John Hansen - Asshole of the Week | The Jackal

26 May 2012

John Hansen - Asshole of the Week

Yesterday, Stuff reported:

Prison sentences handed down to "Urewera Four" members Tame Iti and Te Rangikaiwhiria Kemara are "completely over the top", leaders of central North Island iwi Ngati Manawa say.

Iti and Kemara, along with Urs Signer and Emily Bailey, were found guilty of unlawful possession of military-style firearms and Molotov cocktails at training camps held in the Urewera Ranges in 2006 and 2007.

Iti and Kemara were sentenced to 2-1/2 years jail and Signer and Bailey had their sentences adjourned but home detention was signalled when they appeared in the High Court at Auckland yesterday.

Justice Hansen said that despite a "Dad's Army" aspect to the camps, their intent was serious.

"As I view the evidence, in effect, a private militia was being established. Whatever the justification, that is a frightening prospect in our society, undermining of our democratic institutions and anathema to our way of life."

Justice Hansen said there was no excuse for criminal offending even when a group had "altruistic motives".

He said in different circumstances the four would likely have faced five to six years in prison.

"But I regard it as highly relevant that the offending was not gang-related or associated with what I might call 'conventional' avenues of criminal activity. On the contrary, it occurred in pursuit of a worthy ideal and, perhaps most significantly, involved only a remote risk that it would lead to crimes of violence."

This is a complete travesty of justice. Not only has Hansen handed down prison sentences that are unprecedented in such cases, he has sidelined the juries decision and incorporated evidence that was previously ruled inadmissible.

But if that wasn't bad enough, he dismissed evidence presented by defence lawyers for no apparent reason other than he didn't like it. Hansen has obviously based his callous decision on police propaganda and relied on the inordinate argument of crown prosecutors, which has been proven to be a complete farce!

While the dog whistle of terrorism reverberates around the empty skulls of racist bigots, a judge is meant to be free from such prejudices. Justice Hansen is obviously not, and for that he is most assuredly an asshole! Hansen should not be in a position to decide the fate of others.