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Stephen Wayne Hillier Gets to Front Full Bench of the High Court

By Binker - 4 August 2006 2

Stephen Wayne Hillier gets another day in court (much to his displeasure I would imagine) this time in front of the full bench of the High Court (news reports).

Stephen was initially convicted by jury trial of the murder of Ana Louise Hardwick but this was overturned on appeal by a full bench of the ACT Court of Appeal (2 to 1) and the conviction and sentence (18 years) set aside. This decision has lead the Crown to appeal to the High Court for the Court of Appeal decision to be reversed and either the original conviction and sentence be reimposed or a new trial ordered.

The Court of Appeal decided that the juries verdict was unsafe and unsatisfactory. The defence at trial raised the prospect of a 3rd person (mystery lover) being responsible and the death was the result of some “sexual perversion” going awry and evidence of handcuffs at the scene and some bruising on her wrists consistent with their use was presented in support of this thesis (along with a few other things like traces of semen and the Stephens DNA being on her collar because of secondary transfer as opposed to primary transfer). Thus their Honours concluded “the evidence suggesting that another person may have been present as the time of her death makes it impossible, in our opinion, to conclude that it was open to the jury to find that the guilt of the appellant had been proven beyond reasonable doubt.”

Today Chief Justice Gleeson and Justice Callinan decided that the matter should be fully argued in front a full bench at a date to be set.

What’s Your opinion?


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2 Responses to
Stephen Wayne Hillier Gets to Front Full Bench of the High Court
Not 8:46 pm 12 Feb 11

apostropheman said :

Huzzah to the High Court! The ACT Appeals court decision was a shocker – why have jury trials at all if an appellate court is going to usurp their role?

It’s the role of the jury, and the jury alone, to determine if the evidence establishes guilt. Sure things can get overturned if there is new evidence – but in this case it wasn’t that there was new evidence, it was the Appeals Court (majority) view that the jury should have reached a different verdict on the evidence presented.

Of course it may well be that the High Court agrees with the appeals court, either way this will be a significant case.

apostropheman said :

Huzzah to the High Court! The ACT Appeals court decision was a shocker – why have jury trials at all if an appellate court is going to usurp their role?

It’s the role of the jury, and the jury alone, to determine if the evidence establishes guilt. Sure things can get overturned if there is new evidence – but in this case it wasn’t that there was new evidence, it was the Appeals Court (majority) view that the jury should have reached a different verdict on the evidence presented.

Of course it may well be that the High Court agrees with the appeals court, either way this will be a significant case.

apostropheman said :

Huzzah to the High Court! The ACT Appeals court decision was a shocker – why have jury trials at all if an appellate court is going to usurp their role?

It’s the role of the jury, and the jury alone, to determine if the evidence establishes guilt. Sure things can get overturned if there is new evidence – but in this case it wasn’t that there was new evidence, it was the Appeals Court (majority) view that the jury should have reached a different verdict on the evidence presented.

Of course it may well be that the High Court agrees with the appeals court, either way this will be a significant case.

apostropheman said :

Huzzah to the High Court! The ACT Appeals court decision was a shocker – why have jury trials at all if an appellate court is going to usurp their role?

It’s the role of the jury, and the jury alone, to determine if the evidence establishes guilt. Sure things can get overturned if there is new evidence – but in this case it wasn’t that there was new evidence, it was the Appeals Court (majority) view that the jury should have reached a different verdict on the evidence presented.

Of course it may well be that the High Court agrees with the appeals court, either way this will be a significant case.

apostropheman said :

Huzzah to the High Court! The ACT Appeals court decision was a shocker – why have jury trials at all if an appellate court is going to usurp their role?

It’s the role of the jury, and the jury alone, to determine if the evidence establishes guilt. Sure things can get overturned if there is new evidence – but in this case it wasn’t that there was new evidence, it was the Appeals Court (majority) view that the jury should have reached a different verdict on the evidence presented.

Of course it may well be that the High Court agrees with the appeals court, either way this will be a significant case.

The process of appeals serves as an option open for exactly the function it has served in this case. If one wishes to appeal, there is the right to do so. It is not like this is the first time a case has been appealed. So here it can be seen that the appeals court has made its decision. Justice served.

apostropheman 4:58 pm 04 Aug 06

Huzzah to the High Court! The ACT Appeals court decision was a shocker – why have jury trials at all if an appellate court is going to usurp their role?

It’s the role of the jury, and the jury alone, to determine if the evidence establishes guilt. Sure things can get overturned if there is new evidence – but in this case it wasn’t that there was new evidence, it was the Appeals Court (majority) view that the jury should have reached a different verdict on the evidence presented.

Of course it may well be that the High Court agrees with the appeals court, either way this will be a significant case.

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