Cardinal Pell - Guilty

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Larry Barnsworth

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#52
Agree, hard to find good commentary. Practically impossible to find unbiased commentary (either way).

John Silvester's column in The Age seemed to me to be reasonably balanced.

...
But Neil Mitchell this morning on 'Today' said he knows people that loathe Pell but they think he is not guilty and a very good chance to win his appeal.
Suspicious of Neil Mitchell's claims of knowing people, however I reckon the bolded is very much in play. Note this does not mean a causal relationship with the italicised exists. (Assuming as I am that we non lawyer types infer not guilty is synonymous with didn't do it, rather than it's technical legal definition). IANALB
 
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peternorth

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How on earth are people of certain political persuasion who endlessly take to task the Victorian court system about it's soft approach on crime all of a sudden condemn, or at the very least, question this verdict. It was a jury and he has been afforded more rights than a lot of other people don't get to have.

Hope he ends up in prison with some people whom he was responsible for ruining their lives sadly I can see him not seeing a day behind a proper gaol.
Good post.

I listened to steve price last night who had rita panahi on. She stressed her doubts about the criminal justice system citing incidents here and especially USA where innocent people are jailed, and proven innocent much later after evidence is found.

price said yes its happened before lindy chamberlain, and although the system isnt perfect it's the rule of law we all live under and that's it. he also observed that rita was sitting on the fence on pells innocence/guilt
 

Geelong_Sicko

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#54
Good post.

I listened to steve price last night who had rita panahi on. She stressed her doubts about the criminal justice system citing incidents here and especially USA where innocent people are jailed, and proven innocent much later after evidence is found.

price said yes its happened before lindy chamberlain, and although the system isnt perfect it's the rule of law we all live under and that's it. he also observed that rita was sitting on the fence on pells innocence/guilt
Would they express those same doubts, which are fair points in themselves by the way, if a case damaging to right-wing thinking was brought about? Say a stinking leftie activist pinko got arrested and their was reasonble doubt. Would 'Ripper' Rita (her handle when she was in non-political mode on S.E.N sports radio) express those same thoughts?
 

peternorth

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Would they express those same doubts, which are fair points in themselves by the way, if a case damaging to right-wing thinking was brought about? Say a stinking leftie activist pinko got arrested and their was reasonble doubt. Would 'Ripper' Rita (her handle when she was in non-political mode on S.E.N sports radio) express those same thoughts?
I think we know the answer to your question :D
Listening to her was quite funny. She wanted to feel for the survivors of teh abuse and condemn pell fully, but couldnt bring herself to it. Torn between constituents and decency (even price agreed with the conviction).

Speaking of lefties, when talk about trump and south korea started she lauded trump on his stance on the north, citing that nuclear action etc is down. She is probably right, no issue there. But couldnt help having a dig at obama stating if obama was doing what trump did hed have 16 nobel peace prizes whereas trump is only ridiculed.
 

Demosthenes

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#59
Can you post a link to the overwhelming evidence? I’m struggling to read an unbiased summary of the facts (all the versions I see seem to have the catholic/defence viewpoint strongly reflected which makes it difficult for me to understand the beyond reasonable doubt verdict).
I too would be interested in that. I did not follow the case closely, but my recollection was that the prosecution fundamentally relied on the word of the victim. As such I assumed he would be acquitted based on lack of evidence, so this verdict came as quite a surprise.

That's no real comment on the truth of the matter, just the difficulty of convicting on an incident from 20+ years ago with no physical evidence and no corroborating witnesses.
 

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#60

Gough

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I too would be interested in that. I did not follow the case closely, but my recollection was that the prosecution fundamentally relied on the word of the victim. As such I assumed he would be acquitted based on lack of evidence, so this verdict came as quite a surprise.

That's no real comment on the truth of the matter, just the difficulty of convicting on an incident from 20+ years ago with no physical evidence and no corroborating witnesses.
The victim spent two days in the witness box being cross examined by one of the best in the business, the jury found him credible and convicted. It's pretty open and shut pending the appeal.
 

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Demosthenes

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#62
The victim spent two days in the witness box being cross examined by one of the best in the business, the jury found him credible and convicted. It's pretty open and shut pending the appeal.
Usually the mere fact that a victim's evidence is uncorroborated is enough for reasonable doubt. That's no slight on their credibility, or indication of the accused's innocence. It just reflects the fact that one person's word generally shouldn't be enough to send someone to gaol.

I would be interested in seeing the judge's summing up to the jury.
 

tants

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#63
Usually the mere fact that a victim's evidence is uncorroborated is enough for reasonable doubt. That's no slight on their credibility, or indication of the accused's innocence. It just reflects the fact that one person's word generally shouldn't be enough to send someone to gaol.

I would be interested in seeing the judge's summing up to the jury.
Have you sat on any/many indecent dealing cases? They are almost always he said/she said and often people are convicted on the strength of the testimony of both parties.
 

Noobz0r

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#64
The victim spent two days in the witness box being cross examined by one of the best in the business, the jury found him credible and convicted. It's pretty open and shut pending the appeal.
A very talented defence lawyer spent hours probing the victim and found no holes. Surely you err on the side of them telling the truth.
 

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Admin #65
i reckon hes innocent
And this is the line that says the person accusing him is lying, which is a horrible thing to put out there about survivors

We've got commentators like Bolt who weren't present for all proceedings (because even if he wanted to be some sessions were closed to the media and the public) saying it's a miscarriage of justice.

Well how would he know? Paedophiles are successful because they can hide their actions from the people that know them.

A jury convicted him, we are saying that all of them are wrong too, you wonder why so many people don't come forward? Because of shit like this
 

Demosthenes

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#66
Have you sat on any/many indecent dealing cases? They are almost always he said/she said and often people are convicted on the strength of the testimony of both parties.
Plenty of cases exist where one element of the incident has come down to he said / she said (for example, consent). Where that has resulted in a conviction there tends to be a fair amount of circumstantial evidence as well (such as forensic evidence of sex, witnesses to behaviour immediately before or after the alleged incident, etc.)

That is pretty different to this situation, where (AFAIK) the entire existence of the incident rests completely on one uncorroborated witness and no physical evidence. I am not aware of any similar convictions, especially 20+ years after the event. As such I was pretty surprised that the jury voted to convict.

That's not really a reflection on the credibility of the victim or a comment on the truth of their story - rather the inherent challenges to marshalling evidence in cases of this type.

And this is the line that says the person accusing him is lying, which is a horrible thing to put out there about survivors
I usually try to avoid the use of the word 'innocent' when talking about criminal cases for this reason. Saying that Pell shouldn't have been convicted does not equate to saying he didn't do it, nor does it equate to saying that the victim was lying. It just means that the prosecution was unable to definitively prove their version of events beyond all reasonable doubt.
 
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tants

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#68
Plenty of cases exist where one element of the incident has come down to he said / she said (for example, consent). Where that has resulted in a conviction there tends to be a fair amount of circumstantial evidence as well (such as forensic evidence of sex, witnesses to behaviour immediately before or after the alleged incident, etc.)

That is pretty different to this situation, where (AFAIK) the entire existence of the incident rests completely on one uncorroborated witness and no physical evidence. I am not aware of any similar convictions, especially 20+ years after the event. As such I was pretty surprised that the jury voted to convict.

That's not really a reflection on the credibility of the victim or a comment on the truth of their story - rather the inherent challenges to marshalling evidence in cases of this type.


I usually try to avoid the use of the word 'innocent' when talking about criminal cases for this reason. Saying that Pell shouldn't have been convicted does not equate to saying he didn't do it, nor does it equate to saying that the victim was lying. It just means that the prosecution was unable to definitively prove their version of events beyond all reasonable doubt.
I have not read (nor do I know if it is available) the court transcript of this case. However, I still maintain that there are plenty of cases where there is no forensics, no witnesses and people found guilty. I have sat on such cases. Evidence of behaviour before and after is the circumstantial evidence that goes to building the case. It's the strength of the testimony that makes one side seem more likely.

I agree that the passage of time makes this conviction more unique.

The first case I sat on I was 25. It was an indecent dealing case of a minor between 14-16. It was a he said/she said. He was found guilty. There was no forensic evidence. No witnesses. He knew the girl. He separated one of two girls off and took her to a secluded spot. Everyone agreed on that. What happened next they disagreed on. They all (with the other girl) got in the car and drove home. They all agreed on that. The only part in dispute was a he said/she said.

After serving on that jury, I changed my habits and made sure I didn't find myself in a vulnerable situation (not with a minor - but legal adult women). I realised that as the male in a he said/she said situation you may not be able to prove your side.
 

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Further to the above is the below article by John Silvester, which explains more eloquently what I am trying to get at:

https://www.theage.com.au/national/...-without-fear-and-favour-20190227-p510j0.html

Silvester is a crime reporter of high repute, although I am not sure if he has a dog in this fight.
I get what he is saying, and I admit that I am prejuidiced against Pell and the Church, but if not specifically this incident I have no doubt he's guilty of acts that would have him in jail if they were known about so I'm not too worried about whether he was hard done by.

It's in the article a bit and yeah it's a dangerous road to go down but the Church has brought this upon themselves with how they have treated victims in the past, it's at the point where almost nobody who isn't Catholic would believe that the Priest didn't do it at the moment, and I almost think more often than not they'd be right.

And yes it is important to discuss whether the law is doing it's job etc but we do seem to get a lot more time in articles given to the proposed injustice done against the predator by convicting them than what was done to the victim in the first place
 

Demosthenes

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#70
The first case I sat on I was 25. It was an indecent dealing case of a minor between 14-16. It was a he said/she said. He was found guilty. There was no forensic evidence. No witnesses. He knew the girl. He separated one of two girls off and took her to a secluded spot. Everyone agreed on that. What happened next they disagreed on. They all (with the other girl) got in the car and drove home. They all agreed on that. The only part in dispute was a he said/she said.
To me this would be more analogous to the current case if there was an acceptance by both sides that they were in fact in the sacristy, and the only disagreement was what had occurred there. AFAIK this is not the case - we have only the word of the victim that the meeting occurred at all.

And yes it is important to discuss whether the law is doing it's job etc but we do seem to get a lot more time in articles given to the proposed injustice done against the predator by convicting them than what was done to the victim in the first place
True, a false conviction is generally regarded as a far more serious problem than a guilty person going free - which is why we require conviction beyond reasonable doubt in the first place. Personally I am okay with that, for a bunch of reasons.

It's important to remember that crimes are not committed against victims - they are committed against the community. Victims have no official standing in a criminal case, and the outcomes of a trial are not designed for their personal redress. That's what civil suits are for.
 

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#71
I have not read (nor do I know if it is available) the court transcript of this case. However, I still maintain that there are plenty of cases where there is no forensics, no witnesses and people found guilty. I have sat on such cases. Evidence of behaviour before and after is the circumstantial evidence that goes to building the case. It's the strength of the testimony that makes one side seem more likely.

I agree that the passage of time makes this conviction more unique.

The first case I sat on I was 25. It was an indecent dealing case of a minor between 14-16. It was a he said/she said. He was found guilty. There was no forensic evidence. No witnesses. He knew the girl. He separated one of two girls off and took her to a secluded spot. Everyone agreed on that. What happened next they disagreed on. They all (with the other girl) got in the car and drove home. They all agreed on that. The only part in dispute was a he said/she said.

After serving on that jury, I changed my habits and made sure I didn't find myself in a vulnerable situation (not with a minor - but legal adult women). I realised that as the male in a he said/she said situation you may not be able to prove your side.
I was on a similar case, another he said/she said type case with no witnesses, no forensic evidence, they were both minors though, the alleged incident happened at a fast food joint they were working at after closing time.

He fronted up in court to deny the allegations and was quite convincing and she gave her evidence via video link and wasn't that convincing at all.

Some people on our jury (mostly women) were pushing for a guilty verdict but myself and a couple of other jurors dug our heels in on a not guilty verdict due to there being too much doubt, we got our way in the end but it took all afternoon to convince them. It could have easily gone the other way though.
 

utility

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#72
That is pretty different to this situation, where (AFAIK) the entire existence of the incident rests completely on one uncorroborated witness and no physical evidence. I am not aware of any similar convictions, especially 20+ years after the event. As such I was pretty surprised that the jury voted to convict.
I am aware of someone who is in the clink on a sexual assault which he claims he is innocent and was clearly screwed by legal aid and the County Court judge. He could be innocent, he could be guilty, but it was he says/she says and the deck was stacked against him.
 
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#73
Good post.

I listened to steve price last night who had rita panahi on. She stressed her doubts about the criminal justice system citing incidents here and especially USA where innocent people are jailed, and proven innocent much later after evidence is found.

price said yes its happened before lindy chamberlain, and although the system isnt perfect it's the rule of law we all live under and that's it. he also observed that rita was sitting on the fence on pells innocence/guilt
No chance of Rita sitting on the fence if Pell was more left wing or a Muslim.
 

Gralin

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To me this would be more analogous to the current case if there was an acceptance by both sides that they were in fact in the sacristy, and the only disagreement was what had occurred there. AFAIK this is not the case - we have only the word of the victim that the meeting occurred at all.


True, a false conviction is generally regarded as a far more serious problem than a guilty person going free - which is why we require conviction beyond reasonable doubt in the first place. Personally I am okay with that, for a bunch of reasons.

It's important to remember that crimes are not committed against victims - they are committed against the community. Victims have no official standing in a criminal case, and the outcomes of a trial are not designed for their personal redress. That's what civil suits are for.
Have you ever said that to a victim?
 
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