Law \ Legal

New Zealand Jury Considers 85-Year-Old Law In Child Murder Case


On Monday, a New Zealand Jury retired to consider a verdict in the case of a woman who is charged with murdering her 6-month-old baby son. Melody Ngawhika, from Rotorua, New Zealand, has been charged with murder, but her lawyer is making a unique argument: Elijah Ngawhika’s killing was not a murder but instead falls under the country’s statutory ‘infanticide’ law, Ethan Griffiths reports for the Rotorua Daily Post. Defense and prosecution both agree that Ngawhika is responsible for Ethan’s death through asphyxiation – she allegedly held him so tightly against her shoulder that he suffocated. When she later contacted police, she told them “voices” told her to suffocate her son. 

New Zealand’s infanticide charge has been unmodified in statute for three quarters of a century and is distinct from murder of a child as a killing where the mother “at the time of the offense the balance of her mind was disturbed” due to not fully recovering from her pregnancy. The defense attempted to prove that Ngawhika’s established mental health crisis resulted from her pregnancy and delivery. Now the jury will have to decide if her extenuating circumstances warrant a lesser charge. 

Source link

Related Articles