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Eastman to seek re-opening of appeal

Thumper 26 September 2007 31

The SHM is reporting that David Eastman, sentenced to life imprisonment for shooting and killing Assistant Commissioner Colin Winchester in 1989 is seeking to have his appeal reopened.

His previous appeal, in 1999 and 2000 both failed.

A judicial review of his case was ordered in 2003, with Eastman arguing he was not fit to plead at the time of his trial in 1995


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31 Responses to Eastman to seek re-opening of appeal
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Maelinar Maelinar 3:27 pm 26 Sep 07

I stand by my argument. By imposing a limit on appeals, it will force people to think long and hard, and do diligent research before presenting their case.

In the case of mistaken imprisonment, it would be evidence to prove that the offender did not do the crime

In the case of miscarriage of justice, it would be when the incarcerated member could prove that a miscarriage of justice was done.

By limiting it to 3 times, the emphasis is put on the individual to get it right, rather than the court to administer an arbitary appeals process that is uneccesary and time-wasting.

ant ant 3:12 pm 26 Sep 07

We had frequent incidents with Eastman while he was still running around Canberra. He assaulted (punched) one of our staff on one occasion, and the police reckoned that at that time, he had over 300 separate charges pending against him (for similar things). If Eastman ever was to be released, I wonder if all those matters would be resumed?

Mr Evil Mr Evil 2:50 pm 26 Sep 07

They showed footage of Eastman on the ABC News last night, and I have to ask does anyone know what the hell was the go with Eastman turning up to court with a rock in his hand one day and a plastic water pistol on another?

asp asp 2:45 pm 26 Sep 07

JD114,
I accept that you don’t beleive Eastmen did it. But you have to admit that he is not the full quid. Who else could have done it? Why do so many belive Eastman did it?
I too am not privy to anything more than what is available to the public.
And what is with the rock? You know, the rock Eastman is holding next to his head in the file footage as he enters court? How can you even take a rock to court?

As for appeals. Yes, new evidence is certainly ground for an appeal or even a retrial. But debating whether the judge was nice or whether the defendant had a brain at the time for decades after the conviction is ridiculous.

JD114 JD114 1:46 pm 26 Sep 07

I for one have never believed Eastman did it. Not because I’m privy to any evidence, but because there’s something not right about the circumstances, the style, what I’ve read of the available evidence etc.

The fact that Winchester ruffled some Calabrian style feathers, the manner of the shooting, Eastman’s continual vehement denials, all point to a case that has only been resolved to the satisfaction of the legal system.

However, despite misgivings, there are many in the community who think Eastman should be locked up for just being who he is, and a form of natural justice is at work anyway!

Jazz Jazz 12:08 pm 26 Sep 07

JR,

we’re working on new features it just takes us a bit of time to implement between our day jobs.

As for the topic at hand i’m not denying the right to appeal where new evidence comes to light. I dont think that this is the case here as ant mentions in his post above. In this instance its about the conduct of the trial, NOT the evidence.

ant ant 11:48 am 26 Sep 07

During the original trial, and subsequent appeals, Eastman’s legal people attempted the mental illness tack, but Eastman would overturn it. I’m surprised he’s using this pretext to appeal, and suspect that at some point, he’ll back down on the mental thing and try to use some other pretext.

Jonathon Reynolds Jonathon Reynolds 11:34 am 26 Sep 07

@Jazz

It is a matter of balance.

You may feel strongly in this particular case because with the information you have available, you feel that the individual is guilty “beyond reasonable doubt”.

But stop for a second.

Think about the cases where people have been found guilty and incarcerated for long periods, only for it to be revealed later that they actually innocent.

Typically this may discovered many years later when the original perpetrator eventually confesses, new evidence comes to light, or it could be due to an original miscarriage of justice (whatever reason – does it really matter?). Would you still consider curtailing the incarcerated individuals’ right to appeal, given that is only known with hindsight that their protestations of innocence were true?

bonfire bonfire 11:30 am 26 Sep 07

eastman is a patsy.

crime – nutter – arrest – result.

im not convinced – on the evidence ive seen – that he is guilty.

one day a book will be written about this.

Jonathon Reynolds Jonathon Reynolds 11:20 am 26 Sep 07

Damn I wish we could have a feature to allow us to re-edit our own comments on the site… so hard to edit in a tiny text box.

I meant to say:
But our system of justice does not allow denying an individual to have the merit of their argument tested.

Jazz Jazz 11:17 am 26 Sep 07

I’m not going to JR mostly cause i have no interest in running for public office (I like to keep my skeletons where they are, thank you.)

I don’t consider ‘Fair opportunity’ to be going back over the same material repeatedly with a different tack.
“Oh, sorry your honor, my last approach didnt get me acquitted so i’d like to try this one now”

If you jump off a cliff without a parachute and hurt yourself are you going to start asking god for another go at it. “Please god, i didnt land right that time, can i have a do over”?

Jonathon Reynolds Jonathon Reynolds 11:14 am 26 Sep 07

@asp

If the case has no merit then it will be thrown out of court. But our system of justice does not allow deny an individual to have the merit of their argument tested.

Jonathon Reynolds Jonathon Reynolds 11:09 am 26 Sep 07

@Jazz

Simply the rights are afforded ANY individual through application of the current legislation.

If you do not like the legislation as it currently stands then I suggest that you stand for public office and put forward alternatives you would prefer to see.

Better still perhaps you could perhaps outline what you consider a fair revision of the legislation covering the right to appeal here? Surely it shouldn’t be hard to summarise all the possible applicable circumstances that are currently covered whilst taking into account the applicable case law that has been built up over time in to a paragraph or two?

asp asp 11:06 am 26 Sep 07

You shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. But this guy is so obviously unstable and so obviously guilty. If he wasn’t fit to pleade in 95, why didn’t anyone realise, not least of which his lawyer.
Throw the case out and throw Eastman (proberly restrained) in the lake.

Mr Evil Mr Evil 10:59 am 26 Sep 07

JR, I do understand the right to appeal, but how many times should one have the right to do so is what I was questioning.

He’s had two goes already, isn’t that enough?

“He’s representing himself you monkeys.”

So? It still cost a hell of a lot of money to hear these appeals – regardless of whether he represents himself or not.

Jazz Jazz 10:47 am 26 Sep 07

What exaclty consititues ‘fair opportunity’ Jonathon? Surely Eastman’s successive attempts at appeal have already exhausted that?

As for the Judiciary having capability we’ve had plenty of reason to question their judgement on this site before now.

Jonathon Reynolds Jonathon Reynolds 10:38 am 26 Sep 07

@Mr Evil

You should consider yourself fortunate that we live in a country that does allow relatively exhaustive rights to appeal. Our judicial system ensures that people who feel that they have been incorrectly found guilty and incarcerated are given fair opportunity to prove their innocence.

No matter how you may personally feel about the merit (or lack thereof) of the Eastman case, natural justice and due process has to be followed. Have faith in the judiciary that they capable of properly assessing the matter before them.

caf caf 10:28 am 26 Sep 07

He’s representing himself you monkeys.

Maelinar Maelinar 10:25 am 26 Sep 07

3 attempts and then automatic Guillotine.

The savings would be incredible, as would the burden on society.

Mr Evil Mr Evil 9:45 am 26 Sep 07

Great, another taxpayer funded waste of time and energy.

Isn’t there a limit to how many times someone can appeal?

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