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Sleeping well at night, lawyer man?

By weeziepops - 20 December 2011 31

A recent posting at the Supreme Court website makes for disturbing reading.

Apart from the horror of the case itself, a series of particularly brutal, incestuous sexual assaults, I was appalled by the transcripts of the cross examination of the brave victim.

The lawyer defending the perpetrator of these crimes accuses the young man, who was seven at the time of the assaults, of lying.

Have we made no progress at all in the last 30 odd years that the victim of such crimes is still being treated like the criminal?

I could not sleep at night if I made my money from adding to the pain of people like this.

I guess someone has to defend the accused but…

What’s Your opinion?


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31 Responses to
Sleeping well at night, lawyer man?
harvyk1 3:20 pm 20 Dec 11

“I guess someone has to defend the accused but…”

But what? The accused is sitting there potentially with their freedom in the balance, it’s only fair that they get to respond to every allegation which is put towards them.

I’m not going to say that lawyers don’t overstep the mark, but basically the “right of reply” is one of the most important legal things we have.

Where our legal system falls down is the grossly inadequate sentences which are then handed down. You can tell it’s inadequate by the number of repeat offenders which end up in the courts over and over again.

colourful sydney rac 3:02 pm 20 Dec 11

drfelonious said :

What would make me uneasy was if the likes of the OP got to sit in judgement on people accused of sex abuse. You know, throw out the hundreds of years of the jury trial system because…/quote>

Don’t mean to rain on your parade but the defendant opted for a judge only trial

Bosworth 2:57 pm 20 Dec 11

weeziepops, are you advocating the abolishment of the Cab-Rank rule?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cab-rank_rule

drfelonious 2:50 pm 20 Dec 11

I think the lawyer would be sleeping very well indeed.

What would make me uneasy was if the likes of the OP got to sit in judgement on people accused of sex abuse. You know, throw out the hundreds of years of the jury trial system because it is – shock horror – a sex abuse case (the new witchcraft).

What does the OP suggest as an alternative – trial by fire perhaps?

Classified 2:18 pm 20 Dec 11

colourful sydney racing identity said :

Classified said :

Wow, that transcript is truly dreadful. The poor kid.

+1 couldn’t read it all.

I chose not to read right to the end. I know this stuff happens in society, but it’s just terrible for those who are actually exposed to it.

carnardly 12:33 pm 20 Dec 11

hang on – he was a kid when all the awful stuff happened – wasn’t that trial 11 years later? So he was an adult remembering what happened?

i mean – how could you ever forget….

colourful sydney rac 12:04 pm 20 Dec 11

Classified said :

Wow, that transcript is truly dreadful. The poor kid.

+1 couldn’t read it all.

lore 11:49 am 20 Dec 11

devils_advocate said :

It’s an adversarial system and everyone is entitled to the most thorough defence their advocate can make. Think about the position you would be in if you were accused of a serious crime – would you want your advocate making up their own mind about whether you were guilty or innocent and then moderating his efforts accordingly? No, you would want him trying as hard as he could to ensure you remain free.

In cases like these, people can and do lie. The system’s not perfect but it’s axiomatic that it’s better for 100 guilty men to go free than for one innocent to be imprisoned.

Also I doubt it’s easy for the lawyer. FWIW, the lawyer is not allowed to lead evidence or questions suggesting innocence if that is inconsistent with what his client has told him (ie based on the info above, it would appear the defendant has instructed his solicitor/barrister it didn’t happen).

+1

It’s very difficult, because if it didn’t happen and lawyer couldn’t suggest things like this, then where does that leave the accused?

I had a friend in early High School who told me she was sexually assulted, then confessed a couple of years later that she made it up. Not everyone tells the truth, simple as that.

shirty_bear 11:03 am 20 Dec 11

Appalling.

How do we get a punishment to fit the crime? Drawing and quartering is too kind ….

DUB 11:01 am 20 Dec 11

Such cases are very difficult, a good friend of mine is going through pretty much similar experience, her ex-husband was sexually abusing their now under 10 years old daughter, but authorities are very cautious, hard to prove case, although specialist psychologist confirms that child did not make any of it up. No physical internal damages-no case, pretty much.They were good, wealthy family.

Classified 10:46 am 20 Dec 11

Wow, that transcript is truly dreadful. The poor kid.

devils_advocate 10:37 am 20 Dec 11

It’s an adversarial system and everyone is entitled to the most thorough defence their advocate can make. Think about the position you would be in if you were accused of a serious crime – would you want your advocate making up their own mind about whether you were guilty or innocent and then moderating his efforts accordingly? No, you would want him trying as hard as he could to ensure you remain free.

In cases like these, people can and do lie. The system’s not perfect but it’s axiomatic that it’s better for 100 guilty men to go free than for one innocent to be imprisoned.

Also I doubt it’s easy for the lawyer. FWIW, the lawyer is not allowed to lead evidence or questions suggesting innocence if that is inconsistent with what his client has told him (ie based on the info above, it would appear the defendant has instructed his solicitor/barrister it didn’t happen).

fgzk 10:34 am 20 Dec 11

colourful sydney racing identity said :

It is a really vexed issue. How else can the lawyer defend his/her client other than arguing that the child was lying or mistaken?

He could try arguing self defense.

colourful sydney rac 10:24 am 20 Dec 11

It is a really vexed issue. How else can the lawyer defend his/her client other than arguing that the child was lying or mistaken?

fgzk 10:11 am 20 Dec 11

At the very least it is good you can actually read about this stuff from court documents. It means we are actually taking people to court over child rape. This in itself is a new thing. 30 years ago, in the ACT, male rape laws didn’t exist as sexual assault.

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