The Herald reports:
One of the jurors on David Bain’s retrial has spoken out about the case for the first time.
The woman, one of 12 jurors to reach a unanimous verdict of not guilty on all counts, says while she doesn’t dispute the final verdict, she wants her perspective on the meaning of the verdicts to be clear.
“I think there’s been a lot of confusion about what David Bain’s not guilty verdict in the second trial means,” she told TVNZ Sunday reporter Janet McIntyre.
“There’s been a lot of speculation that it means that he was found innocent. And I was a juror and I never found David Bain innocent,” she said.
She pointed out that the jury was never asked to find Bain innocent, but whether or not the prosecution proved the case beyond reasonable doubt.
“And that they did not do,” she said.
The woman said she didn’t believe Bain should get compensation “on the balance of probabilities”.
It is useful to have clarified that there is a big difference between not guilty and innocent. Also interesting to hear a juror say that on balance of probabilities, someone who heard all the evidence believes it is more likely David Bain was the killer.
However we are now at a stage where the opinion that counts is that of Canadian Justice Binnie, who was appointed to report on whether Bain is innocent on the balance of probabilities. The media have reported that he has concluded he is. While this goes against my beliefs, I have to respect the opinion of the jurist who spent months reviewing all the evidence. Having said that, I will be fascinated to read his report and reasoning.
The woman alleged that some of the other jurors broke the rule of sanctity by bringing outside material about the case into the jury room.
Three other jurors also went to Dunedin “of their own volition” to visit the Every St crime scene, she said.
Auckland University’s associate professor of law Bill Hodge, whom the woman sought for advice, told Sunday that the allegations were serious.
“I haven’t seen anything as significant in 40 years of looking at juries in New Zealand.
“In most trials, a visit to the scene is something that should be controlled and visits are unruly and possibly a form of misconduct.”
Bringing extraneous material into the jury room is a matter of great concern as jurors must base their decisions only on what they hear in court, he said.
That’s outrageous, if correct. I wonder if the jurors who allegedly did that could be in contempt of court or committed an offence?
But the revelation comes too late to change things. Justice Binnie’s report is with the Government, and if he recommends compensation then I reluctantly say that it should be granted.