Friday, May 26, 2006

Maybe this time

The High Court has finally removed some suppression orders, allowing the media to report what everybody who wanted to know already knew: that former policemen Clint Rickards, Bob Schollum and Brad Shipton are to face trial for the rape of another woman. There were good reasons why this couldn't be brought up at the original trial, and for keeping it out of the media during the trial itself - every case must be judged on its own merits, not on what else the defendants may be accused of - but in retrospect there was no justification for suppressing it afterwards. It's not as if the jury in the next trial won't know who the accused are, or what else they are alleged to have done. All suppression did was undermine public faith in the outcome.

The next trial will be difficult; the intense media coverage surrounding the first one could be argued to have tainted the jury pool and make it difficult for the accused to get a fair trial. The jury will simply have to grit their teeth, and do their best to ensure that they are deciding on the basis of the evidence before them, rather than previous allegations. And if the evidence is strong enough, maybe they'll be found guilty this time...


It wasn't _upcoming_ trials that people objected to being hidden from the jury last time. I really think what should have happened was a single trial to consider all allegations against the defendants. That way, a single jury would have been able to hear and evaluate all the evidence.

Posted by Commie Mutant Traitor : 5/26/2006 02:42:00 PM

Mitch Harris on Radio Live today revealed the other non-upcoming trial stuff, obviously thinking it was not still suppressed. Doh!

Posted by Anonymous : 5/26/2006 03:34:00 PM

For each one who gets charged there are a thousand who aren't. NZ the rapists paradise.

Posted by Anonymous : 5/26/2006 10:42:00 PM

And on a related note, as I posted on my blog:

This week two members of the Christchurch group involved in a March rally in support of Louise Nicholas have been approached by police concerning the leaflets which contained suppressed information about the case and were handed out during the protest. The officers stated that the police are going to be laying charges in relation to the dissemination of the suppressed material.

The two activists, Daniel Rae and Frances Martin, are planning to fight the charges in court if the police decide to prosecute.

“I handed out the leaflets knowing the police were likely to lay charges but I felt my actions were justified because the verdict in the Louise Nicholas case was a travesty of justice. If the jury had been aware of the suppressed information at the time it is almost certain that they would have reached a different verdict,” said Daniel Rae. Mr Rae this week made a written statement to the police stating he did hand out the leaflets and was willing to defend the action. Miss Martin will be talking to the police soon.

“At the moment the legal system is heavily biased against rape survivors and the verdict in this case will only further deter women from taking future prosecutions, especially against men in positions of authority such as police offices,” said Frances Martin.

The two activists are planning to defend themselves in court and are looking at being involved in further actions in support of Louise.

Posted by Asher : 5/26/2006 11:48:00 PM

"For each one who gets charged there are a thousand who aren't. NZ the rapists paradise."
Contemporary NZ is a rapists paradise, compared with, say, Australia, US or the UK?!
That's some nasty parallel universe you inhabit...

Posted by Anonymous : 5/27/2006 10:09:00 AM