Saturday, October 8, 2016

Arthur Taylor asks why me?

I don't know if that was exactly verbatim. But I have been told Arthur Taylor's most forceful question to the Court in his recent appearance to lift the name of secret witness 'C' was to ask why it was him, and not police, bringing charges against witness C, who I shall refer to as the hipster, so not to confuse him with other letters of the alphabet used to hide the names of other such witnesses relevant to the proceedings as they will unfold in the Hipster's forthcoming trial

What a poignant question that reveals how much the Justice System is upside down when it comes to secret witnesses. They can absolutely appear to lie and never be charged. Never has a secret witness been charged in NZ before over any matter relating to their evidence or the deal they did with police for money, favours or freedom. The Hipster would not have been the exception if not for Taylor so I believe his question should be answered.

How is that Hipster gave evidence in such a convincing way that some Jury's members in the Tamihere double murder trial were reduced to tears? Justice Fogarty had to deal with that results of that question which arose from the Hipster giving convincing evidence that was all lies. He told of Tamihere confessing to raping and killing the couple before dumping them at sea, he gave sordid details that understandably upset some Jurors in their shocking detail. Later one of the bodies would be recovered on land with different injuries from that which the Hipster had explained in detail, also the bodies were found miles away from where police and Hipster said the assaults and murders took place.

The story of the Hipster began almost 20 years earlier, or at least the police practice of planting evidence as recorded as generally becoming first noted in the Thomas case. A case which was also a double murder for which Thomas was eventually pardoned. Later, in the report from a Royal Commission that followed the pardon, it was concluded that evidence had been planted in order to convict Thomas, and that police had brought secret witnesses to the Royal Commission to 'prove' Thomas was in fact guilty. That didn't work because the Commission decided the witnesses, both prison inmates at some time, were lying - just as Taylor says the Hipster lied. Those were definitely not the first 2 prison inmates that had sung for their supper but from simple deduction in time it could be seen that police were willing to enlist the help of lying inmates.

So there would be little surprise that one of the younger detectives working on the Thomas case would some 20 or so years later, when in charge of the Tamihere inquiry, find not 2, but 3 inmates, lining up to say that Tamihere confessed a double murder to them, such was the reward for lying appreciated by prison narks and their enablers like John Hughes. It appears that Hughes helped the Hipster get early parole from a life sentence for 2 murders which he had pleaded guilty to, although he reoffended and continues to serve a life sentence. It was Hughes that found a watch in the family home of David Tamihere. He was also responsible for what was obviously harassment of Tamihere's wife and children. That watch linked Tamihere to the murders, was identified as being the same or similar to that of the missing Urban Hoglin by his family. It was around about then, I suspect, that many NZers paying attention to the trial became convinced of Tamihere's guilt. Around 2 years later when Urban's body was found in bush some 64ks from where the Hipster said he had been sexually assaulted and buried, not only did the body revealed different injuries that the Hipster had so gruesomely detailed but also the missing watch was still attached to the body.

What was revealed then were not only the lies of the Hipster but the total callousness in which the Hughes led inquiry treated David Tamihere's family. It struck me then as cruel and was brought home exactly how much the mistreatment had extended when I recently watched a video where David Tamihere's father, wife and son were interviewed. As far as I know they have never been apologised to, which sits just the same as Arthur Thomas, his family and his late ex wife Vivian who was accused of feeding the baby Rochelle after the totally fictitious claim that Arthur had killed her parents because her mother Jeanette had never opened a gift from Arthur when they were younger. How Arthur would know that gift was never opened has never been clear, what was clear is that the Thomas family were falsely besmirched by the same police who planted evidence against Arthur.

At the hearing for the application to lift the name supression of the Hipster there was a case mentioned as precedent, that of Travis Burns who was paid $30,000 to provide evidence against a long term friend of his, Chris Lewis, for the murder of Tania Furlan. Lewis committed suicide and Burns went onto kill Joanne McCartney in what many commentators have said was an identical crime to that Burns alleged of Lewis who had maintained his innocence before killing himself. If that is correct then that was another double murder in this deepening quagmire, but in the Burn/Lewis case around 2 years apart between the deaths. One man rewarded and going on to be convicted of a second murder of the same type he laid blame against Lewis for. Following Burns conviction police responded with an internal inquiry  from which they concluded that although the crimes were similar they were not both committed by 'their man' Burns. Arthur Taylor may have been busy robbing banks around that time, however I wonder what he would have made of the similarities in the 2 files police said didn't match.

Of course the progression of these double murder links with secret witness were not of concern to Fogarty J hearing the application to lift name suppression of the Hipster. So he would presumably not have been mindful of a fourth such case, that of Scott Watson. Watson was also convicted, in part, by the testimony of 3 secret witnesses. Or the fifth that happened just last year in the case of Mark Lundy who was retried following a decree by the Privy Council that he had suffered a Miscarriage of Justice and had his conviction from the early 2000s quashed. When he was retried last year suddenly a secret witness emerged claiming, as in Watson, Tamihere, Lewis and Thomas - yes a confession. There seem to be so many confessions being given to secret witnesses from prison that authorities could be considering confessionals.

So the depth of Arthur's question as to why it should be him bringing alleged perjurers to the Court and not police is evidenced in not 1 case but at least 5 is revealed. That's because police didn't charge the perjurers whose evidence was rejected by the Thomas Royal Commission,  they didn't charge the Hipster, didn't charge Burns, didn't charge any of the witnesses in Watson - despite one recanting, something which the police chose to ignore to keep their convictions against Watson safe, and didn't charge the witness in Lundy who heard 'his' confession from Lundy in the sentenced prisoners yard before Lundy was even sentenced. Why would police bat an eyelid, afterall they have been allowing their special witnesses to get away with perjury for years, since the 1960s if a starting point begins with the Thomas false convictions.

Justice Fogarty wrestled with this tiger and decided, most would agree rightly, that he would continue the suppression of the Hipster's name and that if the Hipster was convicted, as Burns was for another murder, that he couldn't blame on his own mate Lewis, then the Hipsters name might well be revealed just as Burn's name was. I say rightly because it is a tool for police to use informers whether I or others like it or not. But with that tool has come corruption of the highest order, not least that police have never once charged a lying secret witness. They don't want to charge them for fear others may not provide evidence in the future. In fact, in practice, police provide lying secret witnesses with immunity even though they don't have the power to do so, they do this by omission of their duty to uphold the Law. In ignore their sworn duty in such way is breaking the integrity of the Law in another. The message is out and has been for 40 years, do a deal with the cops, lie if necessary, even be encouraged to lie and nothing but good will happen for you if you have no conscience.

How far Taylor maybe able to lift the lid on this dark world where the good and bad guys play each other's roles is debatable. However, from some inference and information discussed in the Auckland High Court 2 weeks ago, the lid could blow right off the pot under it's own pressure. Maybe then Arthur will have his answer and the public for the first time have the opportunity to look into a very dark world kept secret by police, Courts and special witnesses.

I am of course am interested in what impact this may have on the administration of Justice in NZ, it cries out to be remedied. In the 1990s and early 2000s our Court of Appeal whitewashed the Tamihere case when the Hipster's lies were revealed. They said that his evidence not being truthful (or perhaps accurate) didn't matter. That isn't the function of a COA  that is the function of a Jury. No Judge or Judges are able to tell what impact was, or is, made on Juries by witnesses so persuasive, as in Tamihere and Watson, at least, capable of being able to make a Jury cry with absolute lies. The pattern of the lies began in Tamihere as far as I know where police feed details, or the witnesses pick them up from the news media and provide compelling testimony garnered with despicable gross acts difficult for any Juror, any person, to divorce from their mind. Particularly a Juror, how can a Court measure the depth of false testimony - it is an Injustice that they deem even to be able to do so.

In conclusion I will answer at least part of Arthur's question of 'why is  it me that has to bring the prosecution' - with the answer that it is because it is he (Taylor) who has taught himself respect of the Law and the sanctity of the truth before it. The same person taken away from his family for wagging school over 4 decades ago when Arthur Thomas was first put into the dungeons of Mt Eden based on lies.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Scott Watson innocent in Kiwi language.

The biggest surprise for me watching the TV1 show Doubt on Scott Watson last night were the yachties. Like everyone with  an interest in the case I had heard all the controversy about the Ketch that Guy Wallace dropped Olivia Hope and Ben Smart off  for the night. I had heard about the 'stepping up' rather than 'stepping down' across as it would have been had the group been alighting to Scott Watson's yacht The Blade.

But I had never heard Guy Wallace give his account with all the small detail which gave him credibility, nor had I understood fully the police attitude to him for not 'changing his story.' Nor heard from Scott's father and sister as to their experiences during the inquiry but mostly the explanations about the alleged cleaning of The Blade allegedly after Olivia and Ben's disappearance where it was revealed Scott and his sister had cleaned The Blade before the night the couple went missing. I had read about the claims that Scott had painted his boat after the disappearances but not that it was painted the with a stripe, the same or similar colour to that of the mystery ketch - both important facts that Ian Wishart omitted in his recent book Elementary.

Suddenly Guy Wallace and Roz McNally became real people with a measure of their personalities, honesty and indeed decency being displayed - the very same 2 witnesses used and coerced by police before they spoke out after the trial and said there identifications of SW had been incorrect, that they had either been misled or duped by police causing them to be mistaken. Both honest people whom it would be possibly easier for them to lie now rather than be tormented by something out of their control - but that is the people they are, average Kiwis with a sense of right and telling the truth.

However the TV1 show Doubt introduced by Chris Gallivan had more cats to let out of the bag which to me were an even more shocking than the character attacks against Guy and Roz if only by sheer size of the numbers from the New Zealand yachting fraternity. New Zealand is a group of isolated islands populated for less than a 1000 years, everything about New Zealand relates to the sea it bought our first inhabitants, it was and remains our passage to the world of commerce and livelihoods. New Zealanders are water people possibly second to none. New Zealand is a leading yachting nation, if not the leading yachting nation. New Zealanders excel in all sports related to boats, kayaks, yachts, etc designing and building. Generations of New Zealanders grow up with associations with the water, love to look at boats or any activity on the water as though doing so releases something inside of them, something like an affinity not just to the water and boats but the passage of the water and the sea that leads to a sense 'of community in isolation.'

When on the water New Zealanders change, it almost as though a clock turns back, respect for the water and it's dangers are foremost, secondly, would surely be for others sharing the water - New Zealanders naturally look out for one another when it comes to water. On the water there is no distinction, a person one meets might be a freezing worker or a doctor, an observer would be hard pressed to tell. Worker or doctor act or dress no differently to one another, both look out for others on the water and are ready to lend a hand without hesitation - meet an implied duty, watch out, and always wave. There is no hiding on the water or attempts to hide, no chance that help will not be offered or warnings given, all responsibilities are shared, often forcefully if required - each life on the water is precious. Of course there are exceptions and I am waxing lyrical somewhat but the sense of what I am writing about is real.

Just as the shock at hearing the many New Zealanders seen on the show Doubt were real as they were sharply brought into focus. These were people remaining upset 17 years after going to police in response to a call for help to find a double masted ketch. These were people that would, even with fear, help rescue others on the water, people who looked at passing vessels with keen interest, at every detail - they were salt of the earth boaties and yachties, some that wore clothes with paint marks on them and old sandshoes, others that wore the latest style of sunglasses and cut fine figures of fashion all treating one another the same just as the sea treats them with calmness and wild weather equally. Whilst I truly felt sorry for the Watson family, for the witnesses such McNally and Wallace who told the truth, the neighbour of the Watsons who refused to spy on them for police - I felt overwhelmingly sorry for those witnesses who did what was required of them as people who shared the water, who responded in a crisis and who were rubbished, not believed, told that they were either lying or mistaken.

I suppose that got to me as it caused me to remember as a child my father helping an Uncle build a boat, when for the first time I got the feeling of how New Zealanders committed to one another with boats and the water. Recalled how I later saw conversations on the water between boaties about where the fish were, or changes of weather, often talk about details of  a launch or yacht, discovered that it was normal to wave out even to people you didn't know. The same people you would help, or who would help you in a heartbeat despite that you may never see them again or had not seen them before. Those people that saw a Ketch weren't lying and weren't mistaken. How can I know that? Simple, there were too many of them, they were too knowledgeable and they had no reason to be poking their noses above the stockades, they knew too much informed detail - they had seen something they could never forget, they backed up Guy Wallace's critical account as to where he dropped off the couple. They also, most unfortunately, were rubbish by police after having been asked to come forward. After watching Doubt we know this coincided with Rob Pope taking over the inquiry into the missing couple. Many will feel, like me, that as a helmsman for the truth he sucks.

Moving on to the end of the show I was disappointed Chris Gallivan, who had presented the show so well.  who is also a Law Professor, specialising in criminal law - I think I heard him say, was without any ideas where the Watson case might now go. This after he so eloquently described the pre-conditioning the public and potential jurors got from Rob Pope which most certainly appears likely to have influenced the jury even if subconsciously.  When after the show a commentator on a blog site wrote that the Jury would not have been influenced by the secret witnesses who claimed that Watson confessed to them. No one can know that. Explanations that the Jury would have been warned about accepting the evidence also don't cut the mustard, one of them has recanted that is what is important and that a Jury never heard that or had the opportunity to hear what Roz and Guy now say that they never identified Watson, that they were tricked by police or bullied. Scott Watson was never given a fair trial, nor was he given a fair hearing of his Application for the Royal Prerogative of Mercy, neither situations stand up under the NZ Bill of Rights, the Watson case is a travesty of Justice - those yachties were never heard from, not one of them (from what I know) because Rob Pope knew they were mistaken,  despite that is actually not his decision to make that is a decision for a Jury to listen and observe from their own experiences.

The programme touched on the critical evidence of the 2 hairs said to have been found on a blanket taken off The Blade by police. There was an admission by the scientist that there was a possibility of contamination, something well known to a lot of New Zealanders and to the Jury, who also heard that the extremely long blond hairs were missed by police searching The Blade and also by the scientist who carefully searched the blanket and who only them found after a subsequent search, just like happened in 2 other cases of Miscarriages of Justice were evidence was found after first searches - Thomas and Bain. The show did not mention that the same day the hairs were 'found' police had brought a hair brush to the science lab which the sisters had used.

Also what the show didn't reveal was that the 2 hairs could have belonged to Olivia's sister as well and been the subject of innocent transfer, or indeed been planted like the Thomas shell case was and like the Bain glass lens was. The show didn't disclose what would have been unknown to the producers and writers - the following:

The document states that “microscopic hair comparison has been demonstrated to be a valid and reliable scientific methodology,” while noting that “microscopic hair comparisons alone cannot lead to personal identification and it is crucial that this limitation be conveyed both in the written report and in testimony.” In support of its conclusion that hair examination is valid and reliable, however, the document discusses only a handful of studies of human hair comparison, from the 1970s and 1980s. The supporting documents fail to note that subsequent studies found substantial flaws in the methodology and results of the key papers. PCAST’s own review of the cited papers finds that these studies do not establish the foundational validity and reliability of hair analysis.
The DOJ’s supporting document also cites a 2002 FBI study that used mitochondrial DNA analysis to re-examine 170 samples from previous cases in which the FBI Laboratory had performed microscopic hair examination. But that study’s key conclusion does not support the conclusion that hair analysis is a “valid and reliable scientific methodology.” The FBI authors actually found that, in 9 of 80 cases (11 percent) the FBI Laboratory had found the hairs to be microscopically indistinguishable, the DNA analysis showed that the hairs actually came from different individuals.

So first of all there is the chance that the 2 hairs might have been transferred accidentally from either sister or a donor they may have come into contact with that busy night. The chances that the hairs arrived on the blanket after the scientist's research are unknown to me statistically at this stage but I shall endeavour to find out. There are questions over the 'validity and reliable scientific methodology' both with the blanket handling and searches, and the 'sampling sources' there is also an '11% chance, possibly higher with other variables confirmed' that the hairs if not accidentally transferred did not belong to either sister. All of this and the 19 or so creditable sightings of a Ketch should have been before a Jury that had never possibly been influenced by Pope's media campaign of  the alleged guilt of Watson before his trial.

.Scott Watson deserves a retrial. This Government has the power to recommend  by way of the Governor General a referral to the Court of Appeal. Let's hear from the voice of science about the probability of those 2 hairs being sufficient for a guilty verdict balanced against the word or McNally and Wallace and all those people out on the water who saw a ketch.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Teina Pora book In Dark Places compelling.

I thought I knew a reasonable amount about the dynamics of the Pora case however some of the detail from Michael Bennett's important to read book 'In Dark Places' were still shocking. Having finished the book I realise that there were always gaps in what the public knew of the fine detail in the Pora case. It was plainly obvious to this reader that Pora's second trial was as unfair as his first, that he was actually framed a second time. I had drawn a wide brush over this because it was clear police set Pora up a second time by having witnesses lie that Pora and the serial rapist Rewa, who undoubtedly to most people was the killer of Susan Burdett, wittingly put the 2 together in a complete and utter fabrication.

There was nothing different in paying witnesses who lied in order to put Pora and Rewa together than for the Officer in Charge of this case, the now retired Rutherford, to have genuinely ever been able to believe Pora did not remember which home he had allegedly taken part in Susan Burdette's murder even when taken to the street and been spoken to right outside the house. Rutherford had to tell Pora which has it was, and reflect that Pora was unable to even describe the late Susan Burdett. As Michael Bennett wrote In Dark Places Rutherford should have pointed out the wrong house, and when, as he surely would have, Pora agreed then the lie would have been in plain sight. But Rutherford didn't want that outcome, the pressure was on him for an arrest. The youth Pora, who had already been cleared on being involved, would do and he was on a string, a promise, a corrupt lie, and illegal inducement that Rutherford knew would never be honoured - immunity from prosecution and a reward that would help Pora establish something for his baby daughter.

I pause here to write that I have been disdainful of publicity surrounding Pora, his daughter and now grandchild. Well perhaps not disdainful but sceptical. Bennett's book put that scepticism aside in a way that now makes me feel uncomfortable about rushing to a judgement. The boy who lost his mother at the age of 4 is in fact a very loving parent something that is hard not to admire. There is possibly a reason for this, his endeavours to make something for his own family having suffered the loss of his own mother and a dad that walked out. His life was bleak, he watched out, as much as a child could do for his baby sister but by then he was in a situation of being passed around the family. One Aunt and her husband were very cruel and violent toward Pora and his sister. It would be the same Aunt who would lie for money at his first trial and her daughter who would do the same at his retrial.

Imagine that. Police framing him with the help of his own family, paid to do the job. One would think if he had ever in fact been the violent killer the police alleged then every provocation was made for him to explode in anger - but he never did, such is the poise and mana of the man.

So back to those video interviews which have always interested me for what went on behind the scenes, before the cameras rolled and after. In Dark Places succinctly points out one particular movement in the 'confession' between the camera being switched off then on again. Entirely out of sequence as to what have been said shortly before the video had been turned off, Pora suddenly admits on screen that he held down Susan Burdett whilst she was being raped. The ex police officer Tim McKinnel, who as the book unfolds, becomes clear as being the central figure fighting for Pora, notes later after watching the video he tracked down under the Official Information Act, that Rutherford does not look Pora in the eye. While the young man is smiling and assuming he has said, what was required of him to get both immunity from prosecution and a reward Rutherford knows he has just taken part in successfully duping Pora into a confession for a crime he didn't commit and didn't have the guts to look him in the eye. He has watched Pora dig his own grave for Rutherford himself to push the young teenager into without a blink of the eye.

Also revealed in the book is how the investigation into Rewa was set aside in order that Pora was convicted. Police did not want it known that there was a hunt on for the serial rapist Rewa whose modus operandi fitted the Burdett rape and murder to a t. On the subject of Rewa, previously known a Mike Lewis, the book describes him in a way that I never knew him. According to Bennett Rewa/Lewis, at some point Sergeant of Arms in the motor cycle club Highway 61 was staunch to the bone, the man to sort out any difficulties and not to be crossed. The Mike Lewis I knew was timid and easy to laughter in the hardest company, but no doubt the ex army biker with the name nick name 'hammer' could be the man in surroundings he was sure of. Someone has told me recently that they read that Rewa was an informer, which was unsurprising to me, also that some of the police were 'turning a blind eye' to the rapes for that reason. I think, therefore, that some of his many rape victims, may take a class action against police. Not in the same, but in a similar, way that Susan Couch took a sole action against the Justice Department for not safely controlling the parolee William Bell who killed three friends of  Susan Couch and almost killed her. That action resulted in an unprecedented, if nominal, settlement with the Justice Department, one that may have been more substantial had there been greater awareness at the time of the depth of the NZ Bill of Rights Act acknowledging that the BORA trumps self-protecting laws enacted to divert Government liability.

Returning to In Dark Places, the book lays out the already quite well known fact of the of the second retired police officer 'Chook' Henwood, by all accounts a remarkable criminal profiler, who while working for police as a civilian after his retirement, spoke out publicly as to his belief that Pora was innocent. In the context of the depth of corruption shown by the police hierarchy in not acknowledging miscarriage of Justice and fighting this remains exceptional, not only because of Henwood showing the honest man he is, but because Police top brass reprimanded him for doing so. The same top brass who would some years later apologise to Pora for stealing 20 years of his life from him because he was a willing victim working under inducement. But they never apologised to Henwood or acknowledged the police association president had also spoken out in an unprecedented
way. Where police top brass failure 30 years later to apologise to Arthur Thomas for his false imprisonment so inwardly protective of themselves felt it necessary to rebuke a retired officer who was driven by all the powerful things which make excellent policing - honesty and fairness being foremost on that list.

What Bennett would most captures in his book was for this reader the very special part of the Pora story. And it is a story more significant, or a least as significant, as the death of Susan Burdett. It is a story of salvation of some sort, therapeutic, if but for a moment you may feel the shoes fit you -  cast down orphan, stripped of family and freedom thrown in the dungeons for a crime he obviously never did from which he grows immeasurably strong and at peace. Of all the things that most tell this story to me is that part, overcoming adversity with the absence of hatred.  Consider the recent television interview with Pora and the man afraid to meet him, Rutherford the ex cop in charge of this case. When Pora was asked what he would say to Rutherford should they ever meet and talk as they had for all those days when Rutherford had convinced Pora to trust him, plying him with petty gifts of food and cigarettes to the child like teenager and promises of 1000s of dollars to confess to a murder he had never committed. Pora replied that he would forgive him.

How much that statement constructs who had the mightiest power in the Pora case, the police, the state, successive governments and prime ministers who all turned a blind eye to his false imprisonment, or the man himself Pora, never killed, never bowed by his anonymous enemy called justice, that of a 1000 faces changing in the mist. It was Pora who won with his dignity, his power to forgive and for the love of his family. I wonder what Rutherford thinks of that.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Callinan's report of Bain compensation undefendable.

Minister of Justice Amy Adams told the public that it was a preferred way, in the public interest to go a bob each way on Callinan's opinion that David Bain was not innocent by some magic formula that didn't hold water. That bob each way bet was to deny compensation but pay  close enough to a million dollars anyway by reason that the compensation claim was tardy. Or in other words it had been delayed for years by the Government itself dithering perhaps on how to avoid acting fairly.

By doing this the Government was using an Executive Power. There is no Law that requires a government to make or deny payments to those applying for compensation. What is clear however is the use of executive power, according to NZ Law, and exposed by David Bain having already used Judicial Review (JR) against the application of Executive Power (EP), is a recognition that petitions  for any request under executive Powers are not constrained in scope - but their treatment must adhere to the NZ Bill of Rights (BORA). Since 30 years ago when then Prime Minister Rob Muldoon pardoned Arthur Thomas and awarded him compensation of around a million dollars one could say it has been a long time between drinks from an era when there was no BORA. A long time since EP was used in a forthright way that was understood to have been applied when the legal system was locked into a Miscarriage of Justice. It could be argued that Muldoon was before his time or that he was misusing a Power - although few New Zealanders did not agree with his actions at the time, or his good sense to order a Royal Commission whose determination supported Muldoon's instinctive measure.

Since then unfortunately use of EP has become clouded in political interest and no doubt was before. Another 2 generations of politicians have failed to separate themselves from politics when considering the Royal Prerogative of Mercy in particular. Scott Watson's application took 4 years to be decided and has waited a further 4 years for his decision to seek a review of the decision. Of course such delays favour a Government, time cures all ills, or at least urgency to correct things which may be wrong in the Judicial process - the very reason why EP and JR exist.

So to recap, Muldoon acted where he could plainly see a Miscarriage of Justice. This act was similar to what any Government since could have done in the Peter Ellis case, or could do now. Amy Adams acted where it was obvious that the Government's report commissioned from Callinan was hardly worth the paper it was written on  - putting it another way of course, saying that she had been told that it would be reviewed. Did she do this out of generosity to the principle and heart of what the use of the RP was designed to do? Or was she merely being pragmatic? For all intents and purposes it doesn't matter because others, including politicians, have seen the broadening of scope of Executive Powers on the one hand, and the more sobering reminder on the other, that their decisions must be advanced carefully in respect of the BORA and are not tempered in scope.

With the inevitable advance in the shelter of the BORA Judicial Review is an opportunity, as the Bain case showed, to have a fair application of the concept of Mercy brought before any Government knowing that the Courts are not excluded from the process of that application, or from what the Government considers and how, any matter in fact that might constitute relief to a NZ resident. These are some of the true concepts of what mercy is, a recognition that a system may stall or fail at some point where fairness appears to be gone. It wasn't fair for David Bain to have his application delayed for years because of the conduct of a previous Cabinet, many of whom remain in the current cabinet. It is still not fair that his application was denied the use of forensic science at the cutting edge, however that remains alive for another day and is in fact in print in international, peer reviewed papers being used in Courts, forensic science labs and Universities throughout the world. Time will submerge the resistance to science that was indeed the Callinan report. He may yet be seen as a fool who wore no clothes in the face of reality. He did however, even in his fumblings, preserve some truths that had previously been hidden. He acknowledged that suicide was possible (though it could hardly be denied), he acknowledged that Robin Bain died with blood on his palms - something that can't have got there from his own wounds, he vicariously acknowledged what Martin Van Beynan lied about for over 20 years -  saying that there were no scratches found on David's chest after Van Beynan had claimed there were and that they had arrived there when David had allegedly fought with his younger brother Stephen. History will preserve that the man who died with blood on his palms got that blood there in the commission of murdering his family. A preservation supported by science that Callinan, wrongly, foolishly, perhaps even deliberately excluded to deny David Bain Justice - acts and omissions which were all part of this Government's unprecedented decision to pay an unsuccessful suitor for fairness cash to go away. They were over defending a crock of crap.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

A chance to make a point in the Bain case and other injustices.  

Surprised by the link above sent to me today by Roger Brooking who has started a Give a Little campaign to raise a million dollars for David Bain. But the Bain case has been full of surprises in all the years I have followed it since 2008. I needed to think about aspects of the idea of a campaign to do what any Government should do when a man is released after 13 years of false imprisonment, and after a retrial found not guilty. It shouldn't by any means, convolute itself to avoid that the State had let a single man down for a decade but wished to accept no responsibility.

This game of not guilty but not innocent on the balance of probabilities was thought up by mad men and is exercised by fools to this day. It should be rejected. Rejected on behalf of men such as Arthur Thomas, his late wife Vivian, Allan Hall and his family, along with others such as Peter Ellis who still wait to be treated justly by our Criminal Justice system. In Bain it was rejected by science but the Government chose to ignore that. People are convicted or acquitted on science and have been for at least a century, leading to the conclusion abroad that David Bain while innocent was denied the chance to prove his innocence with science. As earlier posts show his father was over 30 times more likely to have suicided than been murdered, the probability of his suicide was calculated at 97.3% but the Government agreed to let the appointed adjudicator of compensation, retired Judge Callinan to ignore that along with a heap of other stuff. He even got to tell porkies without rebuff.

So this idea of Roger Brooking is a chance to remember that New Zealanders convicted of crimes of which they may be innocent can no longer go to the esteemed, Centuries old Privy Council for an international perspective in the home of our NZ law. It's a chance to remember that Justice in New Zealand is not a fair fight because an accused person is denied equal footing to the Crown if they plead not guilty. Bain's team was small, as was that of Peter Ellis's, Allan Hall seems to virtually have had only his mother, and a brother from memory - even pooled together they were afforded little chance to win.

You may think David is guilty and that is your opinion of which you are completely entitled. But you may not feel the same about one of the others listed, or those imprisoned still in controversial cases such as Watson and Lundy. It doesn't matter, but if you have a view on any of these cases, or others - then see the opportunity to send a message.

A message to people like Pat Booth, Chris Birt right back 40 years and many others since that you heard them, recognised their fight for what they had come to believed in. If you have ever anguished over why men abandoned careers in kindergartens because of the Ellis case then think about this opportunity. Think also of those to come, even someone you might know who could get swallowed by the Justice system for a crime they didn't commit. Think of yourself, how even if desolate and laid waste someone might remember you and take a stand for your rights after they had been trampled on with methodical disregard. Think of that, also of when you helped another or they helped you.

It's worth a dollar or 2, just to remember and remind yourself that Justice should stand for us all.


Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Why is the Government afraid of Science?

Onlooker, quite naturally asked about the following link on the previous post. So for his or her benefit it is embedded below.

I have a personal interest in this not only because of the Bain case, but also despite it, because of what Bain demonstrates, particularly in the Callinan report, is the rehashing of what people have said in an ongoing analysis that has no definite or logical end. It's no accident that I have primarily only been interested in Robin's death, there is no other story in this case in terms of understanding  what happened. To understand what was going on in Bain I needed to understand what may or may not have happened in the lounge, often I found myself in online conversations about what somebody said months or years after the 5 deaths. Distracting as it was it drew me closer to trying to understand if Robin had suicided, Sure, I asked questions about both men's hands, injuries they might have had but such questions were information about what may have happened in the lounge. Finding out that Robin's blood/dna was in the barrell send me off on a search as to how it could have possibly got there, it goes on from that point of course but I am not intending this to be a rehash of things I have written about before.

This is about friends science and logic. Of course they are not friends at all but rather tools of measurement and assessment, probability. They will destroy a misconception or create a discovery. In Callinan's report they were not even allowed in the door, it's hard not to assume that was because science gives a probability of Robin's suicide at 97.3%, over 30 times more likely to have died from suicide than murder. The public has been sold short. There are 3 other cases at least where Bayesian testing should apply in the category of being able to resolve deep inconsistencies that have not been resolved. One is the Watson case, another is Lundy. I think it would be enlightening to know the probability of Watson going aboard a boat he was rafted to in order to socialise with those on board while he had dead bodies, or at least restrained victims, aboard his yacht. Or for him to wave out to passing vessels while he either had bodies on board or his yacht yet to cleaned of horrific crimes. The likelihood of a man who built his own yacht, and knew how well it was known, could think that painting it a different colour, but still having the same skipper., was unrecognisable in a small harbour. Not forgetting 2 highly visible hairs to be missing one minute and found virtually the next, just when needed. More of course,  including the probability of those things happening both in isolation but also the continuity that the Crown case required to get a conviction.

Then there is Lundy with its mad car trips, slow or fast, depending on which ever story the police really meant in the case that has changed fundamentally but never from the fact that so called brain matter was dark with decay and unrecognisable to  New Zealand scientists who refused to make tests upon the tiny spots. I'd like to know the probability of Glen Weggery or any other of those who entered the house after the murder of Lundy's wife and daughter not having blood on them. Therefore the likelihood that Lundy could have a spot on his shirt said to be spinal matter which left the body of his wife, when her head was cleaved open with an axe or some similar weapon, but not bring any neurons or blood with it, unlike samples found in the house where both blood and neurons were found intact like skin to a corpse. Examples of central nervous tissue separating from spinal fluids having neutrons missing and no signals of blood inputted to a bayesian testing and given a probability level. It goes on every step of the way as to how  alleged spinal cord matter from Christine, that was unrecognisable and untestable not half a day after her death, had expired rapidly in the normal expected fashion having left the body but that a small spot naked to the eye, and therefore more rapidly probable to deteriorate somehow survived outside the control of the exhibits officer.

There is also the Tamihere case which would benefit from a Bayes testing but which for the moment continues to be litigated and hopefully the NZ Court of Appeal will be finally tasked with accepting that perjury strikes at the heart of a conviction rendering it worthless in Law.

Science is not the enemy of the truth. Binnie's report embraced science, Callinan ignored it and the Government made no objection despite the following being available to them and their own scientific advisors, not a single reference to independent scientists for comment on an internationally peer reviewed paper that is ground breaking in its clarity and logic was sought, not one. Congratulations to those authors and those that peer reviewed the work. Where men dally science moves forward, in a new age of science and development NZ has chosen antiquated pre-Magna Carta Law abandoned nearly 1000 years ago and also excluded a 1000 of years science since. Just? Never.

As the previous posts quotes, and indeed includes the paragraph on the conclusion of the probability of Robin's death as suicide in the region of high 95% plus, the reference to Robin specific test is found in the case note documents.

Homicide or Suicide? Gunshot Wound Interpretation: A Bayesian Approach

Monday, August 8, 2016

David Bain robbed of compensation?

Apart from those that had invested in David's alleged guilt to a point they were blinded, there was likely to have been a feeling for the others that David Bain's compensation claim would settle the case once and for all. David being offered nearly a million dollars to essentially go away was an unsatisfactory conclusion as time is already showing. The public were entitled to a final accurate as possible narrative, one that went step by step through either his guilt or innocence. They got neither. While some ex Dunedin police may have felt satisfied, it would have simply been because of the false hope of relief. The Callinan report made public for less than a week has already been exposed as being stitched together for a purpose. Few people will ever know what drove Callinan to ignore proven evidence but accept alleged evidence discredited years ago. He did not succeed in writing a narrative that connected accepted, and proven scientific facts, together  even in the most basic ways.

A mystery, or a confusing event can be solved and put into some order. The human characteristic of instinct is displayed in the Bain case in a way that will eventually be seen as an example of how to apply critical thought to an event in order to resolve its detail. In Bain there have been 2 distinct lines of thought. Those following 2 lines have generally been widespread across the population, some that might have been expected to have been on one line have surprisingly emerged on the other, however to their credit a majority of people interested in the Bain case have been open minded. My observations have been that one group starts from outside the centre and tries to work to the middle, the other do the opposite. For those that have started in the middle to succeed they have needed to be disciplined and not easily distracted. For those that have started from outside the middle they have been distracted immediately, if they have made a decision before been satisfied about the middle they have failed to understand the case, if they have made a decision but been open minded enough not to be frightened that they might be wrong they very well may still have succeeded in reaching the middle. On their way they may well have seen those going in the other direction - center to periphery, and wondered why they were not taken so much by that which absorbed those coming from the other limits. Not realising of course that those have completed their job in the middle of the case were looking only for supporting or non supporting issues in order to reconcile one way or the other what they had already determined. In other words looked for support for their finding or dealt with converse events in a way that made sense of them and judged their importance to see if it could indeed confirm their opinion or negate it - certainly not closed minded.

Where is the middle and where is the outer line? Clearly the middle is what happened around where Robin's body was found. The outer is in conversations, events that might have many different meanings far away from that lounge scene. If every person who played a role in this tragedy is set aside for the moment, apart from the dead body of Robin there is only one true narrator - science, to observe all the random details and paint a picture of whether Robin suicided or not. After that, all the peripheral information becomes relatively meaningless. Along this trail there have been a few scientists, one in particular who destroyed his own credibility by maintaining he did like Joe Karam's manner when meeting him at a book launch in Dunedin. Thus demonstrating a very un science like attitude which permeated through his views of the case, his centre was his dislike for Joe Karam - in reality the very outer edges of what happened in the lounge. There have been at least 2 others, both becoming friends along the way. The first Rowena Cave who took only a scientific interest, made comments related to that and stuck with logic in an open and friendly way. The second was David Giles, whom I'm still unsure, and I must ask him about it one day, apparently began with the premise that Robin was not guilty.

Rowena is English, David a Kiwi. Others who may have closely followed this case could be aware that Rowena, neutral as she was became a target of the Justice for Robin Bain group, as would eventually David along with unfortunately, the Jury from the retrial. By necessity this entire group, although I can't say for sure that included all the Jury, began with Robin's body and worked from there looking for a resolution of the question was it David or was it Robin. After the retrial David found the gsr marks on photos of Robin's thumbs, something confirmed by Dempster the pathologist as not being present at autopsy but still discarded by the myopic Callinan who rejected all scientific data provided by the defence. Consider that a retired Judge rejects science in favour of what people said before or after the tragedy, some in fact years later as a sure sign of deceit. He was into the gossip not the science. From the way it looks he also rejected the remarkable work of Rowena Cave, Vincent Diamo and D Kimberly Molina who applied Bayesian testing specifically to the evidence found where Robin laid dead and found using that mathematical reasoning that the probability of Robin having committed suicide was 97.3%. Their paper was peer reviewed, published and his now being used throughout the world. A paper of considerable undertaking peer reviewed internationally havng withstood the critical scrutiny of sharp trained minds.

I don't think there can be a clearer example to support starting in the middle rather than working backwards through conversations of what people said who possibly were never in that lounge. So is displayed Callinan's error. However, there is more of interest here, much more that adds to the argument that David was in fact robbed of at the very least an apology. Cabinet were right up to their necks with this decision that further evidences another miscarriage of Justice perpetuated on David Bain by the State. When I read Ian Binnie's report that found David Bain innocent on the balance of probabilities, and which was swiftly thrown out after being subjected to a secret review criticising Binnie for not using a Bayesian approach I was mystified. From what I read Binnie had clearly demonstrated a Bayesian approach it was evident throughout.

Listening last night to an hour long interview with Joe Karam I heard that Ian Binnie, like the defence had never been told that the Binnie report was under review and certainly not the reason. Binnie has since said he had been informed as he should have been it would have simple for him to explain to the reviewer how he, Binnie, had used Bayes, and demonstrate how that was shown throughout the report. Fast forward to the Callinan report where it is revealed immediately that he doesn't use a Bayesian approach, in fact in a supplementary report confirms that. So what did happen in the Binnie report, a Bayes approach, was rejected on the pretence that it had not been used. Callinan on the other hand doesn't use Bayes and his report is acceptable. That he also rejects scientific data is accepted without comment by the Government. His report was written using gossip as its foundation, evidence already discarded because of being found wanting was resurrected by Callinan. He was absolutely silent on Robin's alleged misuse of a firearm to threaten a neighbour in Wellington, Margaret's letter of concern that her husband would shoot the lot of them (the family.)

Amy Adams realised that the Callinan report wouldn't survive a judicial review, but why didn't the cabinet at least turn to Dr Peter Gluckman to review the scientific evidence that Callinan refused to consider. Peter Gluckman is foremostly a scientist whose skill is often employed by the Government. He is well respected as a problem solver, he could have been invited in to look at the scientific evidence that was part of the application, met with the scientists and attempt to establish some consensus to take to Cabinet. Remembering that not only did Callinan reject considering scientific data he also attacked perhaps NZ's leading forensic psychiatrist who dealt with David Bain, Dr Brinded.

What is left? The truth is, David is innocent and part of this Government have rejected that truth with its scientific basis. David has been compensated without the word compensation being used. The Appeal Court of the 1990s remains vilified for it's efforts in the Bain, Watson, Tamihere and Pora cases and that may only be the beginning.

Follows the link to the Karam interview
The Murder/Suicide Paper details, and the paras relating to Robin Bain's death.



Here is the paper you are looking for.If you read the case examples section  you will see the following….

"There was a single shot (more likely suicide), at contact range (also more likely suicide), to the left side of the head (more likely homicide). Because the head loca- tion data are not independent, a Bayesian network was developed to produce net probabilities for this combination of factors being suicide or homicide. As Figure 2 shows, each factor is repre- sented by a node. The data in this study provided the probability for each factor. The resulting probabilities of suicide (P = 0.0371) and homicide (P = 0.0010) show that suicide is more probable than homicide, giving an LR = 36.4. That is, a case with this combination of features is more than 36 times more likely to be a result of suicide than of homicide. “

This  example used to illustrate the technique  is Robin Bain.

"LR=36.4  , this means that it is 36.4 x more likely to be suicide than homicide. In percentage terms this means 97.3% probability of suicide and only a 2.7% probability of homicide.You can see why Callinan needed to avoid  consideration of the Bayes evidence."

You have to give credit to the ministry of " justice” for their well orchestrated PR campaign.Their idea to get a fiction writer was just brilliant.