This Court of Appeal judgement quashed the life sentences of three teenage murderers and replaced them with finite sentences and shorter non-parole periods.
Life imprisonment with 10-year minimum before parole has long been the standard, least severe sentence for murder. It’s clear from media reports that most men who murder receive longer non-parole periods than 10 years while that’s rare for female murderers.
In this case, the Appeal Court decided it had been ‘manifestly unjust’ (as per the Sentencing Act 2002) to have sentenced these appellants to life imprisonment due in part to their neurological immaturity at their age, yet the Court claimed it had not created an exception to the presumption of life imprisonment for all youth murderers.
One of the murders involved both a female (16yo) and male (19yo) offender who appealed (and at least one other male who didn’t appeal), while the other murder was committed by one sole female offender (18yo). All the appellants had problematic childhoods, the male also being mildly intellectually disabled. The male received the largest reduction in sentence to 12 years finite with 6 years minimum. The 18yo female was resentenced to 13 years finite with 7 years minimum, while the 16yo female was resentenced to 15 years finite with 7.5 years minimum.
Despite the male appellant receiving the largest reduction in sentence, likely due to his intellectual limitations and extremely disrupted childhood, it seems more than coincidence that both of the successfully appealed murders involved female offenders. We doubt that the Court’s decision would have been the same if it had been only one or more males who appealed. For example, an appeal against life imprisonment with 12 years minimum by a 17yo male murderer with brain impairment due to Foetal Alcohol Syndrome, was previously thrown out by the Court of Appeal. Without a female co-offender seeking more sympathetic treatment, males appear to be wasting their time in seeking compassion.
We believe this judgement is mainly another case of the ‘female pass’ when it comes to justice. Sympathy and caring towards females much more so than males continues to characterize our laws, law-enforcement, Courts and Corrections systems. Given that both of the murders involved female appellants whom the Appeal Court saw as lacking full adult culpability, that Court would show duplicity if it had not also shown the same consideration towards the male applicant. The Court’s attempt to prevent its judgement from being a general precedent meant that other teenage male murderers cannot expect to receive the same compassion on appeal, while the normal compassion towards females will be facilitated.
The reference to ‘neurological immaturity’ due to age was interesting. Boys develop cognitively more slowly than females, especially in the pre-frontal cortex of the brain known as the ‘executive brain’ largely responsible for human abilities such as insight, reasoning, foresight regarding consequences and containment of emotional and instinctual responses. If neurological immaturity is to be taken into account in sentencing, we can expect males up to their late 20s (when their pre-frontal cortical development catches up to females) will routinely receive less severe sentences than females for similar crimes. Yeah right, check out your window to see if any pigs are flying by.
The Ministry of Men’s Affairs (a community group) is not necessarily objecting to the Appeal Court’s compassion towards offenders in this case, nor is it offering any opinion about how murderers or other offenders should be dealt with beyond gender equality.
I read an article, on the same case.
Being media, it didn’t question gendered outcomes.
It strongly argued, it was simply about there age.
I had similar ideas, as the posts 2nd to last paragraph.
Personally I don’t like the argument, used as an excuse.
Because children intellectually, are not stupid creatures.
They can learn to read by six, even work smartphones.
So for every crime or act, are we creating a number.
Children then will be smart enough, to get away with it.
At what age questioned, can a human grasp a concept.
At what age is normal, to understand murder is wrong.
Where is this start line, drawing the line of being a child.
The tittle of the post uses the term, teen.
It is actually a coincidence, from our description of numbers.
So we can’t trust it as being the actual age, however we judge it.
With thirteen the beginning, when it’s no longer a child.
Everything from puberty to schooling, changes at this age.
It also ends at nineteen, about when adulthood begins.
Maybe it’s not punishment, of a child or adult.
But better, with three or more sets of rules.
The woman have decided, no school tomorrow.
I doubt my kids are at risk, but decisions are made.
The world is going mad, violence is glorifying.
Somehow those involved, get a thrill.
Watched to many videos of fighting, combined with ego.
A sense of belonging, even if it’s not a real thing.
Hopefully it’s fantasy, and nothing happens.
What is this culture, an underbelly in society.
Groups and gangs, boy racing and contempt for law.
New to humans, the hyper socially connected teen.
Us older generations, have no idea what’s happening.
This case could be, a controversial case.
Not a teenager killing, but you can imagine it happening.
For a start with there is no body, a teenager would lack the planing.
These are crown arguments, not defence arguments.
Why does that happen, why murder the woman’s new partner.
For example why is the former partner, not the victim.
His sense of betrayal, more about his friend.
Where does the decision come from, that murder is justified.
In the past, there was laws on provocation as an example.
The perceived offence to his honour, reason for the murder.
Men no longer, can use the defence.
Why is it not easy, to find out a friend slept with your wife.
Murders for that reason, are all throughout history.
Why does male jealousy, cause the desire to kill.
I highly suspect, the subject of evolution.
Controlling sex, to control paternity and disease.
Jealousy like the caveman, simply fighting off competition.
I watched a pro fight, resulting in a death.
Nothing special happened, just a punch.
I went to PNBHS, I was in the boxing competitions.
In one fight I lost, I didn’t feel well afterwards.
Don’t know if they still do it, in this modern age.
Back in the day, Boys High vs QEC was a thing.
A level of rivalry existed, with an occasional event.
I lost my virginity to one of there students, today it’s the same.
Maybe technology increases, normal rivalries.
Or we exaggerate more, like the events are exaggerated.
We think we have more, but we don’t.
I do think technology, needs urgent study.
How is it affecting violence, is violence increasing.
Is my age group more violent, than this generation.
Are children more violent, than my generation.
Politicians can make myths, if we don’t have studies.
How is this affecting DV, are odds of offending increasing.
The human animal, outputting results of its environment.