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Supreme Court Decision on Wood

February 27, 2012

I’d never given any thought to the conviction of Gordon Wood until I saw the Four Corners program last year which exposed the flaws in his trial. The essence seemed to be that a so-called expert witness was slack and inexpert. Thank God for the decision of the Court of Criminal Appeal, but what can the State do about the slovenliness of the expert witness process?

  1. February 27, 2012 9:24 am

    Channel 10 are going to have to remake that Tele-Movie they did on him.

  2. February 28, 2012 1:26 pm

    It seems you’re really out of the “game” of mainstream politics for good if today’s media reports are accurate. I’m rather disappointed – you could not have done a worse job than our recent Foreign Ministers and have the nous to do a lot better.

    Anyhow, if you really are no longer required to adopt conformist views in order to be “electable” and not cause your party embarrassment, I wonder if you could use your considerable following to do some real good?

    The case that screams out for justice is the continuing incarceration of Martin Bryant. The evidence that he’s guilty has never been tested in court – nor has the Port Arthur massacre ever been the subject of an inquest, coronial inquiry or public inquiry. This is passing strange for the most deadly mass murder in Australian history. It is, to be blunt, an utter scandal.

    How can the death of one baby in 1980 merit four inquests (the most recent of which is in progress 32 years later), while the death of 35 people occasions no inquest at all?

    There’s copious evidence that the official narrative of the 1996 massacre is bogus. If you’re not aware of it, I recommend the video “A question of guilt” which is available here:

    There are other cases that also need re-investigation – but this case cries out for it. I’ve given up on The Greens finding the gumption to do this. Do you have what it takes – or is our entire political and media establishment willing to behave like the three monkeys when encouraged to do so by a sinister behind-the-scenes cabal?

  3. February 29, 2012 4:50 am

    Completely off-topic. Given Bob Carr’s undoubted sense of Cold War history let alone the 2nd War of American Independence it’s time to make Bob Carr Defence Minister. All Australian’s could be reassured that Bob Carr would put his energy and genius into the Defence portfolio. Unlike Brendan Nelson who decided to take up learning the guitar. Someone has got to stop the next conventional dud-sub debacle and stop the incompetence. Bob Carr is probably wrong on the Iran Nukes issue.No-one can doubt Bob Carr’s selfless commitment to serving the public.

  4. Dr Paul Williams permalink
    March 2, 2012 1:49 pm

    Douglas Darby was almost correct. Congratulations and Good luck Bob.

  5. Peter Harley permalink
    March 3, 2012 7:59 am

    Will your imminent appointment as Minister for Foreign Affairs mean the suspension of Thoughtlines or will it merely limit the number of topics upon which you blog. Kevin Rudd found a great deal of time for twitter, and maybe your approach will be less constipated.

  6. March 4, 2012 8:29 am

    I worry that the case of Kelly Lane may come up with a similar outcome…

  7. Lord Shag permalink
    March 12, 2012 10:54 pm

    Gee I timed this one badly. This is a topic I would have really liked to comment on. Get back from holiday, Rudd gone, Bob’s the foreign minister and the blog is probably going into deep freeze. Good luck anyway Bob. I hope it all works out well. I think Australia will be well served by your decision to get back into the saddle.

    As to the topic in question, I can’t resist a short comment. I don’t think the defence objected to his accreditation as an expert at trial though there can be good reasons for that as a variety of reasons reason may prevent a review of an expert’s credentials. The generally pathetic nature of criminal discovery procedures don’t help either.

    Expert evidence is an increasingly difficult area for courts. It is dry and complex for juries to understand. Having been a teacher in a previous career and watched students yawn and struggle to maintain attention after half an hour if the content is dull or one hour if interesting, it is absurd to expect ordinary people to understand the intricacies of esoteric topics for an 8 hour court session.

    As to Syd’s comment, that’s a totally different matter. Bryant pleaded up, given the strength of the police case that was unsurprising. If there is an issue, in my mind it is rightly put as one of capacity to plead since in the end he had to stand up and say “guilty” himself. I think a more pertinent observation would be to observe how and why the experts were able to be continually employed as expert witnesses after the Chamberlain acquittal.

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