Man Who Killed 51 In New Zealand Mosque Attacks Files Appeal Against Life Sentence

The person who killed 51 Muslim worshippers in New Zealand’s deadliest mass shooting is appealing his conviction and sentence.

The Court of Appeal in New Zealand confirmed on Tuesday that gunman Brenton Tarrant filed the appeal last week. A hearing date has yet to be set, according to the court.

In March 2019, Tarrant, a white supremacist, opened fire on worshippers at two Christchurch mosques during Friday prayers. In the attack, which he livestreamed on Facebook, he injured dozens of people.

Tarrant pled guilty to 51 counts of murder, 40 counts of attempted murder, and one count of terrorism the following year. He was given the worst possible sentence in New Zealand, which is life in prison without the chance of parole.

The Court did not immediately release the details of his appeal.

Tarrant, 32, claimed in previous court documents that he was subjected to “inhuman or degrading treatment” while being held in solitary confinement for months after the shooting, preventing a fair trial. He claimed that he only pleaded guilty under duress.

Tarrant fired one of his lawyers in 2021, and it wasn’t clear whether he was represented in his appeal by another lawyer or by himself.

Temel Atacocugu, who survived the Al Noor Mosque attack after being shot nine times, told News Outlet Stuff that the gunman was playing games and seeking attention by filing the appeal.

“I’d Like To Tell Him: ‘Grow Up, Be A Man, And Die Quietly In Jail,’ Because That Is What You Deserve,” she says. Said Atacocugu.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she promised a long time ago not to say the terrorist’s name in public.

“His is a story that should not be told, and his name should not be repeated, and I will apply the same rule in commenting on his attempts to victimize people,” Ardern said. “We ought to give him nothing.”

Following the attacks, New Zealand quickly passed new laws prohibiting the most lethal types of semi-automatic weapons. Gun owners turned over more than 50,000 weapons to police in a subsequent buyback scheme. The attacks also caused changes in social media around the world as tech companies tried to stop future attacks from being livestreamed or stop them quickly.

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