New Zealand judge sentences mosque shooter to life without parole for ‘wicked’ crimes

A New Zealand judge sentenced white supremacist Brenton Tarrant to life in prison without parole on Thursday for killing 51 Muslim worshippers in the country’s deadliest shooting, saying the sentence was not enough punishment for the “wicked” crimes.

It was the first time a court in New Zealand had sentenced a person to prison for the rest of their life.

Tarrant, a 29-year-old Australian, admitted to 51 charges of murder, 40 counts of attempted murder and one charge of committing a terrorist act during the 2019 shooting rampage at two Christchurch mosques which he livestreamed on Facebook.

High Court Judge Cameron Mander said in Christchurch on Thursday that a finite term would not be sufficient.

“Your crimes, however, are so wicked that even if you are detained until you die it will not exhaust the requirements of punishment and denunciation,” said Mander in handing down the sentence.

“As far as I am able to gauge, you are empty of any empathy for your victims,” he said.

The judge asked Tarrant before handing down the sentence if he had any comment. Dressed in grey prison clothes and surrounded by guards, Tarrant nodded when asked if he was aware he had the right to make submissons, but he did not speak.