Skip to Content »

Preventive detention is a scam: Let the courts do justice.

  • April 2nd, 2007

When Burton is sentenced tomorrow New Zealand justice should be ashamed. In Britain and New South Wales the judges could say “you will remain in prison until you die”.

In New Zealand no judge can say that. They could have and did, here, until the loopy “justice as therapy for the criminal” theorists took control.

Preventive detention gives the discretion back into the same effete hands that let Burton out to commit his second unprovoked murder.

 Lawyers who value liberty should be  uneasy about preventive detention. It removes the safeguard of court  neutrality in applying the law and gives the sentencing discretion to state officials. The unique boast of our legal system was that no  individual’s  liberty  was  at the whim of  politicians (or officials  who must follow their orders). They could be acting for many reasons other than justice.

Worse, it is a consolation prize  –  intended to distract the dumb punters so despised by the justice establishment. Instead of getting justice as the result of the trial,  we are told,  “leave it to us”, trust us, we will see that he is adequately punished “, and we will keep you safe.  Yeah right. 

In reality the anointed want to head off any risk that the courts will give sentence that the crime deserves. They want to have the discretion to let these beasts out earlier than anyone would accept at the end of the trial, while the hurt and loss of the crime is fresh.

For practical purposes, the preventive detention law passed (over my objections in 2002) falls short of  delivering justice because:

  • Burton should know, his victims’ families should know, every criminal minded to admire his “staunch” behaviour, and everyone else should know, that for certain that he will die in prison. NSW and British judges can once again deliver that message.
  •  There are some crimes and people so evil that justice requires that unequivocal message –  a sentence that the murderer will never be released. Our judges could, once, and should be able to again.
  • a preventive detention sentence delivers the power back to the same people who have just applied their loopy theories and failed. They will try to let him out again because they do not believe in punishment – they believe in “therapeutic justice” that isthe purpose of the system is to cure a sickness in the criminal.
  • that multiplies the victims’ suffering many times over the years. 10 or 15 years down the track the victims will have to decide whether to try to prevent his release. The law means that they can only do so by arguing to the Parole Board that it is a public safety issue. Victims should be able to say, quite simply, that it is a justice issue. Why should he be  en joying freedom, no doubt with the state’s bountiful support, while Karl can never en joy anything again. 
  • Worse, a change in the Bill before the government right now will allow the Parole Board to decide not to hear from them if they think it is not related to safety.  Sensible Sentencing has been with many victims at these hearings. The existing limits on what the Board can listen to are disgraceful. The current changes will make it worse. The Parole Board should have the power to deny release simply because it would offend justice. 
  • If the victims decide to try to leave the whole affair behind them by not protesting at a looming parole, they will feel disloyal to Karl. Meanwhile Burton will be being carefully cosseted, readied for release, to renew his life, while they can never again spend time with their son, partner, father etc.
  • All cultures and peoples have a tradition of punishment to redress the balance, to ensure that offenders can not count on being left better off by and after their crime than the people they have wronged, but the “therapeutic” theory has ruled in NZ for 30 years. The establishment know better. They hate the idea of punishment as denunciation and levelling the scales. They persist in seeing it as “treatment for the benefit of the offender”.
  • It is outrageous that tomorrow none of Burton‘s latest victims, or his earlier victims have any right to tell the court what should happen to him. Instead their victim impact statements are strictly confined to reinforcing their position as “losers”. They are entitled only to whine about what has happened to them.  
  • Burton‘s lawyer and family can come and tell the court what they think should happen but not his victims. Victims  should have exactly the same right to tell the court what they think should happen as the criminal and his lawyers and whanau.

There is no reason to apologise for wanting punishment that ensures a price for crime equal to harm of the crime.


  • Carla
  • December 24th, 2008
  • 12:38 pm

What IS IT with these New Zealand Burtons?
Gossy [Josephone] Burton got off a murder charge by casting the blame on someone else and making sure the innocent person went down instead.
This mongrel needs to be locked up forever.
She needs to be brought to justice too. Its a mockery when innocent people are condemned on a lie and the murderer protected by State. Must be a reason. I can hazard a simple guess.

  • trreeb
  • November 15th, 2010
  • 1:48 am

I like him . i think obama is one of best president of america .
<a href="">เพลงฮิตประจําสัปดาห์</a&gt;

  • Framed
  • April 25th, 2011
  • 6:36 pm

As someone who was framed by Burton, I am far from happy with the absence of justice in both Australian and New Zealand.
On a day like today when former Australian Prime Minister, and Foreign Minister, Kevin Rudd said that Australians (and New Zealanders) stand for freedom and giving a person a go, it seems almost hypocritical that, in the absence of justice, murderers go free, innocent persons such as myself are condemned and what is far worse – if, indeed there is anything worse than being framed – is that Government and Society sweep true values under the carpet, paying lip service instead, to freedom and justice thus making a mockery of our laws as set down by our forefathers in both Australia and New Zealand. Further to which, innocent persons are subject to open and ongoing abuses and abandoned – a sure sign that, in the long run, regardless of every effort to withstand evil, it seems almost inevitable that the old cliche, kick a dog long enough, and it will rip your head off…' since there is only so much a human can endure.
As one former police officer said, 'What bothers me is not that you have been wrongly convicted….but that THE KILLER IS STILL OUT THERE, WALKING OUR STREETS…' (because the system was corrupt, and those who were hand in hand found they were better off letting the guilty go free.
What happens when an innocent wo/man is condemned?
No-one but an innocent person condemned knows and can therefore answer that- many people can hypothesize as has been done throughout the centuries – but only persons such as myself KNOW THE ANSWER.
My suggestion to Governments, Policy makers and Community Corrections, that is the Parole Board, is that, if you are SINCERE about reformation of the human soul and the deviant – which the years prove otherwise and reveal nothing more than political bartering, and corruption at many levels within the system, which in turn butters your bread – my suggestion is that, since it is never too late to have Justice have her way, innocent persons condemned need to be dragged out from beneath the blanket you have thrown over them in hope they will disappear, die, go away – and FACE UP TO YOUR ERRONEOUS ways that benefit no other except the system itself.
I, for one, will not give up until I see this day in which murderers are locked away for ever, When the likes of these murderous Burtons are called to account for the lives they have taken and those like mine that they have all but destroyed.
Messgae to Burton:
You cost me my name, my youth, my home, my family, every opportunity for a family of my own and career; you cost me time – lots of it – you cost me all sorts of abuses far beyond my wildest dreams and far beyond anything I had ever known.
There is a price you should pay with the taking of a life. And short of the Death Penalty you should remain incarcerated forever.

  • sash
  • April 11th, 2013
  • 7:06 pm

Gossy Burton has no conscience. Don`t worry about the murderer. Like she said to the person she framed, “It haunts me, it`s affected my mind.”
The dog will have day. Justice will be yours.You know dirt comes out in the wash.

  • Carly
  • May 29th, 2019
  • 2:54 pm

Horrific, the Burtons. No conscience. What comes around goes around.

Leave your comments:

* Required fields. Your e-mail address will not be published on this site

You can use the following HTML tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>