Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Footnotes

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  • Islander,

    Ur, ScottY - the other 2 juries?

    *It is not just this last trial.*

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

  • ScottY,

    Ur, ScottY - the other 2 juries?

    *It is not just this last trial.*

    And the Privy Council. Were they asleep?

    West • Since Feb 2009 • 794 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    And, o bugger it.
    Until there is clarification (as in, e.g. DB comes out and admits stufff - (Robin obviously cant!)
    there is no definity-

    I really agree with people who have suggested an overhaul of our current jury system would be A Good Idea-

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

  • Lucy Stewart,

    Further examples: one juror passed a note to his wife to say not to let go of their tickets for Stomp because it'd all be done and dusted by the Friday evening. Another said something similar to a worker at the coffee bar across the road.

    At this point I'd be surprised if half Christchurch hadn't heard something to that effect. They do seem to have been a very talkative bunch.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    No ScottY - they were hearing legal argfument-

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

  • Mrs Skin,

    Van Beynan lost me at the point where he said

    ...next time Karam maintains Bain is innocent, he should be asked why this innocent man, who had nothing to hide, decided not to give evidence.

    I'm a bit over the "innocent people have nothing to fear" line. (It might be a false memory of mine, but I can hear Muldoon's voice croaking it over the radio).

    the warmest room in the h… • Since Feb 2009 • 168 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    False memory Mrs Skin - until you give us the reference.

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

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    I'm a bit over the "innocent people have nothing to fear" line.

    I'm soooo over that line.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Mrs Skin,

    False memory Mrs Skin - until you give us the reference.

    No chance. I was 10 when Muldoon got the arse. I wouldn't have a clue what it might relate to - if it even happened.

    the warmest room in the h… • Since Feb 2009 • 168 posts Report Reply

  • ScottY,

    At least one juror, it seems, was literally asleep during proceedings. Like I says, court reporters don't say these things lightly -- I can't really recall it before.

    I agree it's possible a couple of jurors were less than diligent.

    But two things:

    Firstly, it was a three-month trial. If I'd had to sit in the same chair for three months I'd have had a sleep too. In fact I'd have been in a coma by the end of it. No amount of smelling salts would revive me.

    Also, the decision of the jury has to be unanimous. Even if we suppose a couple of them were a bit lackadasical, it took 12 to convict or acquit. Were all 12 complete dummies? If so then Bain should have bought a ticket for tonight's Big Wednesday.

    West • Since Feb 2009 • 794 posts Report Reply

  • Jan Farr,

    Firstly, it was a three-month trial. If I'd had to sit in the same chair for three months I'd have had a sleep too. In fact I'd have been in a coma by the end of it. No amount of smelling salts would revive me.

    Are you serious?

    Carterton • Since Apr 2008 • 395 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    False memory Mrs Skin - until you give us the reference.

    Maybe you dreamed it. While I've never been 'gifted' with a Piggy dream, they weren't uncommon. A now elderly relative dreamed that she was taking a short cut on foot through a lane behind the then unfinished Beehive. It was evening, and she spotted Muldoon glaring at her from a rear doorway.
    "Don't you cut through there," he snarled. "If you cut through there I'll have you towed away."

    Unfortunately the dream ended before she was able to give "that creature" a piece of her mind.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Jan Farr,

    Lovely story Joe!

    Carterton • Since Apr 2008 • 395 posts Report Reply

  • ScottY,

    Are you serious?

    Of course not. But my point is that you can excuse a person for letting their attention lapse momentarily. It was a three month trial. Who has the concentration and stamina to be always attentive?

    West • Since Feb 2009 • 794 posts Report Reply

  • Mrs Skin,

    Gak! I hope my subconscious has better things to do than give me dreams about 'that creature', as your relative so accurately put it.

    As a child a dear friend of mine had a massive crush on the man. Apparently she used to come over all funny when he was on the telly. And not the kind of coming over all funny that my family used to do either. Their kind involved a lot of swearing.

    the warmest room in the h… • Since Feb 2009 • 168 posts Report Reply

  • Dylan P,

    I think there are some obvious flaws with the jury system, notably that it is incredibly easy for people to get out of attending jury service simply by stating that they are unable to leave work at a busy time. If this was common at my places of work, then presumably it is common elsewhere. Therefore you are not getting a reliable cross section of society.

    My own experience as a juror a few years back left me uncomfortable at the thought that there may well be a high number of people in prison (or free) that shouldn't be.

    We had a relatively complex case of kidnapping, extortion and assault with four defendants. After the initial address from the judge, and a few minutes of the prosecution's case outline we were sent to the jury room while a point of law was discussed. In that break, one of the more outspoken jurors had already established guilt and was detailing the case for the prosecution (before they had). This was a common pattern throughout the trial and it was down to no more than two of us to keep people aware of the fact that we needed to listen to both cases and sets of evidence before making judgements.

    Worse still, there were at least four members of the jury that at deliberation professed their desire to leave early and had no opinion. I felt like a villain for demanding that we review each of the charges against each defendant as this was preventing people from going home. They'd either made up their minds long ago or had no opinion other than an early night was in order. If I had been shy or retiring, it would be likely that we would have finished within half an hour and all defendants would have been guilty on all counts.

    As it was, with a bit of thought and consideration we reached what was probably a more balanced and fair verdict. That said, I felt at times that I was too easily able to argue a point given the desire to reach an agreement and leave was so strong.

    Needless to say, it did leave me a little concerned at the processes in place that can lead to a conviction or acquittal. But is there an alternative? Perhaps stronger policing of attendance to get a proper cross section of society involved?

    London • Since Jun 2009 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Mellopuffy,

    But my point is that you can excuse a person for letting their attention lapse momentarily. It was a three month trial. Who has the concentration and stamina to be always attentive?

    Oh come on! The guy was asleep!

    Dunedin, NZ • Since Feb 2007 • 63 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    'lapse momentarily'? and falling asleep & exchanhging notes? Can excuse?
    Nope.

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

  • ScottY,

    Oh come on! The guy was asleep!

    Maybe. But the other 11?

    West • Since Feb 2009 • 794 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    Who has the concentration and stamina to be always attentive?

    אִיּוֹב

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Job_(Bible)

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • ScottY,

    No ScottY - they were hearing legal argfument-

    I don't think their determination there had been a miscarriage of justice can be so easily ignored.

    If they had thought Bain was clearly guilty, despite the flaws in the Crown case, they'd have followed the Court of Appeal and dismissed Bain's appeal.

    They clearly had doubts. So did the jury. Some of whom may have had a nap during proceedings. Most of whom were probably diligent and attentive.

    West • Since Feb 2009 • 794 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Or not.

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

  • ScottY,

    Or not.

    If all 12 were inattentive and incompetent then Bain really did win the lottery.

    In any case we're arguing the unknowable, because none of us were there to witness any of it.

    I don't think what I'm proposing - that maybe there was actual reasonable doubt - is that controversial. However, I'll desist from this line of argument, because it's getting me nowhere and I don't want to be a bore.

    West • Since Feb 2009 • 794 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I don't think what I'm proposing - that maybe there was actual reasonable doubt - is that controversial. However, I'll desist from this line of argument, because it's getting me nowhere and I don't want to be a bore.

    Graeme made the same point, and I completely accept that if the jury found reasonable doubt they did the right thing to acquit.

    But there does seem to be an impression amongst people who were there that the jury behaved unusually, and decided fairly early on the piece that Bain was innocent.

    One thing I forgot earlier: one jury member not only spoke to a reporter after the decision, she rang a radio talkback show and discussed the case. Can we agree that's unusual?

    Anyway, I think there'll be more on this theme in Saturday morning's Insight programme on RNZ. I think it's a legitimate and interesting topic for discussion.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    A spectre is haunting Thorndon...

    While I've never been 'gifted' with a Piggy dream, they weren't uncommon.

    When living in Wellington in the early'80s, I had a flat in Hawkestone Street, a great old house that Muldoon and cronies had lived in while in opposition (in his Young Turk days - our kitchen was in the book!).
    Even before he died (in '84) the house possessed a malevolent force that would sit on people's chests and lower ambient temperatures - just the one room mostly...
    I'm sure he had imprinted on the place...
    The hair on my arms still rises just thinking about it, and just has - shudder...
    Russell will remember it, just, he picked me up from there to drive me to Auckland in the Rip It Up van...

    A coupla years back while staying in the hotel that is now opposite, I was waiting outside for a cab and spotted some people coming from the house, so I asked them if the place was still haunted. They said they didn't think so - but that night when I looked out the hotel room window, I saw them hurriedly moving stuff out of the property...

    ...Toad away perhaps?

    Ashley W. Smith's famously vandalised 1981 portrait of Muldoon Man of Mite, portraying the Rob applying gobs of marmite to his slick hair, will be on display at the Little River Gallery, Banks Peninsula from this saturday for 2 weeks - that and his other twisted visions of Godzone are well worth a drive in the country.

    yrs
    Remi Niscence
    Nostalgia ain't what it used to be...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7944 posts Report Reply

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