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We Need To Move On From Vengeance

20 May 2008


We Need To Move On From Vengeance

"The Herald on Sunday's article 'Paroled killer's lavish new life,' once again highlights our inability as a society to move beyond responding to offenders with vengeance. Bailey Kurariki has done his time inside and has now been released to home detention. Such a move could be the making of him. It is in the interests of all of us that this time is used to make his re-integration into society as smooth and effective as possible. Articles like this one don't help," says Greg Fleming, Maxim Institute's CEO.

"One man dead, another a killer. Grief over everything involved with this case should be palpable. The awful reality is that one family lost a dearly loved son, whose life can never be recovered. But another son was so damaged that he thought killing to be acceptable. What must have gone wrong in his life for him to get to that place?"

"We have only two choices: to give up and surrender many people to the criminal world, accepting that they will wreak havoc in New Zealand, or to believe that people can and do change. If we choose the latter we can not do so half-heartedly, we must be able to say we did everything in our power to help Bailey Kurariki turn his life around, otherwise there is no hope. How shallow have our lives become if we no longer believe that change is possible?"

"In some countries a cell phone, a pair of shoes and a birthday cake might be considered 'lavish,' but in most communities in this country they are considered the norm. Trying to incite public anger against Bailey for taking part in a "normal life" is simply irresponsible, especially when public safety is riding on him becoming a functioning member of our society," argues Mr Fleming.

"The safety of our community depends on us facing up to the challenge of how to deal well and wisely with people who have done terrible things, in part so they don't do them again. The re-integration of offenders into society is one of the biggest issues we must face and if we don't do it with hope and effort, rather than anger and outrage, our society will be more dangerous for it," says Mr Fleming.

ENDS

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