent, is to set a clear standard for parents. If parents cannot meet that standard, then children would be immediately removed from their care.

    For example, if a couple split, then their skills would be tested individually, (where they had previously been tested together). This would be a much harder test to pass individually, than together. This would provide quite a strong incentive to poorly skilled parents to stay together, or at least to cooperate sufficiently, to avoid losing their children altogether. This proactive type of child protection, is the only way that babies and children can be protected from emotionally neglecting or abusive parents.

  28. Luther Blissett says:

    Murray (#28): I don’t share your confidence in the state or ‘experts’ to know how best to parent or to be able to judge which fellow humans should be given the right to raise their children, except in the most extreme situations that would not need any parent licencing test. I also don’t share your enthusiasm for allowing the state to further traumatize troubled children by ripping them from the only biological parents they will ever have.

  29. MurrayBacon says:

    Dear Luther, my comment above is brief. My submission gives more detail.

    In particular, I am advocating more social supports to parents to reduce risk of removal, some parenting skills training in schools and some indication about parenting skills to be given in schools. This would warn people of possible problems, before they have had children and thus possibly to influence their decision about having children if that was contraindicated. I seek to avoid the need for child removal as far as possible, but when such decisions need to be made, then shying away or delaying only increases the child’s suffering.

    I share your concern about CYFs staff skills, for the present decision environment. Judging how much to let children be damaged before removal, is an unethical and impossible to make decisions exercise. Only by proactive removal, can children be sensibly protected from damage. Driving a car is licensed and tested, due to the risks of injury. Neglectful parenting causes injuries that take far longer to heal and are more painful too. Just look at the suicide rates for neglected children.

    Child removal doesn’t have to cutoff the relationship with the parents. Certainly many parents see it that way. CYFs are required by legislation to support as far as possible the relationship with the parents. This doesn’t mean that all social workers and judges do this. Also, many parents find contact very painful and they may drift off and give up on contact.

    The important issue is to understand the child’s developmental and social needs and to meet them, while providing a sensible level of protection. Some social workers and judges underestimate children’s needs for a continued relationship with family, especially fathers. They are more concerned about the risk of media exposure, in something like a Baby P (UK) case.

    We presently allow children to be removed from family home unilaterally by one parent. As well as starting an intense adversarial dispute, this is also often the point where the children are at much more risk of injury or neglect. Requiring a parenting plan to be submitted and competently checked before removal, would provide a much higher level of protection for the children. (At present, the parenting plan is only rubber stamped, to get the divorce. It isn’t checked competently and given at least 2 years separation to get the divorce, the rubber stamp checking is at least 2 years too late to protect the children!)

    Cheers, Murray.

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