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Chuck Bird

Helen, I see the in the title to your piece on this blog advertising a protest march the words, “Not Above the Law”. Many of you supporters think they are ― and they are treated like cabinet ministers in this government.

Under our system of justice an accused person has to be proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. In most cases of date rape and particularly historical date rape it is one person’s word against another.

The three men that were acquitted may well have been guilty. However, if I was on the jury and it appeared to be that there was a 90% change the accused was guilty I would not vote to convict even if it meant a hung jury. How about you? Do you think if 10% of those convicted of rape were in fact innocent it is a small price to pay for justice to all the genuine victims?

A lot of people think that the guilty should not be able to get off on technicalities. The problem with that theory is where do you stop. If the police could get away with torture to obtain evidence to prove someone is guilty beyond even a shadow of a doubt we are on a very slippery slope.

Louise Nicholas has had her day in court. I am much more concerned that alleged victims of an alleged paedophile Priest in Australia might not have to face his accusers. The Australian High Court has overturned an extradition order. The grounds cited is the man will not get a fair trial in New Zealand. This is an outrage and will hopefully be challenged.

The problem is that if the New Zealand justice system changes so as to move the balance to much in favour of the alleged victim we will not only see more wrong convictions but the New Zealand justice system will not be respected internationally. I believe that is to high a price to pay.

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Definitely a good agreement. Fair enough.

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