Would Nash ever say such things regarding for female offenders who committed crimes as bad or worse than Phillip Smith did? Of course not.
It’s concerning that the 2nd largest party in NZ (hopefully not for too much longer) has a police spokesperson with such an appallingly faulty understanding of the rights of offenders and ever thought it was ok to spout such hate speech concerning a male prisoner. The fact is that prisoners only lose the rights that our law decides they lose. A prisoner still has every other right. The right to freedom, the right to choose lifestyle and accommodation, the right to free speech and the right to vote are some of the rights prisoners are deprived of under law. The right to food, shelter, safety, lawful treatment and medical assistance are among the rights that prisoners maintain, and the High Court has just affirmed that it’s not legal to remove totally freedom of expression from prisoners and that any curtailment of that right needs to be justified on sufficient grounds, not be arbitrary.
We share disgust for Smith’s offending and it would have been fine for Nash to express disgust. We might or might not support harsher punishment or the death penalty but would do so through proper processes towards law change. However, it was unacceptable for a state-paid Labour police spokesperson and other MPs to use hate speech terms such as ‘monster’ and ‘creature’ that dehumanize a prisoner over whom the state has almost total power and for whom the state is responsible to treat with proper care and dignity under UN agreements and basic moral decency. Nash went even further in encouraging serious violent crime against a prisoner. He has ‘admitted he went too far’ but that doesn’t change the fact he did it. He should now face charges related to Harmful Digital Communications and Inciting a Criminal Offence. Will he? Probably not, after all the victim was only a male.