Tuesday, 15 September 2009

clayton weatherston's sentence

so clayton weatherston's been sentenced to life imprisonment, with a non-parole period of 18 years.

i'm not entirely sure how i feel about this. on the one hand, i'm really glad that the judge has recognised the callous, pre-meditated nature of this crime, and has not mitigated for the provocation defence used at trial. that's good.

on the other hand, in a more global sense, i'm not that into justice policy that locks people away for long periods of time with them doing nothing much productive. i hope that mr weatherston does get some serious help in prison that will enable him to take full responsibility for what he has done. i hope that he can figure out ways to contribute to society, because i don't believe that there is anyone in this world that has nothing to give. in 18 (or however many) years time, when he gets out, i'm hoping he has a life to come back to, which will reduce his chances of reoffending.

but somehow, in our current system and culture, i don't think much of that is going to happen.

8 comments:

Brett Dale said...

Because of the nature of his crime, I wished he had of been kept away from the public for the rest of his life, not just 18 years.

I don't think he could ever be productive, and public safety should come first.

Boganette said...

I don't have a great deal to say about the sentence. The amount of time he spends in jail doesn't matter. To me it's about whether or not he's able to be rehabilitated and whether or not he will have access to the services he needs to rehabilitate himself.

This "reporting" from The Press made me want to bash my head against my desk though:

"The sentence equates to one month for each of the 216 wounds he inflicted on the Dunedin woman."

What the fuck??!! Is that not the most repulsive fucking reporting you've ever seen in your life? What the Hell would make a journalist actually work that out let alone actually put it in the article.

Anonymous said...

My view has been rehabilitate as far as possible, but as long as the person remains a threat he should be separated from wider society. That could be 2 years, 18 years or a lifetime. Not a big fan of exacting revenge on people by imprisoning them which is what we currently do (and what Brett Dale above supports).

Aside, I came across this page earlier today. Prison productivity.

Anonymous said...

He was lucky in my opinion. I actually thought that he would get at least 20. Personally I think he is right up there with Graeme Burton and William Bell as one of our most notorius killers, and I doubt that he is all that capable of being rehabilitated.

The fact of the matter is, that Sophie was a lovely young woman who clearly touched everyone she met, she had the world at her feet and was ready to take it on. Clayton Wheatherston clearly had every intention to kill her (or at least maim her) when he went to her house that afternoon, quite simply, if he couldnt have her, no one could.

Millsy

Anonymous said...

It isn't long enough, but if you want him to do something for society I suggest either a work camp or his organs used for transplants for the poor and needy.

He is a nasty piece of work and he is lucky he lives in soft touch New Zealand.

octopusgrrl said...

Boganette: agreed, that was particularly vile, and unfortunately repeated on the TV3 news at 6 (mind you, these are the same people that described David Bain as "the paperboy who delivered death" *sigh*)

I guess I also feel a bit mixed when it comes to Weatherston's sentence. It seems like a lot of the vehemence of people's reactions to the crime comes from some assessment of Sophie Elliot's "value" - yes, she was lovely and intellgent and had a great future, but there are plenty of other victims of equally horrific crimes that are forgotten or overlooked, and their killers receive comparatively lenient sentences. These people also had great value to their family, friends and community but unfortunately aren't as high-profile or their murderers as notorious, and that kinda upsets me.

Hugh said...

Octopusgrrl - so, so agreed.

Brett Dale said...

Yes, if you stab someone 216 times, kill them and then mutilate their corpse, I don't think you have the right to freedom.