NZ mosque shooter who killed 51 sentenced to life without parole
Wellington, Aug 27: The 29-year-old Australian, a white supremacist who live-streamed his massacre of 51 people at two New Zealand mosques in March 2019, has been sentenced to life in prison without parole on Thursday.
The sentence delivered by the High Court was the first time in New Zealand - which abolished the death penalty for murder in 1961.
Brenton Tarrant pleaded guilty earlier this year to 51 charges of murder, 40 counts of attempted murder and one charge of committing a terrorist act during the rampage which he live streamed on Facebook last year in Christchurch.
Tarrant showed little reaction as Judge Cameron Mander handed down the decision. In the emotional four-day hearing surviving victims and relatives of the deceased confronted the gunman face-to-face.
Dressed in grey prison clothes and surrounded by guards, Tarrant did not react to the sentence.
In delivering the sentence, Mander said, "From what I can gauge, you are empty of any empathy for your victims".
"A deeply impaired person motivated by a base hatred of people you perceive to be different."
"You remain entirely self-absorbed, you have offered no apology or acknowledgment of the harm you caused," he continued. "Your focus appears to be on yourself and the position you find yourself in."
"Your crimes are so wicked that even if you are detained until you die it will not exhaust the requirements of punishment and denunciation," Mander also said.
Prosecutors told the court that Tarrant had been planning the attacks for a long time and wanted to create fear among migrants.
Tarrant represented himself at the hearing and said through a lawyer in court on Thursday that he did not oppose the sentence.
Tarrant, on March 15, 2019, armed with semiautomatic weapons and assault rifles, attacked Muslim worshipers indiscriminately during Friday prayers at the Al Noor Mosque and Linwood Islamic Center in Christchurch, shocked the country which accustomed to low crime rates and a little history of terrorism.