Remember Bailey Kurariki, New Zealand's Youngest Murderer (TM), the 12-year-old devil spawn who single-handedly killed a man? Oh right, that person doesn't exist. He was convicted of manslaughter for his part in the group killing - what happened to the rest of the group? I demand some sort of Where Are They Now? TV special - of Michael Choy and served more time as a 12-year-old than Bruce Emery will for his 'manslaughter' of Pihema Cameron. Anyway, the media did a real job on this Kurariki. I'm not trying to defend or take anything away from the brutal and senseless killing of Michael Choy - in fact, I'm depressed that I even have to point that out, lest rabid "Your Viewers" think I am advocating a knighthood for Kurariki - but the way the Herald and others turned a hugely screwed-up child into New Zealand's public enemy number one is something for which they should be ashamed.
So it was delightful to see the Herald reporting on comments made by Kim Workman, a penal reform campaigner, who has suggested that the treatment of Kurariki, including treatment by the media, since he has come out of prison has damaged the rehabilitation work done in his last years in prison. The story is accompanied by a large photo of Kurariki outside court last week; the photo's attribution reads "Picture/ Herald on Sunday". Sigh. The headline last week was "Kurariki lashes out at media", after he spat at and jostled at 'journalists' outside the court. I would have thought the opposite was a pretty good description of his media demonisation.But no, I wouldn't want to meet him in a dark alley or take him home to meet my parents.