Christchurch Shooting - Our Plea to the Courts

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We have all been deeply saddened by the hateful acts in our city, our thoughts are with the victims, their families, the police and medical staff. The outpouring of support and love in the city, the country and worldwide has been heartening to see.

In parallel to this healing, however, is a judicial process. I ask that you and your colleagues take every step to ensure zero opportunity for this to be further leveraged by those sympathetic to these abhorrent views. It cannot in any way become a platform with 1000 cameras. Please show us how the judicial system can shut down these views and not amplify them.

He should not take any satisfaction in this process as he has clearly signalled to do. He should face an empty courtroom, closed to the public, with just victims and family members who wish to attend. Media should view proceedings by video link.

The media have already breached my trust in printing an inappropriate photograph from your courtroom. His supporters are laughing. The media are now his megaphone, and while some media may report responsibly, others, accidentally or intentionally will not. The court needs to control this, please do not rely on the pledges from a small section of the media.

There should be no photography of the accused in court published. There should be no video or audio of the accused in court published. Please ensure only the minimum information to provide the public with a fair and accurate record of proceedings will be published.

I don’t know the law under which you must operate but these are exceptional times. Please show us how the judicial system can keep pace with the wishes of the society in which it operates.

Thank you,

Kia Kaha Christchurch


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