Island Life by David Slack

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Island Life: The Guilt of Clayton Weatherston

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  • Joe Wylie,

    The judgement of the court in that case speaks far louder and longer than any missives and lies issued from a murderer's lips.

    I hope you're right, though I'm not sure that it fully healed the damage done by the awful drawn-out farce that preceded the verdict.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    To cite that case in the quest to remove the plea could only ever lend creedence, value and weight to the murderer's version. provocation wasn't an issue in the Bain trial and yet we saw worse posthumous damage inflicted on the victims.... and so....Personally I just feel that the courts have spoken and they got it right.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    I hope you're right

    So do I Joe. It was a totally fucked up situation. and if anything the case did raise the issue for me as to what constitutes a mutually healthy relationship and when is it best to just walk away.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Bruce Thorpe,

    Tv in courtrooms?

    Yes.

    Did I walk away from TV news more often than ever before?

    Yes.

    Now the public know how such trials are conducted will things change?

    Inevitably.


    Does this mean many legal taboos are being challenged?


    Sure does.

    Let the light shine in.

    Hokianga • Since May 2007 • 52 posts Report Reply

  • webweaver,

    His world-view is so skewed that he clearly doesn't see the world and his place in it the same way that the rest of us do. And for that reason he felt that if he explained it all to us (his intellectual inferiors) we might get a glimpse of why what he did was right.

    I think he takes something of a Nietzschean(?) view of the world - Clayton Weatherstone as superman; the rest of us as lower forms of life.

    Are you thinking of a Dostoyevskian world view, Stewart? This trial and Weatherston's self-justifications reminded me of Crime and Punishment's Raskolnikov on more than one occasion.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 332 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    This trial and Weatherston's self-justifications reminded me of Crime and Punishment's Raskolnikov on more than one occasion.

    Now that you've brought that up, I'm reminded of that old Dostoyevsky-fancier Howard DeVoto's song, Philadelphia:

    I'd've been Raskolnikov
    But mother nature ripped me off

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Andrew,

    What if we don't like either option, Stewart? Perhaps we'd like to watch the evening news without being dragged into a dungeon and recounted the horrors of a brutal murder, day after day after day.

    As someone else said - the TV coverage is ratings driven. If people don't watch it, ratings drop, ad $$ fall, TV gets the message, things change.
    If people insist on watching it so they'll have something to rail against, ratings don't drop, nothing changes.

    Of course it makes no difference whether the switch is on or off if you don't have a Neilsen box in your lounge, so you're left with letters to the editor, the channel and the BSA.

    Hamiltron - City of the F… • Since Nov 2006 • 900 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    I have a tv set: I subscribe to Sky (it's the only way I can get MaoriTv.)
    I almost NEVER watch tv news - I go to the net, and check out stuff I want to read/learn/view there.

    And, there *is* always an off switch if you dont have these alternatives. I think most viewers agree much of commercial tv is shit- there is no longer a tv licence fee, so why the moaning?

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Margaret,

    But has her name actually been smeared? I mean, does anyone here actually think she's a provocative slut who deserved to be murdered?

    Everyone I've talked to about this seems to have horrified by Weatherston's claims about Elliot and seen right through them.

    I'm sure this is true for the vast majority of people but someone at work did come out with the old "I'm not saying she deserved it, but...." line.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2007 • 15 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    Nice to see you Islander, where have you been? Not jury duty I hope. Seems you were 100% right about this one. missed you.

    "I'm not saying she deserved it, but...." line.

    check his/her bag for lunch knife.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Prince,

    The Criminal Procedures (Mentally Impaired Persons) Act 2003 is what you're looking for.

    Is the person fit to plead? Do they understand the charges? If not then they may end up in hospital.

    If fit to plead then they face trial.

    If acquitted due to insanity they would then be placed in hospital (as opposed to prison) until such time as they were no longer insane. This is where it gets tricky; a person could be found not guilty by reason of insanity, be hospitalised, become well and be discharged into the community. They may not be a risk but it doesn't help the victim's family...

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2008 • 12 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    I also bumped into Otago's dean of law, Prof. Mark Henagan and had a good yarn to him about the case. He expects Weatherston will get at least 20 years.

    It's nice to know that a learned legal mind has similar expectations to my own. Looking at past sentencing I've been predicting about 20. The Lundy case is about the closest we've got in terms of violence portrayed, and from memory he got 21 years. With a starting point of 17 years, and absolutely no mitigating factors, just aggravating ones - no guilty plea, no remorse, mutilation as well as murder, etc - I'll be stunned if it's under 20. Might even get 21, though I would imagine that would be appealed and possibly overturned.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Logan O'Callahan,

    For the debate over the "provocation defence": The maximum sentence for manslaughter is the same as for murder.

    For those who think a defence lawyer should always go as hard as possible: Weatherspoon will get a longer sentence having run this defence, and run it the way he did, and failed, than if he had plead guilty to murder and feigned remorse and only raised all of this garbage in sentencing.

    I will be interested to see what sentence the Hungarian gets.

    Since Apr 2008 • 70 posts Report Reply

  • Rachel Prosser,

    I think the key thing here is choice. Do we have a reasonable expectation that we should be able to consume news without hearing every gory detail?

    Somehow its the gratuitous nature of the reporting that gets to me. It's the fact that news has become "reality tv", and overdramatised, and yes it's about ratings, and what sells advertising, and what makes those adverts effective (having been horrified by the news, the advertising offers us comfort - buy my product and feel better about the world).

    Christchurch • Since Mar 2008 • 228 posts Report Reply

  • Rachel Prosser,

    Also, interesting article in the Times on Mary Lamb, who spent time in an asylum after murdering her parents, was released into her brother's care and was home quite soon after.

    http://twurl.nl/6mbcov

    Christchurch • Since Mar 2008 • 228 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Meanwhile, I do hope all the people outraged by what the Elliot family went through during the trial are going to be writing to TVNZ and asking why Close Up didn't just leave them alone. (Didn't have the heart to surf over to Three, but my heart hurts watch John Campbell working at 2% of his potential.)

    OTOH, Close Up gets kudos for absolving me of any obligation to take "criminal psychologist" Nigel Latta -- who just happens to have a show to cross-promote under the guise of news when he's a parenting expert. Don't know about anyone else, but I found this running the gamut from Asinine to Banal. You have to be seriously fucked up to stab and slash another human being over two hundred times? Fancy...

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    For those who think a defence lawyer should always go as hard as possible: Weatherspoon will get a longer sentence having run this defence, and run it the way he did, and failed, than if he had plead guilty to murder and feigned remorse and only raised all of this garbage in sentencing.

    That's really good to know. thanks for posting that Logan.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • James Green,

    The point I wanted to make by mentioning Colin Bouwer by name and link before was that he only got 13 years non parole. For cold, calculated, premeditated murder. And sure he didn't mutilate his wife's body, but he made her thoroughly ill and go through unnecessary surgery along the way.

    Oh wait. Just found the Sentencing Act 2002. He would have been up for at least 17 (lengthy planning), but was convicted in 2001.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 703 posts Report Reply

  • webweaver,

    What's the maximum sentence that can be imposed for murder? What's the maximum non-parole time? I did a quick google but couldn't find the answer.

    I did find out that William Bell got the longest sentence ever in NZ - life in prison with a 30 year non-parole period, Mark Burton got life with a minimum non-parole period of 26 years which is the third longest sentence ever, and that in most cases where the sentence is over two years, a person can be considered for parole after they have served one-third of their sentence. Only one-third! Crikey!

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 332 posts Report Reply

  • webweaver,

    oopsie - that should of course read Graeme Burton, not Mark...

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 332 posts Report Reply

  • dc_red,

    glad for the verdict, but that doesn't mean we should give him some extra sentence specifically for being a complete jerk.

    There's surely little doubt he'll get some extra punishment (perhaps enough even to satisfy the KB/Facebook crowd) where he's headed.

    I'd almost stopped checking the NZ Herald site for the last two weeks because the defence "case" was always headlining.

    Oil Patch, Alberta • Since Nov 2006 • 706 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Meanwhile, could the papers (and the rest of the media) stop posturing about the appealing trauma Sophie Elliot's family went through while you've got her parents performing like dancing grief monkeys, and you still can't stop yourself publishing every salacious titbit you can dig up?

    Perhaps we can have an in-depth feature on people who suffer from dissociative disorders that allow them to compartmentalise and rationalise distasteful behaviour.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    What's the maximum sentence that can be imposed for murder?

    Murder carries a mandatory life sentence, meaning anyone convicted of murder can be held in prison until the day they die. The 30 year and 26 year non parole sentences are there to make us feel better. I can't see Graham Burton or William Bell convincing a parole hearing that they are fit for release, ever. However, If Graham Burton looses more body parts, he might argue that he's unfit enough the be safely put out to pasture. I believe William Bell has lost an eye.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4414 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    Perhaps we can have an in-depth feature on people who suffer from dissociative disorders that allow them to compartmentalise and rationalise distasteful behaviour.

    I would contribute to that.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4414 posts Report Reply

  • Martin Lindberg,

    Perhaps we can have an in-depth feature on people who suffer from dissociative disorders that allow them to compartmentalise and rationalise distasteful behaviour.

    I'm sure we'll see one in this weekend's Herald on Sunday.

    Stockholm • Since Jul 2009 • 802 posts Report Reply

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