Many bereaved or injured urged the court at a hearing that began on Monday – and included dozens of emotional and angry victim impact statements – to give him a life sentence without the possibility of parole.
He would be the first person in New Zealand, under applicable law, to receive such a warrant.
Judge Cameron Mander was due to hear comments from prosecutors and Tarrant – who sacked his lawyers in July and represented himself at that hearing – on Thursday on what the sentence should be. Tensions are high among his victims as to what he could use his time in court to say.
But instead, in a hearing between the judge and lawyers after Wednesday’s court session, Tarrant confirmed to the judge that he did not intend to speak in court. Instead, a standby lawyer – appointed earlier in court to help the terrorist if he chooses to accept legal representation – will make a brief statement on his behalf.
It’s unclear what the shooter asked his standby lawyer to say. The hearing will resume Thursday morning.