Cracker by Damian Christie

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Cracker: Lundy and Me.

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  • Islander, in reply to Geoff Lealand,

    . 1 If the person in the spotlight didn’t commit the murder, then who did?

    In Ellis's case there was NO murder: there were insinuations of abused kids ( sexually & otherwise.)

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Carol Stewart,

    a lawyer friend once told me that there is a legal principle that it is better for a guilty person to go free than for an innocent person to be locked away

    One of the difficulties with murder cases as I understand it is that it's almost always a one-off, an exceptional situation the killer is in, which won't be repeated.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3891 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Carol Stewart,

    better for a guilty person to go free than for an innocent person to be locked away

    Further thought -- I guess you can have both of these at once. If an innocent person is imprisoned for a crime, the guilty person GOES FREE, causing 2 injustices. So it's doubly important to be sure.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3891 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    I think it is unachievable. Peter Ellis is a pretty good example of what happens when the victims are considered unimpeachable (after some seriously fucked-up coaching, admittedly).

    It's a bit more than that. It's not that there were no victims. But my very strong suspicion is that it was not any of the accused who did the victimising. That was done by the people who coached them. Perhaps one da there will be a proper accounting of what happened there.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    But not guilty is not innocent

    I keep seeing this and I object. Not guilty *is* innocent. Sorry, that's how the system works, remember...Innocent until proven guilty.

    It would be nice if the media remembered that occassionally.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Don Christie,

    But not guilty is not innocent

    I keep seeing this and I object. Not guilty *is* innocent. Sorry, that’s how the system works, remember…Innocent until proven guilty.

    It would be nice if the media remembered that occassionally.

    Legally innocent unless proven guilty. "Not Guilty" means the prosecution failed to prove the accused committed the crime. Whether a person is actually innocent is another matter.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3891 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Russell Brown,

    But my very strong suspicion is that it was not any of the accused who did the victimising. That was done by the people who coached them.

    Totally & utterly -YES!

    Most of them have either left CHCH environs or otherwise departed. It truly was a literal child-mind-molestation group there for a while, in pursuit of really
    unsavoury goals (e.g. & unspoken-- demonise gay male child care-givers- simply because they are gay males- )

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Lilith __,

    One of the difficulties with murder cases as I understand it is that it’s almost always a one-off, an exceptional situation the killer is in, which won’t be repeated.

    Frequently also domestic, and with the killer either present when the police show up or, if they're not, readily identified and quite willing to plead guilty. Actual whodunnit murders aren't all that common in this country.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    Actual whodunnit murders aren’t all that common in this country.

    Except for that very strange yacht/ketch case murders...

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    Legally innocent unless proven guilty. "Not Guilty" means the prosecution failed to prove the accused committed the crime. Whether a person is actually innocent is another matter.

    Quite. So until Lundy's retrial you are legally no less innocent of the crime as Lundy. And if the retrial finds him not guilty then you would be more less innocent than he would be...legally.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie, in reply to Don Christie,

    …legally.

    And that word is a pretty massive caveat on the word "innocent". In normal speak, you're guilty if you did it, innocent if you didn't. "Not guilty" is a verdict, not a statement of fact.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1164 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    Surely it is *more* of a statement of fact than "normal speak". Evidence has been weighed up, subject to extreme scrutiny and rejected. Normal speak is like a judgement made over a few beers.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Don Christie,

    Evidence has been weighed up, subject to extreme scrutiny and rejected.

    Not guilty =/= didn’t do it.

    Remember OJ Simpson? Found not guilty of murder in a criminal court, but convicted in a civil case of 2 counts of "causing wrongful death".

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3891 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    I was going to say
    not guilty = we can't be sure if they did it or not
    BUT prosecutions can also fail because of technical cock-ups, nothing to do with the guilt or innocence of the defendant.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3891 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    I note the timeline on Stuff claims "tears streamed down his face" at the funeral.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to Lilith __,

    Not guilty =/= didn’t do it.

    Remember OJ Simpson? Found not guilty of murder in a criminal court, but convicted in a civil case of 2 counts of “causing wrongful death”.

    It strikes me the cases that linger in the public mind are often those where the criminal standard of ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ clashes with the ‘dinner-table’ ‘court of public opinion’ standard – which likely will always tend towards ‘on the balance of probabilities’. In the balance of probabilities, factors like another plausible perpetrator have a great deal of weight; not so much in criminal court. It seems to be a tension that’s built into our justice system. Probably for the best, but in cases with intense media pressure, and less-than clear-cut evidence, undoubtedly a tension.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2109 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    With all the armchair relitigators (self included), I suspect they will have a hard time finding members for a jury that haven't already spent time speculating, or been exposed to theories, on this case...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7944 posts Report Reply

  • slarty,

    He was a smart, genuine guy, but it seemed to me he’d spent so long looking for inconsistencies with every aspect of the case ... that he’d started to see patterns where there was none.

    You've just described what happens to investigators all too often. Fundamental Attribution Error.

    Since Nov 2006 • 290 posts Report Reply

  • Dan O,

    Hi. Just thought I'd chip in this link to a TED video about false memories re the witness report on Lundy. You can't take anything for granted eh? Cheers, Dan. http://www.ted.com/talks/elizabeth_loftus_the_fiction_of_memory.html

    New Zealand • Since Oct 2013 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    I can well and truly say that the Ellis case affected my career in a number of ways. We are now allowed to change a child's clothes unwitnessed, but still not supposed to toilet them unsupervised. Load of old bollocks. Most children have enough difficulty toileting with one person present, let alone two.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    With all the armchair relitigators (self included), I suspect they will have a hard time finding members for a jury that haven’t already spent time speculating, or been exposed to theories, on this case…

    I honestly have no idea what the truth of it is. But I do think about what a pain it would be to be drafted into that jury.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Russell Brown,

    This is *always* the case with high profile court cases.
    I do not think our jury system is inadequate : I do think the qualifications should be redrafted (e.g as an ex law student living in a remote area, I am ineligible for jury duty-)

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Islander,

    (e.g as an ex law student living in a remote area, I am ineligible for jury duty-)

    Really? How is that? I would've thought some knowledge of the law would make you an asset on a jury, not disqualify you.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    IANAL, but I presume they could with something of the order of “but IF the time of death is presumed to be later, our evidence still shows Mr Lundy is guilty.”

    It's a new trial, so they really don't have to deal with their old theories, just convince a jury of their new one. It would look pretty silly in the media/public eye, but probably less difficult in the courtroom. As the trial goes on the jury will become immersed in the case, start to figure out their own theories, and think less about the previous trial.

    I have no idea if Lundy killed his family or not. But what is emerging is a constant pattern of police over-reach with evidence that amounts to incompetence.

    It's a system and the measurement of success - rightly or wrongly - is convictions. There's some negative feedback from successful appeals such as Lundy's obviously. But it's difficult to win appeals once you've been convicted as Pora has found out. I'd like to see there being much stronger consequences for corruption - this information about a document being withheld from the defence etc. The system is always going to have false positives and negatives, but that should be decided fairly.

    Whether Bain, Lundy etc (personally I find it nuts that Ellis' conviction still stands relative to those ones) have built enough momentum for any change inside or outside the police....

    Scott Watson’s trial raised a mystery boat, of a type identified by someone with knowledge of boats, that was never located. Don’t have to be sitting in the jury box to be asking why that boat wasn’t tracked down as a matter of priority.

    I'm not an expert on the case, but talking to someone who knew a fair bit about it, Watson was convicted because the police were able to convince the court that this witness was wrong - which happens sometimes - by a variety of means - either at the time he identified the boat, or through a failure of memory. Extensive work went into tracking down lots of evidence which they felt proved that the boat was not there. The jury accepted this.

    Like the Lundy case, the story changes if you eliminate the evidence about the food digestion restricting the time so much. If you can prove that this witness in the Watson case isn't correct then your case can suddenly start to make sense to the jury, but not to the public who haven't necessarily had that full argument put to them in the news stories.

    In the Kahui case, it’s actually quite hard to tell who actually did it. Chris was statistically likely to be the culprit (common-law partner of the mother), but pretty much everything was circumstantial.

    My understanding that the police were able to narrow the time of the injuries of the twins to a time where only Chris could have done it, but weren't able to prove this to the jury's satisfaction.

    "Not guilty" is a verdict, not a statement of fact.

    The Privy Council didn't give a verdict of "not guilty". If he was found not guilty he wouldn't be facing a retrial. From the pdf linked to above:

    165. The Board will therefore humbly advise Her Majesty that the appeal should be allowed, that the convictions should be quashed and that the appellant should stand trial again on the charges of murder as soon as that can be conveniently arranged. The appellant should remain in custody pending retrial, subject, of course, to any decision that the High Court of New Zealand might make on an application for bail.

    The conviction was quashed. You could argue that still makes him innocent until he's faced trial again, but not because he's been found not guilty.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    I do think the qualifications should be redrafted (e.g as an ex law student living in a remote area, I am ineligible for jury duty-)

    Current and former (graduated or not) law students are able to serve on juries. Barristers or solicitors with a current practicing certificate are not (source)

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

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