“Victim accomplished” Bailey Kurariki: [no] life in a glass-walled cage

March 27, 2010

The angel faced 12 year old was the image that the media highlighted, which meant that Bailey Junior received a much greater punishment than those who were far more culpable for their actions than he who pretended to be the customer when Michael Choy arrived. I am not minimising his involvement – he was part of a group that predetermined to rob a delivery person and he played a role in that – but despite all the coverage, he did not kill Michael Choy.

Lianne Dalziel, “What will turn the tide?

[Update]I added that epigraph this morning after reading Dalziel’s speech to the Restorative Justice Practitioners’ 2010 Conference.

The media attention “lavished” on Bailey Junior Kurariki this week is possibly driving the young man mad. A round of court appearancesfresh charges and more lurid headlines is probably the last thing Kurariki needs right now.

Not that any of those reasons will prevent the media circus from continuing around this most [in]famous of young men.

The Junior Kurariki “brand” is also deadly to his chances of ever living a normal life: “New Zealand’s youngest convicted murderer killer”; the “baby-faced killer”. [tx Tim Selwyn for pointing that out]

That was then, this is now, but even that realisation doesn’t stop the news media from effortlessly [ie: without the effort of thinking through the consequences] reeling off these “pop shot” expressions every time there’s any reason to mention his name in relation to a story.

Obviously Kurariki’s no saint – he participated in a the brutal murder killing of 40-year-old pizza delivery guy, Michael Choy, when he was 11 or 12.  Kurariki’s role was to act as a decoy and give the signal for others to attack Choy; he did not deliver the fatal blow. [Updated Sunday morning]

he’s Kurariki’s been in and out of minor trouble ever since his release from jail in 2008 – but he’s not been given a chance to readjust to life outside either. He was something like 12 or 13 when he went to jail and nearly 20 when he came out.

Think about that for a moment.

He missed out on a whole bunch of shit that any “normal” young boy would go through in those vital teen years. He went from childhood to adulthood in the crazy-making artificial fishbowl world of 24/7 surveillance; huge restrictions on his every waking moment and in an environment that bears no relation at all to the “real” world.

In other words, Bailey Junior Kurariki learned to be a man under totally un-natural and irrational conditions. Is there any real wonder that today he displays behaviours that are considered un-natural and irrational? Read the rest of this entry »

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Marty on The Wire

May 20, 2008

I was asked to comment on the bFM current affairs programme The Wire on the Herald on Sunday’s front page exclusive about Bailey Kurariki’s “lavish lifestyle” and my blog comments on the Qantas Media Awards. I was hoping to embed an audio player here, but I”m not yet tech-savvy enough to do this. So if you want to listen in, you’ll have to click the link below.

On The Wire, talking to Tim Neale about the Bailey Kurariki “lavish lifestyle” story


A Qantas winner, but still overcooking the eggs

May 18, 2008

I wrote last week about the 2008 Qantas Media Awards, suggesting that the surpreme winner – APN’s Herald on Sunday – might take the biscuit for circulation and zippy tabloid headlines, but that it also took the editor’s egg-beater to some stories in the chase for circulation. Well, I’m happy to say, my point’s been proved this week. A front page story about the “lavish” lifestyle of recently released 19-year-old Bailey Kurariki. Read the rest of this entry »