Tuesday, January 19, 2016

To Name or Not To Name; That is the Question.

 A well known New Zealand actor is facing four charges of sexual assault in the Auckland District Court, for incidents which took place from 2010 to 2013.  The 45-year-old has been granted interim name suppression and the judge has rejected media requests to photograph the accused.  A second hearing has been scheduled for next week to argue the issue, where the Crown intends to oppose continued name suppression.  That's all the information I have on this case at this time, but that's not all I have to say about it.

The reason I am blogging about this is because there is a history around this issue of famous people getting name suppression in the New Zealand courts, including a number of cases of well-known individuals being granted permanent name suppression.  And, here in NZ, permanent means permanent, even if the person is found guilty of the charges and convicted.  Meanwhile, the names of non-famous people, whether they are just facing charges or have already been convicted, are given to the media All. The. Time.  There's a definite pattern of one rule for the rich and famous, and a different rule for the rest of us working stiffs, and that is not how a fair justice system is supposed to work.

I don't know the identity of the actor being charged in this case, and I would not break name suppression if I did know it, because look what happened to Whale Oil when he tried that trick.  I would not look good in prison sweats.  But, what I will do is continue to push for fairness in our justice system.  If a person gets name suppression, it should be for good reasons, to protect them, their families, or their victims (especially the victims), not just because they're famous.  Come on New Zealand judiciary, do the right thing!

Kiwi Actor Facing Sex Charges: Stuff
Auckland Actor Takes Case to Court: NZ Herald

I also wanted to include a link to Peter Jackson's Facebook rant on Making a Murderer.  Yes, that's Peter "Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit" Jackson I'm talking about.  What you might not know about Mr Jackson is that back in 2012, he co-produced a documentary on the wrongful convictions of the West Memphis Three, so this is a subject that he is very familiar with.  If you haven't seen Making a Murderer, you should definately head over to Netflix and check it out.  Binge watch all 10 episodes, cos if you don't, you're a pussy. Sleep is for the weak!

Peter Jackson on Making a Murderer

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