Julian Knight was responsible for one of Victoria's worst mass shootings, the Hoddle street massacre. To grasp why Knight committed the crime, we first must delve back into his past. Julian Knight was born on the 4th of March, 1968. Julian was the eldest of three children. He was adopted by a family with strong military ties. Knight's family were often moving, until in 1978 they settled in Laverton, Victoria. Despite his IQ of 132, which put him in the top 3 percentile of the population, he struggled in school. At the age of 19, Julian successfully joined the Army, and commenced training at Duntroon. Julian had been obsessed with the military and guns and often fantasised about killing in combat. However, Julian resented the hierarchal system of the army, as cadets who had joined only months earlier had authority over him. It became too much for Julian and he stabbed a Sergeant, resulting in his expulsion from Duntroon. Having no means of earning an income, his girlfriend ended their relationship. Knight applied to join the Police force, but was rejected due to the stabbing. Julian was rapidly running out of money and decided to sell his car. The car broke down on the way to the buyer and could not be sold. Exacerbating the situation, Julian's mother converted his childhood bedroom into extra living space, leading Julian to feel rejected. Unable to handle the financial hardships and social rejection, Julian took his Ruger 10/22 rifle, Mossberg 12 gauge shotgun and perhaps most devastatingly, the military grade M14 303. rifle, and set about murdering 7 people and injuring 19.
Q1 THE COURT/S IN WHICH THE CASE WAS HEARD (OUTLINE THE CRIMINAL JURISDICTION OF THE COURT)
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...murder, and an adult can, for the same crime, receive the death penalty. So why does a man that killed 7 innocent people and seriously wounded 19 get a minimum of 27 years? I would consider the death penalty to be appropriate for Julian Knight but as Australia has ratified the Human Rights Charter and considers the death penalty to be cruel and unusual punishment, I would have sentenced Julian Knight to life without parole.
Key Concepts in VCE Legal Studies units 1 and 2
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