A juror on Bain

November 20th, 2012 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

One of the jurors on ’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.

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45 Responses to “A juror on Bain”

  1. lilman (959 comments) says:

    Murdering arse hole should get nothing, based on first guilty conviction.

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  2. Paulus (2,627 comments) says:

    lilman

    You are entitled to your opinion – so am I.

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  3. Chuck Bird (4,883 comments) says:

    “Justice Binnie’s report is with the Government, and if he recommends compensation then I reluctantly say that it should be granted.”

    I hope we get to see his full report with his reasons. Judges like MPs are not always as smart as they think they are.

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  4. iMP (2,385 comments) says:

    Binnie will be as good as we can get. He will have been thorough, and I’m with David (not Bain, although I’m confused now due to some recent photos) that it is time to accept the Judge’s opinion. I believe Bain killed his family and I would hate for there to be compensation. But in end, it will be Chris Findlayson’s call (? or Cabinet?) and I’m sure he/they are aware the public would not wear this, so he is likely to deny (even if Binnie recommends).

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  5. Graeme Edgeler (3,289 comments) says:

    It is useful to have clarified that there is a big difference between not guilty and innocent.

    There has been some lack of clarity?

    [DPF: Going off the comments of many, yes]

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  6. hinamanu (2,352 comments) says:

    True evidence of the families situation including incest was barred from the case making the case itself reprehensible and Bain should have been discharged originally

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  7. voice of reason (490 comments) says:

    “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”

    Where did she actually say that? I saw the interview on TV and all I saw was yet another opinion, from someone compelled to “Speak out” for whatever reason.
    According to her “there’s been a lot of confusion about what David Bain’s not guilty verdict in the second trial means” – Really? I think the majority of people understand the concept of being found not guilty.

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  8. voice of reason (490 comments) says:

    “Three other jurors also went to Dunedin “of their own volition” to visit the Every St crime scene, she said.”

    There was no crime scene by then – the house had long since been burnt down.

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  9. barry (1,317 comments) says:

    Forget all the discussion about Bain.

    The reason for all the ongoing trouble with this case goes right back to the crappy police investigation from day 1. If you want to blame anyone – blame them.

    Interestingly we have quite a few cases where it seems that the police fucked up.
    Peter Ellis case
    Kahui twins case
    the nelson gang case
    Dotcom (looks like lying to court in this one)
    Of course the thomas case (they didnt screw up – they lied)
    — and right thru to this case that was in court a couple of weeks ago where the father was put away – but the mother was let off- when she whould be in there in the next cell. I think his name was JJ something.

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  10. flipper (4,059 comments) says:

    It was not David. It was not Robin. Guess?
    It was Elvis!
    DPF…. you have the right to express an opinion. But like me, I doubt you sat through a single day of evidence at the Dunedin High Court (Apols, if you did), so your view, like mine, is formed through the prism of the media, books and the Privy Council’s comprehensive report.

    Most of what is in the herald was on TV3 last Sunday. I regard it and other comments con Basin as gratuitous horseshit. Why? Because they are based upon innate prejudice against any person charged by Police. Personally, I have no view of guilt or innocence. But I do recall Justice Thorp’s admonition about the innocent being found “guilty” and being incarcerated unjustly.

    Let us remember this: Binnie, who is no pussy cat, says he has accessed some 2500 (or was it 3000?) documents, including Karam’s book(s) (for reasons he documented). If he says “PAY”, it is OK by me. If he says “don’t pay”, it is also OK by me.
    What is NOT ACCEPTABLE TO ME, AND I SUSPECT MANY OTHERS, is the belief of the arrogant Collins that she and her departmental functionaries can appoint Binnie and then second guess his conclusions and recommendations.

    Collins et al : Let us hear the result and pay up if that is the recommendation.

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  11. Dexter (303 comments) says:

    “But I do recall Justice Thorp’s admonition about the innocent being found “guilty” and being incarcerated unjustly.”

    Ironically you don’t appear to be able to recall Justice Thorps in-depth analysis of the Bain case where he found that Bain was not one of the unjustly incarcerated, in fact the exact opposite.

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  12. queenstfarmer (782 comments) says:

    It is useful to have clarified that there is a big difference between not guilty and innocent.

    There has been some lack of clarity?

    Yes – some people equate a finding of “not guilty” with a finding of “proven innocent”.

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  13. scrubone (3,099 comments) says:

    True evidence of the families situation including incest was barred from the case making the case itself reprehensible and Bain should have been discharged originally

    So is it just supressed evidence, or is it supressed evidence that supports David’s story you consider relevant?

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  14. BlairM (2,339 comments) says:

    I don’t know why everyone seems to be giving Justice Binnie a free pass. He is one of the more liberal Canadian members of the judiciary, and his background is not in criminal law. He has actually been the minority opinion in favour of the defendent in several criminal cases. His judicial philosophy is unsound, and follows the “living constitution” model. Why are we even bothering to listen to this fellow? His report should be thrown out, and if Labour want to challenge a decision not to grant compensation, they should make it an election issue.

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  15. scrubone (3,099 comments) says:

    But like me, I doubt you sat through a single day of evidence at the Dunedin High Court (Apols, if you did), so your view, like mine, is formed through the prism of the media, books and the Privy Council’s comprehensive report.

    Like this guy?

    Journalists remain impartial at a trial, but, inevitably, after hearing all the evidence and being paid to concentrate, you reach a view.

    After sitting through almost every minute of the David Bain retrial, I was quite convinced Bain killed his family on June 20, 1994, by executing them with his .22 semi-automatic rifle.

    I thought many of the defence arguments had been exposed as almost ludicrously implausible and its experts revealed as endorsing some very strained interpretations of the evidence.

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  16. scrubone (3,099 comments) says:

    I wasn’t aware that Binnie’s report was public anyway. As far as I was aware, we had only rumours.

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  17. flipper (4,059 comments) says:

    Dexter…
    You have said this at least once before….and you are wrong.

    Thorp’s “in depth analysis” was nothing of the sort. Go access the Privy Council report and read it – the full report.
    Thorp’s effort on the Bain case was a matter of supporting the status quo…and those who frequent the Northern and Wellingtion Clubs. In that case the reverse of the old Soviet Union rule, i.e. It is permissible to generalise but not specify.
    To be specific ( on a particular case), would be to criticise, personally, fellow judges.

    AND, Dexter, many folk, including Min of Jus and Dept of Corr, PShrinks, believe the Thorp estimate on unjust guilty findings was on the low side of a very human problem – we are not perfect.

    Ergo, we should correct when we can, should we not?

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  18. Dexter (303 comments) says:

    So you quote him as an authority when it comes to supporting your argument, but simply as a colluding part of the old boy’s network otherwise….It also shows a remarkable ignorance of what his report actually constituted, his decision on Ellis alone shows the fallacy of your status quo argument.

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  19. lastmanstanding (1,296 comments) says:

    IMHO Bain did it and the Plod stuffed up. The first Plod on the scene trampled all over the house and the evidence making it very difficult for the forensics to do their job.

    Also IMHO Thomas didnt kill the Crewes but the Plod couldnt get the evidence to convict the real killer so they stitched up Thomas. Remember there had been 2 or 3 unsolved murders in the year before and the Gumint were getting pissed offf with Plod so thats why they had to get thomas.

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  20. RRM (9,919 comments) says:

    Paraphrasing this post:

    A juror’s made some verbal comments (to a Journo) that affirm my previously-formed opinions.

    Meanwhile, word on the street is that Justice Binnie in his gold-standard, fully written-up and published judicial review may say the opposite of my previously-formed opinions.

    Therefore I prefer to believe what the juror said to the journo.

    [DPF: You should try actually reading what I said, such as deferring to Justice Binnie's opinion]

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  21. flipper (4,059 comments) says:

    Really Dexter.
    You seem to approach these issues with a prejudicial passion…… So … go read Lynley Hood’s “A City Possessed”.

    Scrubone…..
    Yes, the Journo reached a conclusion. It is his and counts for nothing. If I had to choose I would go with the PC , and with Binnie – whatever he concludes.

    As for publication of the report…. did you read Jones on this? Clearly the report has not remained under wraps.
    But we, the great unwashed, await formal publication.

    Of course it is just possible that Collins et al are being smart. Better to leak the report in bits than to shock folk like Dexter.

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  22. wreck1080 (3,909 comments) says:

    @lastmanstanding:

    You can have an opinion but does not mean it is true.

    I tend to think Bain did it on the strength of that awful jersey .

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  23. Jack5 (5,137 comments) says:

    NZ would be more boring if it hadn’t been for the tragic Bain massacre, the second trial, the accused who chose not to take the witness stand, the jury members who celebrated with the accused, and the woman with a record and a name change who slipped through the jury selection net.

    It’s a circus, and the lawyers get the haul from the ticket office.

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  24. Harriet (4,969 comments) says:

    DPF #

    “….That’s outrageous, if correct. I wonder if the jurors who allegedly did that could be in contempt of court or committed an offence?…”

    In NSW cases get abandoned etc for this reason.

    In the trial where the Lebanese males raped several girls[made famous by the dog meat comment] two male jurors visted the crime scene at night. The case was then abandoned.[The Lebanese were then re-trialed, the ring leader getting 61yrs! He appealed and from memory got it reduced to 25yrs.

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  25. Longknives (4,742 comments) says:

    No doubt about it- Old Wingnut is as guilty as a puppy sitting next to a pile of poo…..

    As for this Juror- If she had such concerns about the blatant misconduct of her fellow Jurors why the hell didn’t the silly cow speak up at the time? This could (and should) have changed everything…

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  26. scrubone (3,099 comments) says:

    Yes, the Journo reached a conclusion. It is his and counts for nothing.

    Yes, because he disagrees with you.

    It’s been a while since I read the privy council report, but it struck me at the time that the “gross miscarriage of justice” line was quite out of place, and at odds with the tone of the report otherwise. Given they ordered a retrial, it’s hard to argue that Bain should never have been charged.

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  27. Mark (1,488 comments) says:

    Is this juror trying to justify her decision in her mind or is she trying to influence Binnie. It is very hard to understand this woman’s motivation here. No Jury is ever asked to determine the innocence of the accused, it simply is not (nor has it ever been) the job of the jury. Juries only decide whether the the crown has proven guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

    After so long and so much publicity it is very difficult to imagine that people on that panel did not have some knowledge of the case gained from outside the courtroom. The behaviour of one or two jury members was crass and visiting the scene was illegal but why did this juror not raise it at the time?

    Binnie will not be influenced by this side show. As I understand he has already furnished his report and if Binnie recommends compensation I am not going to join the chorus of whiners about it. The Government has put in place a robust process, the choice of a foreign jurist was sound and now they must follow his recommendation either way. I do not know whether Bain did it or not. There seem to be a lot of people here who seem damn certain but based upon what exactly. Clearly the Privy Council saw the conviction as unsafe and then he was found not guilty at retrial. What’s to complain about.

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  28. scrubone (3,099 comments) says:

    It is very hard to understand this woman’s motivation here.

    Really? I thought it was quite odvious that she’s telling the public that (while they think the jury let off a mass murderer) Bain probably did do it but the case fell short of that required for a conviction.

    It’s pretty clear to most of the population that a man is free who should have spent the rest of his life in jail – at a minimum. It does appear that some of the jury had stars in their eyes, but this one appears to have taken their job seriously.

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  29. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    > I have to respect the opinion of the jurist who spent months reviewing all the evidence.

    Actually you don’t have to. Why not defer to the juror who spent several weeks veiwing and listening to the evidence? It’s interesting to note that Binnie didnt want to hear from the juror but he was quite happy to peruse Joe Karam’s books. I wonder if Binnie bothered to ask Bain any hard questions…

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  30. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    Here are some questions that Binnie could and should have asked Bain. I am guessing he didn’t.

    What did David do in the 15-20 minutes from when he returned home from his paper run until he phoned for an ambulance?
    How long after he heard Laniet gurgling did he call for an ambulance?
    What were his thoughts when he heard Laniet gurgling and did he try to help her?
    Did he turn on and turn off the light in her room that morning?
    How did he get bruises on his face and grazes on his knee and left shoulder?
    How did he get the blood of his brother Stephen on his shorts and t-shirt?
    Why did he tell the 111 operator that his family were all dead and
    then subsequently say he had only seen his parents’ bodies?
    When did he learn that his brother and sisters had died?
    Did he say that the green jersey worn by the killer belonged to Arawa and then later said it belonged to his father? If so, why did he change his story?
    Did he call a family meeting for the evening before the murders? If so, what was the purpose of the meeting and did the meeting go ahead?
    If it didn’t go ahead, why was that?
    Was Laniet scared of him? If so, why?
    Did he demand Laniet attend a family meeting the evening before the murders?
    Why did he enter the gate on the property of Mrs Mitchell on the morning of the murders?
    Did he discuss, with two high school friends, the possibility of abducting and raping a female jogger and using his paper run as an
    alibi?
    Did he, as Arawa allegedly told a friend, walk around inside the house holding a gun intimidating the family?
    What motivated him to say, after his first trial, that the judge “was very kind to me during the trial”?
    Did he think the first trial judge was kind when the judge said that he had acted “with a significant degree of cunning and premeditation”?
    Does he know how did blood came to be found inside the duvet cover on his bed?
    Did he own a pair of white opera gloves and where did he keep them?
    Where were the gloves the night before the murders?
    Whilst in prison, David allegedly said: “I find this state of limbo depressing and often hard to live with [being in prison], but it is
    eminently easier than being constantly crushed by shattered dreams, destroyed plans, broken promises and betrayals, by all I once held dear”? What dreams were shattered, what plans were destroyed, what promises were broken, and what betrayals did he suffer?
    Did David take a motorbike for a test run some weeks before the murders and crash it? If so, did he have – at the time of the murders – an outstanding debt regarding the motorbike? If so, how much was the outstanding debt and did David promise to pay it?
    Did David pay that debt?
    What was David’s yearly income (if any) and what was his financial position?
    Did David have in his bedroom a piece of cardboard with five hand drawn circular targets which had various bullet holes in and around them? Who drew the five circular targets and did they represent anything in particular?
    Why five targets?
    Did he have a premonition – just days prior to the murders – that his family would be murdered? If so, what’s his explanation (if any) for this premonition?
    Does he recall talking with a relative after the killings about “black hands taking them away”? If so, what was he talking about when referring to the black hands taking them away?

    [DPF: Very good questions. While I am inclined to defer to Binnie's conclusions, this will rest on the strength of his report. If he has taken an uncritical approach to key pieces of evidence, then it won't be the last word]

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  31. tristanb (1,127 comments) says:

    Voice of reason:

    “Three other jurors also went to Dunedin “of their own volition” to visit the Every St crime scene, she said.”

    There was no crime scene by then – the house had long since been burnt down.

    The jurors went to feel the spirit of the dead family members, their wairua, to see if this guided them to an answer. Obviously some other jurors thought this ridiculous – they instead prayed to Gaia to show them the truth while in the dream state.

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  32. Keeping Stock (10,339 comments) says:

    One of your few posts with which I agree wholeheartedly ross69 (12.06pm) :D

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  33. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    [If he has taken an uncritical approach to key pieces of evidence, then it won't be the last word]

    I tend to agree, DPF. I think that is why the government wants to read the report closely and to consult others. There may be some wiggle room, despite some people believing that Bain must receive compensation.

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  34. Rex Widerstrom (5,354 comments) says:

    DPF suggests:

    It is useful to have clarified that there is a big difference between not guilty and innocent.

    There is in this partticular case and in some others. But a not guilty verdict can also be a ringing endorsement of the innocence of the accused. It can also be pretty much a a scathing criticism of Police conduct which has muddied the waters of the case so badly it’s almost impossible to tell if the accused is in fact guilty, so a verdict of not guilty is the only one possible.

    It can, in fact, be anything at all on a sliding scale of “we really, really think he did it but the prosecution fell just a millimetre short of ‘beyond reasonable doubt'” to “how did this load of crap ever make it into court?”.

    So please cease implying that a clould of doubt hangs over the head of every person found not guilty. It should not; and if it does, it’s because of comments like that.

    On the wider issue of the jury’s role in cases, it’s only natural for people asked to decide complex questions to wish to make their own inquiries. The problem is that if they do so at present it’s in an uncontrolled manner and without any training in investigation, forensics or the many other skills required to collect and interpret complex evidence.

    So perhaps it’s time we considered an inquisitorial approach, with a panel of judge and lay jurors effectively sitting as equals, and with an independent investigatory arm which could be used to satisfy any questions arising in the minds of the panel. We could combine it, if we wished, with the adversarial system we now have, so each side could argue their interpretations of the evidence as well. Or a system akin to Scotland’s Procurator Fiscal. NZ happily ditched centuries of tradition in the way it elected its MPs; perhaps it’s time to be the first Western nation to look beyond what English law has bequeathed us in terms of a justice system.

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  35. GPT1 (2,121 comments) says:

    Not sure of the credibility of someone who missed the overwhelming evidence of guilt the crown brought to bear. And I say that as a defence lawyer who is always looking for doubt.

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  36. muggins (3,705 comments) says:

    We don’t know for sure what Binnie has said in his report. The Minister of Justice has never confirmed or denied that there was a leak. Having spent hundreds ,if not thousands of hours researching the Bain killings I find it beyond belief that Justice Binnie has found David Bain innocent on the balance of probabilities.
    Those glasses that were found in his room were enough to convict him on their own,I would have thought.
    He asked for them to be passed to him on the Monday morning.
    On the Tuesday morning,when he was staying with his aunt and uncle he said his eyes were hurting him and that he really needed his glasses. His aunt went to get up and get them for him asking him where they were.
    He said he had broken them when leaving his singing lesson the previous Thursday.
    His aunt asked him how he had been managing in the meantime and he said he had been wearing a pair of his mother’s glasses. They weren’t perfect,he said ,but they got him by. He then said that his glasses would be ready on the Thursday and could someone arrange to pick them up. His uncle picked them up on the Thursday.
    In the meantime a lens from those glasses that were found on a chair in his room[which turned out to belong to his mother]was found in his brother Stephen’s room. How did it get there? David Bain never said that that pair of his mother’s glasses that he said he had been wearing had a lens missing.
    Just before the trial David Bain told his lawyer that he would be admitting to wearing those glasses on the Sunday and the days prior. But when he took the stand he said that,while they were his mother’s glasses,glasses that he had worn before when his were not available,he had no explanation as to how those glasses came to be in his room. He said he hadn’t seen them that weekend or at least a year previous. He said he hadn’t needed them.
    David’s aunt was sitting in the courtroom listening to David. She said to herself “That’s not what he told us”.
    Both she and her husband testified at the retrial telling the jury what David had told them that Tuesday morning.
    What I can’t understand is how the jury at the retrial still found David Bain not guilty because of reasonable doubt after hearing their evidence.
    Even the Law Lords of the Privy Council said that the Crown thesis that David Bain was wearing those glasses when engaged in a struggle with Stephen was a strong one. They said that the issue for them was if it was reasonably possible that the lens could have got in the vicinity of Stephen’s dead body in a manner or at a time that was unrelated to the murders. They said there was no direct evidence suggesting how or why a lens from a pair of glasses that Stephen never wore and had no need to wear was already on the floor of his bedroom prior to him being shot.

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  37. Nostalgia-NZ (5,199 comments) says:

    ‘That’s outrageous, if correct. I wonder if the jurors who allegedly did that could be in contempt of court or committed an offence?’

    Yawn, it may have been interesting to know why this woman took 3 years to tell, and when she did it was to the media. There’s no evidence that material influenced the Jury in Bain’s favour, but if she had any concerns she ignored the appropriate authority at the relevant time. I suspect she may be one of those approached by ‘outsiders’ and beyond the sanction of the Law. Despite that, she maintained there was no evidence to convict David Bain – the critical point, and hopefully she is no longer confused about her role, and waits like the rest of us for Justice Binnie’s report on the test of innocence.

    As someone noted in a less acerbic way above, looking at an empty section can hardly be termed pivotal to a Jury’s deliberations.

    rossco, can’t be bothered reading ‘your’ list of discredited crap – but you might like to explain how the father got smears of blood on his palms after he was dead?

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  38. muggins (3,705 comments) says:

    I see the previous poster is saying that the juror who was intervieved by TVNZ ” took 3 years to tell and when she did it it was to the media”.
    Now it so happens that a juror wrote to the Christchurch Press back in 2010. I have a copy of that letter. From what that juror said in that letter I believe that the person who wrote that letter and that the person who was interviewed by TVNZ are one and the same. If I am wrong then we have two jurors that have come forward both saying much the same thing.
    One wonders if there will be more jurors coming forward. Perhaps TV3 will get one who will say that they believe David Bain is innocent. Whoops,I just saw a flying pig.

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  39. Bob R (1,373 comments) says:

    I wonder what Binnie would make of the Scott Watson situation? Steven Price’s review of Keith Hunter’s book suggests that is a highly suspect verdict:

    “The book is a meticulous dissection of the evidence against Watson, and fleshes out the allegations in Hunter’s 2003 documentary Murder on the Blade?

    Let’s look at his case:

    •The main witness against Watson, Guy Wallace – the water taxi driver who supposedly dropped Watson (along with Smart and Hope) off on the Blade – now insists it wasn’t him – and that he was hoodwinked into making the identification.

    •Wallace, and everyone else who identified the guilty man, said he had at least medium-length, unkempt, wavy hair that evening. Photographs taken that day show that Watson’s hair was very short and trim.

    •Wallace and the other passengers at the time also insist that it wasn’t the Blade they were dropped off onto. It was a much bigger boat, with complex rigging; a ketch that you had to reach up to from a water taxi, unlike the Blade. What’s more, there were plenty of sightings of such a ketch in Endeavour Inlet and the Sounds that New Year.

    •The evidence of Watson’s arrival time at Eerie Bay kept getting pushed back during the investigation – to give Watson time to steam out into Cook Strait and dump the bodies, it seems. But even with his arrival at its latest, and his boatspeed at its maximum, the trip was physically impossible in that timeframe.

    •The Crown’s “two-trip” theory (sprung on the jury at the last moment) was that Watson had returned to the Blade at 2 am and then gone back to shore where he was seen at about about 2:45 am. But this is disproved by the occupants of the boat Blade was tethered to. Put together, their evidence is that he arrived sometime around 3 am, and certainly not significantly earlier.

    Ah, yes, you think, as you read this. So why did he scrub the boat clean – including all those cassette tapes? In fact, the police’s own expert said only 30 percent of the surfaces were wiped, and probably fewer than half the cassettes.

    But didn’t Watson paint the boat cabin afterward? Yes, as he had announced he was going to do the previous month.

    But what about those scratches on the hatch – made by desperately scrabbling fingernails? Well, the hatch actually opened from the inside. Anyway, some of the scratches went right under the edge of the cover, and included parts on the side that couldn’t be reached when it was closed.

    Still, weren’t there secret witnesses who said he’d confessed to them in jail? Well, yes, though their stories were implausible, and one has since recanted. The other got very friendly prosecution treatment after giving his evidence.

    Okay – then how does Hunter explain Olivia’s hairs on Watson’s blanket? This is the single most damning piece of evidence. The thing to note here is that the scientist who looked at the bags of hairs from Watson’s blanket didn’t notice any blonde hairs, and couldn’t find any hairs at all that were testable for DNA. It was only after the police had visited Olivia’s home and taken samples of her hair when the scientist took another look at the bags of hairs from the blanket – and found a hair that matched Olivia’s. I think we can be forgiven a doubt about that evidence.

    Hunter asserts that those involved in securing Watson’s conviction were party to a horrendous miscarriage of justice. He says the police were deceptive and tunnel-visioned, the media helped spread damaging misinformation, and the prosecutors misled the jury. They’re serious allegations. But Hunter explains his grounds for them. His case is persuasive. The onus now, I think, is on the police and prosecution to answer it. What has Hunter got wrong? What other evidence has he missed out that should convince us that Watson is guilty? Is there a good response to his allegations of police and prosecution misconduct?

    I phoned the police and asked those questions. I was told that Rob Pope, who was in charge of the Watson investigation and is now Deputy Police Commissioner, hadn’t read the book, and didn’t want to relitigate the case, which after all had been through an appeals process.

    Not good enough, I say. Hunter has raised serious questions here, and they go to the heart of public confidence in the administration of justice. The fact that an innocent man may be in jail is just the beginning of what should trouble us about this case.”

    http://www.medialawjournal.co.nz/?page_id=40

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  40. muggins (3,705 comments) says:

    I see a poster is asking how Robin Bain could have gotten smears of blood on his hands after he died.
    Well,I can make a couple of suggestions. When the blood on Robin Bain’s clothing was tested it was found to have been his own blood[apart from a couple of spots which could have been from either him,David or Laniet],so I believe that the blood smears on his hand could have also,if they had been tested, proved to have been his own blood
    Either that or maybe David Bain had some of his father’s blood on his hands,and he moved his father by pulling him by the hands,thus transferring some of the blood from his hands on to his father’s hand. David Bain did tell a detective that he had no blood on his hands because he had washed them.
    I see that same poster is referring to an empty section. Perhaps that poster believes those jurors who went to Dunedin[naughty,naughty] went to look at an empty section. I don’t believe that is why they went to Dunedin. I believe they went there to see how long it would take for them to walk from Heath Street to that empty section. If they did,I bet it took them well under three minutes.
    I see that same poster is saying that that juror is saying there was no evidence to convict David Bain. What she is actually saying is that the jury believed there was reasonable doubt,and that is why they couldn’t convict him.

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  41. muggins (3,705 comments) says:

    In reply to Bob R.
    I agree, Hunter raises many good points. The evidence against Scott Watson is fairly weak. Scott Watson may be innocent.
    The main problem I have is if it wasn’t Watson then who was it? Supposedly a bloke with a lot of facial hair who was a crew member on that maybe ketch. So if he murdered Ben and Olivia then surely the other crew members on that ketch would be aware of that. How many crew members were there? Would they all have been able to keep stum for all this time?
    As for that Cook Strait theory the police came up with,well it is only a theory. Remember how the police thought they had found the bodies when they found that sail. It was nowhere near Cook Strait.
    That is the trouble with theories,some people try to make out they are gospel.
    Take the Bain case. The police theorised that David Bain shot his father from behind the computer alcove curtain when his father was kneeling on his beanbag.Now an ESR [ex] scientist who was at the scene of the crime very early on says he believes Robin Bain was shot standing upright.
    Who turned the computer on? The police originally said it was David. Now they accept that it might have been Robin.
    According to David Bain his father usually came into the lounge at around 6.40am when he was home[presumably on Monday's and Tuesdays,all other workday mornings he was out at Taieri Beach.]
    So one scenario could be that Robin Bain comes into the house at around 6.40am as per usual,turns the computer on in preparation for collating some information he was going to take into an Education Board official he had made an appointment to see that morning,then says his prayers or meditates for about 20 minutes, then goes out to pick up the paper,which for some reason David didn’t bring in even though he said he normally did when he ran his his paper round which is what he did that morning. Then when Robin comes back into the house David confronts him,causing the dog to bark for a few minutes,something it had never done before at that time. Robin would not have known that David was home.
    David said he didn’t turn the light on in his room when he went into it when he arrived home,even though it was pitch black,and the paper wasn’t on the hall table. Of course if David had turned his light on[pulled is probably a better word as apparently his light was cord operated] he would have seen that trigger lock key and would have rushed in to ask his mother what was going on. He wouldn’t have done any washing.

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  42. Falafulu Fisi (2,179 comments) says:

    Does the woman Juror understand what balance of probability is? Any criminal lawyer here that wants to chip in? Can you explain in terms of probability (you must quantify, by saying that the probability that David Bain did it is 45%, then go on to explain your conclusion using probability theory). The term probability here is being misused even lawyers & judges, let alone members of the jury. I have never ever heard any argument using the balance of probability in a quantifiable manner. All arguments have been descriptive, but probability is really a quantifiable variable.

    The author of the following paper had this to say:
    …it is clear that the legal profession remains generally fairly ignorant of Bayesian (probabilistic) reasoning.

    Read the full-paper here: The “Jury Observation Fallacy” and the use of Bayesian Networks to present Probabilistic Legal Arguments

    Here is another paper that’s related to legal probabilistic reasoning.

    Use of Bayesian Belief Networks in legal reasoning

    Its a long way, but I believe that at some future time, our courts may accept scientific tools as BBN (Bayesian Belief Networks) to be used (both prosecution team & defense). It took DNA evidence some years before it was allowed in courts.

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  43. Falafulu Fisi (2,179 comments) says:

    I just want to add to my post above. The types of research I linked to above are mainly being published in the journal of Artificial Intelligence and Law. Although some computational legal papers are being submitted to other math/stats/engineering/computing journals for publication, the main journal for that community is the Artificial Intelligence and Law.

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  44. muggins (3,705 comments) says:

    Ross 69,just commenting on your post. Some good questions,some of which I believe I know the answer to.
    What did David do in those 15-20 minutes between when he found the bodies and when he phoned the emergency services?
    He says he doesn’t know. He believes he may have somehow gotten those scratches/bruises on his chest during that period of time,or so he implied to a female companion[not his girlfriend,he didn't actually have a girlfriend as such]. Joe Karam has suggested he may have fainted at some point during that “missing” 20 minutes.
    Laniet’s gurgling. This is what Professor Ferris,Professor Emeritus at the University of British Coumbia had to say. He testified that he was quite confident that the cheek wound to Laniet’s head was the first wound. He said she would have been able to survive that wound for some considerable time. He said she would have been able to make noises that could be interpreted as gurgling noises that would indicate she was still alive. He said a groaning type sound would indicate she was still alive and that the muffling sound like water that David Bain said he heard might be gurgling as air is drawn through blood in the airways.
    Professor Ferris said he had carried out up to 10000 post mortem examinations of which 700-800 related to gunshot wounds,so one would have to think he is a man who knows what he is talking about,so far as gun shot wounds are concerned.
    David Bain said he did turn Laniet’s light on,then turned it off again when he left her room.
    How did he get those bruises on his face? Well ,he has suggested he might have got them when he fell backwards on being told that Arawa was dead. The police officer who was with him at the time said he didn’t see him hit his head,but if he did hit his head it would have been the back of his head. He said that when he brought David up into the recovery position he came out clean.
    I will continue later.

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  45. muggins (3,705 comments) says:

    Ok,Ross 69 ,I’m back.
    How did David Bain get Stephen’s blood on his t-shirt and shorts? Well,one ESR scientist reckoned that blood on his T-shirt might have been old blood,so the defence tried to make out that David Bain wasn’t all that good at washing blood out of clothing[though he did ok so far as that green jersey was concerned].
    As for that blood on his shorts,well David said he touched his brother’s shoulder and the defence tried to make out he got Stephen’s blood on his shorts somehow from doing that. It would appear the jury thought that was possible,don’t ask me how.
    The Crown reckoned that blood seeped through from outer clothing,namely those trackpants that were in the wash. But there is no way of knowing just who those trackpants belonged to. The Crown reckoned they belonged to David Bain because of the length,but Joe Karam wrote in the submissions he prepared for the Privy Council that those trackpants belonged to Robin Bain. One can only presume David Bain must have told him that.
    Why did David Bain tell the phone operator that all his family was dead,and then not long afterwards tell a police officer he only saw his mother and father? I believe he just made an elementary mistake. He forgot what he had told the phone operator when he spoke to that police officer.
    I will continue later.

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