Found this one on the bottom of the email signature block of a colleague for whom I have great respect:
My Speech at the Candlelight Vigil for Bob Chappell and Sue Neill-Fraser on Friday 13 June 2014 on the Lawns of Parliament House, Tasmania, Australia
I thought it would be useful to share my short speech from the recent candlelight vigil on the lawns of Tasmania's Parliament House on Friday 13 June 2014. I chose not to use my prepared speech but to speak from the heart. Hence, everything in the speech may not have been actually voiced on the evening concerned. Indeed, I said more on the night.
I discovered this case when I was reading Chris Halkides informative blogspot called the View-From-Wilmington. See http://viewfromwilmington.blogspot.com.au/. I was an Assistant Commissioner of Police at the time in WA but this case had, somewhat surprisingly, slipped my memory. Having now reread this excellent article in Perth Now on the case, by highly respected journalist and miscarriage of justice fighter, Estelle Blackburn, I am again reminded of the possible dangers of DNA evidence, particularly when accompanied by a lying victim/informant and a deficient police investigation. See http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/innocent-boys-jail-nightmare/story-e6frg12c-1111113259916?nk=ef5ca1353df5b6609a34bc8f9396082c
DNA Transfer and Legal Issues - the High Court decision in Fitzgerald v The Queen  HCATrans 127 (19 June 2014)
A very interesting case involving the consideration of possible DNA transfer issues was recently considered by the Full Court (5 judges - Hayne J, Crennan J, Kiefel J, Bell J, and Gageler J) of the High Court of Australia. See Fitzgerald v The Queen  HCATrans 127 (19 June 2014). The HIgh Court allowed an appeal against the decision of the Full Court of the Supreme Court of SA (SASCFC) and acquitted the appellant, Fitzgerald, of murder. Fitzgerald was convicted of murder and causing serious injury as part of a group of six people involved in a home invasion. He had been sentenced to life imprisonment with a 20 year non-parole period. He denied any involvement and argued that the DNA linking him to the offence, which was located on a didgeridoo (the major profile of a mixed profile) along with, but separate to, some small bloodstains from both victims, was transferred to his co-accused during two handshakes earlier that evening. The Crown argued that the didgeridoo may have been used as a weapon. The SASCFC agreed that it was open to the jury to conclude beyond reasonable doubt that the DNA was directly deposited by Fitzgerald, and unanimously dismissed the appeal. The High Court went on to allow the appeal, quashed the conviction and entered an acquittal. The Court is to publish its reasons for judgement at a later date.
The NSW Law Reform Commission (NSWLRC) has recently released a major report on criminal appeals (See http://www.lawreform.lawlink.nsw.gov.au/agdbasev7wr/_assets/lrc/m731654l10/report_140.pdf). It is dated March 2014 but I am advised that it was tabled n the NSW Parliament on 18 June 2014.
There are real dangers in relying on presumptive testing in concluding that blood is present at a crime scene. We saw this clearly in the Lindy Chamberlain case over 30 years ago when orthotolidine (a screening or presumptive test) was relied upon to indicate the presence of a spray of blood under the dashboard of the Chamberlain family car. This was later found to be sound deadener.
Very interesting article by barrister Hugh Selby on the Civil Liberties Australia website. See http://www.cla.asn.au/News/justice-denied-eastman-kept-in-jail/. Hugh points out the unfairness of the laws which mean that Eastman still languishes in an ACT prison despite the clear evidence that he was wrongly convicted. Selby states "Seriously deficient evidence misled jurors at his trial". Selby says that the relevant law is set out in the ACT Crimes Act which he refers to as "a quite recent act of stupidity". It is becoming increasingly clear that our system is not designed to deal with and redress Miscarriages of Justice in a timely way. Urgent change is required including a further right to appeal provision to avoid such "picnics" (a term used in this concerning article).
Shadow of Doubt, the AFI/AACTA nominated and international award-winning documentary on the Sue Neill-Fraser murder case, was shown at a special screening by the Western Tiers Film Society at Deloraine in Tasmania on Saturday night. Eve Ash, psychologist and film-maker, who produced Shadow of Doubt, was there to speak about the film and answer any questions. I also spoke about some of the issues in the case and the challenges in getting the matter back before the courts.
There will be another candlelight vigil for Sue organised by the Sue Neill-Fraser Support Group for Friday night on the lawns of Parliament House in Hobart. People are asked to assemble at 5.20 pm with their candles for a 5.30 pm start. I understand that Eve Ash, psychologist and film-maker who produced the AFI/AACTA nominated and international award-winning Shadow of Doubt documentary on the case, will be speaking along with Support Group Chair, Ms Lynn Giddings, and Ms Sarah Bowles, Sue's daughter.
17 Year Old Cold Case in NSW - 60 Minutes Report last Sunday 15 June 2014 - Deficiencies in the Historical Police Investigation
Fascinating account by 60 Minutes of the historical investigation into a 17 year old cold case in Bathurst NSW where one of two kidnapped girls has never been found. NSW Police are now actively reviewing the case and have offered a significant reward to uncover the truth of the matter and identify the offender, following a recent Coroner's Inquest.