Thursday, October 03, 2019

Turning their back on justice

The Justice Committee has reported back on the Criminal Cases Review Commission Bill. The Bill would establish an independent, quasi-judicial body to investigate and review potential miscarriages of justice, and refer them back to the Court of appeal if required. It would be a vital backstop to our judiciary, help free innocent people from jail, and ensure police and judges did a better job and were more careful in their judgements.

But according to the select committee report, the National Party - who pushed this idea for years last time they were in opposition - opposes it. Why? Basicly because "convicted criminals" - that is, innocent men and women who have been wrongly accused of crime and punished, sometimes for decades - might get off - that is, be rightfully set free and compensated. Instead, they'd prefer tweaks to the existing system, so that judges (who have been exceptionally good at ignoring their own failings) can continue to ignore them.

Given the high profile miscarriages of justice we've seen - Teina Pora, David Bain, and of course Arthur Allan Thomas - it ought to be clear to everyone that a Criminal Cases Review Commission is a desperately needed reform. By opposing it, National is sending a clear message: that they do not care about justice, and that they are happy for the innocent to rot in jail in order to pander to the arsehole vote. And that is just another example of how they are fundamentally vile human beings, and unfit to govern this country.