For the first time in its history, New Zealand has issued a life in jail without parole sentence after the trial of 29 year-old Australian Brenton Harrison Tarrant. In a 4-day hearing, Mr. Tarrant admitted to the murder of 51 people, attempted murder of 40 people, and a charge of terrorism for the March 15th Christchurch mosque shootings at the Al Noor Mosque and the Linwood Islamic Center in 2019. While New Zealand does not have the death penalty in its justice system, Mr. Tarrant will not be given the opportunity to leave jail after serving portions of his sentence.
During the hearing, the judge said that the shooter "showed no mercy" and that his actions were "inhuman". Previously, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison called Mr. Tarrant an "extremist, right-wing terrorist".
Brenton Tarrant was born in New South Wales, Australia, to a father who was a garbage collector and a mother who was a teacher. When his father passed away in 2010, Mr. Tarrant quit his job as a personal trainer and traveled through parts of Europe and Asia. According to a statement by his grandmother, Mr. Tarrant returned from his travels "changed". He moved to New Zealand in 2017, and posted a 74-page manifesto before the shooting, which was live-streamed. The attack was condemned by people around the world including Queen Elizabeth II, US President Donald J. Trump, Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dačić, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, and many more.
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