Keith Locke
Bain verdict time for sober reflection

It’s good that the Police have said they will learn from the Bain case if there is any thing they could have done better.

 

However, it shouldn’t just be admitting they did a few things wrong at the beginning.

 

The review needs to cover the whole of the last 15 years – since that tragic morning at Every Street.

 

In 2007 the Privy Council judged that “a substantial miscarriage of justice has actually occurred” and quashed the convictions.

 

Technically, the Privy Council had no other course but to order a retrial, because its mandate had been to consider part of the evidence, not the whole evidence. However, it said that this order “does not of course restrict the duty of the Crown to decide whether a retrial now would be in the public interest.”

 

It was hardly in the “public interest” for the Police to recommend to the Solicitor General that there be a retrial.

 

The Privy Council had discredited much of the Police evidence against David Bain and a prosecution was hardly likely to succeed.

 

Also why waste millions of taxpayers money and not to mention the trauma caused to those involved in the re-trial not least of all the jurors.

 

We have a good Police force. It’s commendable that our cops ‘stick by their mates’, particularly in the many dangerous situations they put themselves in to protect us.

 

But it shouldn’t apply when their mates are going down the wrong track. Over 15 years successive Police officers seemed unwilling to look beyond pinning the murders on David even as other more fruitful leads came to light.

24 thoughts on “Bain verdict time for sober reflection

  1. Any thing they could have done better? Like stitch him up properly perhaps?
    I think they should take a long hard look at how they could by-pass common law in order to find the man guilty – no one can return Mr Bain 14 years of his life.
    And who else is wrongfully living in Jail? – more to the point; how many are afforded a hearing at the Privvy Council?
    Something is rotten in the State of Denmark methinks…

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  2. Excellent post Keith.

    The tragedy is that there are likely many more out there (or, in some cases, still in there) who have been subjected of the same type of miscarriage of justice Bain faced.

    Scott Watson and David Tamihere spring to mind immediately. John Barlow, I’m a bit less certain about on what I’ve read of the evidence, but after two hung juries, that also has to be a highly dubious conviction.

    I’d suggest the Crown should only ever have two punts at getting a conviction – better to let the occasional real criminal go free when the evidence is inconclusive, than to have potentially innocent people banged up for life.

    The test is “beyond reasonable doubt”. Surely, if two successive juries can’t agree that test has been met, it’s time to move on.

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  3. which is a part of why nandor should be in th house – for all that learnin’ people miss the obvious, make fatal mistakes…

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  4. In this case

    1. They could have excluded murder-suicide by testing the blood on Robin Bain’s hands (if it was only his own, and it came from his head wound and as he died immediately – then he died with his hands on his head and thus it could not have been suicide).

    It’s better to let the evidence exclude murder suicide rather than presumption.

    2. When they choose to declare something as “the killers footprints”, they had better learn more about footprint evidence before the court case – such as relevant information to the answer of this question – does the size of peoples feet change over time (and in what age periods or for what reasons – and what applies in any relevant case)?

    If murder suicide is not excluded and the killers footprint size appears to be of someone other than the accused, the police case has been compromised before the jury.

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  5. Bain did it…..to belive otherwise is akin to beliving in Santa or the Easter bunny.

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  6. Keith is saying the retrial shouldn’t have gone ahead as it wouldn’t have succeeded but the police stood by their mates*.

    *”We have a good Police force. It’s commendable that our cops ’stick by their mates’, particularly in the many dangerous situations they put themselves in to protect us [without tasers].”

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  7. Speaking of sober reflection, does Keith consider his fellow travelers in the Auckland Council for Civil Liberties to be the sober ones or the people in between?

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  8. What part of “five people were murdered” does Locke not get?

    Or is this part of the Green parties now law and order policy, anybody who “seems” nice will not go to prison even if they did murder five people in cold blood.
    Perhaps restorative justice might work?, Bain could have sat down with the victims family and………oh hang on.

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  9. # James Says:
    June 9th, 2009 at 3:46 am

    > Bain did it…..to belive otherwise is akin to beliving in Santa or the Easter bunny.

    of course Bain did it – the question is, which Bain?

    From what I’ve read, more evidence points to Robin Bain than to David Bain, but the truth is we will never be sure. The problem is too many expert witnesses giving diametrically opposed evidence.

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  10. big bro Says:
    June 9th, 2009 at 10:19 am

    > Or is this part of the Green parties now law and order policy, anybody who “seems” nice will not go to prison even if they did murder five people in cold blood.

    both suspects ‘seemed nice’ to people who knew them. David Bain wasn’t acquitted because he ‘seemed nice’ (though some of the poeple who fought for the retrial may have been motivated by that). He was acquitted because the evidence showed a high probabability that the other guy did it.

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  11. “He was acquitted because the evidence showed a high probabability that the other guy did it.”

    They did not offer ONE shred of evidence to show that Robin committed the murders, to suggest that there was a high probability that “the other” guy did it is simply laughable.

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  12. “the truth is we will never be sure”
    Probably; and it is still ‘innocent until proven guilty’ – not the other way round.
    In the Great Nation, gossip becomes hearsay, becomes evidence in the wink of an eye…..well horse puckey to the Tribal Drum system of conveying information.

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  13. >>a high probabability that the other guy did it.

    No they didn’t. There is nothing connecting Robin to teh murders, and a mountain of circumstantial evidence implicating the son.

    For example, why was Robins body a lot warmer than the rest? He had a very narrow window of opportunity (supposedly). Was he wearing oversized gloves as a fashion statement? Why did he move Davids broken glasses around the house? Why didn’t David have them on his round? How did he manage to keep his prints off the rifle the whole time, even after he was shot? How did he get Stephens blood on the curtain – hadn’t he changed by then? Why did he have blood on this finger?

    I could go on and on….

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  14. Don’t forget that by not doing a good job the police leave the door open for people to be released on appeal that should be in jail. By closing their minds and deciding who did it rather than gathering the evidence and then seeing who the suspects should be they not only get the wrong person, they may also let the wrong person walk.

    Justice has to prevail and the minute the police think they’re above the law and stop supporting ‘innocent to proven guilty’ is the minute New Zealand justice goes down the gurgler.

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  15. Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.” Albert Einstein

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  16. I think the jury were blinded by the authority of “experts”.

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  17. They did not offer ONE shred of evidence to show that Robin committed the murders, to suggest that there was a high probability that “the other” guy did it is simply laughable.

    Some people here are really amusing! I’ve been asked by lots of people over the last few weeks if I thought David Bain did it, and I’ve given the same response to ALL of them: “I haven’t heard or read the evidence, so I really don’t have an opinion”!

    If anyone commenting here was in the court for the entire trial, I would love to hear your views, as for the rest, making a decision on someone’s guilt or innocence based on the minimal information make available – after interpretation – by the media is a very dangerous thing to do! Read the 1950 newspapers from Germany, you will be convinced the A. Hitler was a really nice, well intentioned, person!

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  18. kahikatea: “From what I’ve read, more evidence points to Robin Bain than to David Bain, but the truth is we will never be sure. The problem is too many expert witnesses giving diametrically opposed evidence

    From which you could reasonably conclude that if the same evidence can be interpreted multiple ways by multiple experts then those expert’s opinions don’t actually provide much if any evidential value.

    A layperson jury member can hardly be expected to determine if Expert A or Expert B is to be believed. A jury member who is other than a layperson is not what a jury is supposed to be about.

    Take the bloody sockprints for example. Multiple experts absolutely disagreed about what they meant. Therefore one can only conclude that there is no scientific basis on which determine who the sockprints were made by. All that can be said with a reasonable degree of certainty was that there were bloody footprints, made by someone.

    Strings is correct: there are many armchair jurors who know some tiny fraction of what was presented and are offering verdicts. I watched the entire OJ trial on telly, and was both amused and astounded by the opinions of those who watched like 2% of it and thought they were experts on the case…

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  19. Point is David was convicted on circumstantial evidence – that is simply not good enough – any idea how many people are getting off Death Row in the US due to dna evidence? It also means they have put thousands of innocent people to death – if we really want to imitate the US, lets ruin the economy, step up with the Racism, employ ‘zero tolerance’ and ‘three strikes ‘ policies, arm ourselves to the teeth.(could we be more silly?)
    Bro; I am consistently amazed at your ability to deliver the inside truth on a regular basis – are you sure it’s not just more of your bullshit?
    I’d bet there are more innocent people inside than there are guilty roaming free within NZ’s legal ‘system’.
    I wonder if D Bain would like to produce a book, perhaps in concert with one of our leading Journo’s – now there’s a best-seller.
    Incidentally – we have seen a Cabinet Minister completely libelled on what amounts to no more than gossip this week.
    C’mon Kiwi – give us a break – bulldust is very hard to breathe through.

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  20. Gee, Keith, I wonder if they’ll take a look at the evidential process, media contamination, and investigation bias present in another big case going to Court currently, and review their prosecution behaviour in the light of a finding that says the evidence has to relate to the charges?

    ROFLMAO, but not holding my breath…

    Precedents:
    Arthur Allen Thomas, Peter Ellis Crêche inquiry, Steven Wallace, this list goes on. Could twist the knife by mentioning the Clint Rickards rape inquiry, which had so much failed process that a CIB investigator from the 90′s was done for perverting the course of justice, after the acquittal verdict.

    They cock up so many high-profile cases, it’s no wonder that the general public refrain from involving the Police in many disputes, due to the unpredictable nature of the outcomes of presenting a set of facts (or a location covered in forensic data …).

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  21. So you all think David didn’t do it, therefore Robin did. Convicting on circumstantial evidence alone is actually very common. Having followed the case in detail all these years I would like to think the defence managed to cause enough obfuscation around the evidence to cause reasonable doubt. And that is why we got a not guilty verdict. But instead, having heard a lot about the jury now, it would seem that they believed David to be innocent.

    This case has not been a victory against our system, as painted by Joe Karam. Rather it has shown the weaknesses of our adversarial court system, and the huge damage an impartial jury can do – to justice for the victims.

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  22. Well said Mitch I agree with what you are saying. I have been studying the Bain case for years the more I study the more convinced I am that David did it. Keith Locke seems to think that a trial was not justified but the fact of the matter is that more people now after the trial think he is guilty than before the trial so what does that tell you! the trial had to happen there was a load of damming evidence against David and bugger all against Robin just try explaining the gloves they are only ever worn when shooting people for one reason and that is to prevent fingerprints, Robin had no need whatsoever to wear gloves whereas it was important for David not to leave prints, but after the gloves were discarded he left prints anyway, at the appeal in 2003 Crown Prosecutor Nicola Crutchley said that it defies all logic that a perfect set of prints would have remained on the gun from an earlier hunting trip.

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