A spokesperson for the New Zealand Court of Appeal Tuesday confirmed to news outlets that mass shooter Brenton Tarrant has filed to appeal his conviction and sentence of life imprisonment without parole for the worst mass shooting in New Zealand history. The court has not yet announced hearing dates for Tarrant’s appeal.On March 15, 2019, an armed Tarrant attacked two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, and live-streamed the attacks on Facebook. Tarrant is currently serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole. In March 2020, Tarrant pleaded guilty to 51 charges of murder, 40 charges of attempted murder and one act of terrorism after originally pleading not guilty. On August 27, 2020, Justice Cameron Mander sentenced the Australian-born Tarrant to New Zealand’s first and only sentence of life imprisonment without parole. Mander stated that no “minimum term of imprisonment would be sufficient to denounce” Tarrant’s actions and ruled that “life imprisonment for murder without parole is a necessary sanction that provides a proportionate response” to Tarrant’s “unprecedented” crimes.On November 2, 2021, Tarrant’s lawyer Tony Ellis claimed Tarrant pleaded guilty under duress due to severe mistreatment in detention. Ellis also criticized the court for referring to Tarrant as “the individual” rather than by his name. According to Ellis, “Mr. Tarrant is no longer a suspect, but a convicted criminal in detention, despite his horrific crimes that part of his legal life is over. He has been tried and sentenced, and is entitled to be treated as a human.” Ellis no longer represents Tarrant.
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