Monday, October 21, 2013

Teina Pora, an imperfect man caught in an imperfect system.

One thing for certain about Teina Pora is that he knows how to talk himself into trouble. It was his attempts to frame somebody else for the murder of Susan Burdett to claim the reward that saw him being framed for her murder. I used the word imperfect for both the man and the 'system.' The officer in charge of the Burdett inquiry knew that he had an imperfect and pliable youth on his hands when he began to 'assist' Pora to confess to a crime that there is plenty of evidence he didn't commit. One of the former detectives on the Pora case now advocating for Pora's freedom recognised the imperfection and said that rather than being charged with murder Pora should have been charged with wasting police time. How could two men have such opposing views? The answer is easy, one man saw the imperfection, naivety and cunning of a 17 year old with the intellect of a young child as a pliable tool to 'solve' a murder that had been on 'the books' for some time, the other man was a thinker who worked toward the truth and not toward relieving pressure.

20 years of prison later and who is Pora? Well, no doubt there is a public expectation for some that he is 'matured,' of reasonable intelligence, someone willing to work and so on. But how can it be that a person of impaired intellect, street 'cunning' and poorly educated is somehow 'improved' by 20 years prison for a crime he didn't commit. It's hard, very hard to imagine how a 'street kid,' probably once a solvent sniffer with no education should some how be improved on the mere basis that it generally recognised that he is in prison for another man's crime. Thinking about that is important. Pora is on struggle street, just as Dougherty was before him because they have a background of neglect and crime - they are not somehow 'remedied' into good citizens just because the system finally acknowledges that they're are or were falsely imprisoned - their problems remain, in fact are deepened. These aren't good luck stories with a nice ending, they're bad luck stories with uncertain endings because the product (the men) have not suddenly been made good, rather they've been let out of a cell for a crime they didn't commit but which cell they may have entered for other reasons. These men are not the David Bain, Arthur Thomas or Allan Halls of this world, they're are refugees from a troubled life.

Looking at that imperfection of human kind brings into focus the imperfection of the 'system.' People like Pora don't generally get let go unless they acknowledge their crimes - even though they may have not committed the crime for which they are imprisoned. Follow this, 'even though you didn't do it, you must say you did or we won't let you go.' A type of 'doctrine' that is hardly of assistance in helping Pora, for instance, in developing a sense of what is right and what is wrong when viewing the system that has stolen 20 years from him. Get a little closer on that. The system demands a lie to let an innocent man go, whilst at the same time demanding the 'truth' as the Parole Board did in questioning Pora about a recent home leave. On the one hand they expect a lie, on the other the truth. Hard to keep up with, imagine then the difficulty for someone with the intellect of a pre-teenager.

Pora apparently had his parole denied for using the services of a prostitute whilst on home leave, and for meeting or spending time with an ex prisoner. When questioned about both he apparently wasn't 'truthful.' Well, not of  the expected standard. That is lying by admitting a crime he didn't commit, but being truthful for spending some time with an ex prisoner. How terrible, after all he's only spent the last 20 years every day with prisoners. The following is from the Board in respect of them denying Pora parole.

'This information was not given to the board by Mr Pora until he faced extreme questioning," the board said.
"Significantly, we find as a fact that he endeavoured to hide, deflect or evade explaining how and why he breached his conditions, and only revealed this as a consequence of careful questioning from the panel."

I written a blog earlier about Pora being in prison for 20 years for being a liar - the same reason it appears as to why he can't get out.


  1. It does seem unhelpful to almost everyone that he can't be outside working, producing something of value, and paying some income tax, through his employer.
    Maybe someone could give him some coaching on tactical lying, for his next parole board hearing, but a very small subset of society seems to have a vested interest in keeping him in prison.

  2. Sent to prison for lying and remaining there for lying. Don't think it is meant to work like this.