His reputation to protect

by Walter Olson on April 10, 2007

Defamation-suit Hall of Fame: a New Zealand prisoner serving a life sentence for the notoriously brutal murder of a 17-year-old girl has won cash compensation from newspapers which described him as a rapist. “Andrew Ronald MacMillan was granted legal aid – a government- funded scheme which allows people who cannot afford legal representation to get a lawyer – to sue Fairfax Media, publishers of New Zealand newspapers The Press and Dominion Post, for defamation and punitive damages.” The victim, whose body was discovered nearly naked, had suffered violence in intimate places, but authorities never charged MacMillan with rape in the case. (“Murderer gets compensation from paper over rape allegation”, DPA/MonstersAndCritics.com, Apr. 10). Two and a half years ago MacMillan won $1200 for hurt feelings and humiliation because the Corrections Department had not shown him the text of a letter accusing him of misbehavior while on prison furlough. (Bridget Carter, “‘Hurt feelings’ win killer $1200 compensation”, New Zealand Herald, Aug. 23, 2004).

{ 3 comments }

1 Deoxy 04.10.07 at 10:05 am

At least our system isn’t the WORST in this regard – Australia and Great [sic] Britain are both worse. Not much solace, though…

2 OBQuiet 04.10.07 at 1:31 pm

Maybe it means something different in this context, but I find idea that a person convicted of a “Brutal murder” and under a life sentence would be allowed a furlough hard to grok.

3 Ted 04.10.07 at 1:57 pm

There exist academics in the United States today who remain upset that the Willie Horton scandal essentially ended weekend furloughs for convicted murderers in this country. So “furlough” means exactly what you think it does.

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