The Law

Two Juries, Two Verdicts, One Grim Conclusion

Peter Smith

Frequent contributor

One jury keeps a flickering hope alive. Maybe, after all, Western civilisation can be prevented from spiralling into an abyss. This is a tale of two juries. One representing everything wrong; one everything right. One spurning reason; one embracing reason. One of questionable courage; one of great courage. One having no understanding of blind justice; one which lived and breathed blind justice.

Prejudiced progressives did their utmost to pervert the course of justice in both cases. Neither case should ever have been brought to trial. Yet they were. The evidence was seriously wanting. But the leftist mobs would have their way. Mobs driven by agendas, within which truth plays no part. Lies are their lingua franca. Barefaced lies. Unashamedly repeated lies.

We are not in the niceties of the political debates of yore. Make no mistake, don’t suffer from nostalgia. This is good versus evil. Over the top?

Let me ask, is it evil to vindictively put an innocent priest in prison for crimes he could not possibly have committed evil? Is it evil to threaten imprisoning an 18-year-old boy for life because he dared defend himself against thugs from the street-rioting wing of the Democratic Party? First to the priest in Victoria.

IF YOU followed the case and the evidence, Cardinal George Pell, the most senior Catholic priest in Australia, could not possibly have committed the two crimes in 1996 for which he was tried and convicted in 2018. The result: the innocent Cardinal spent 400 days in prison and had his name recorded on the Victorian Register of Sex Offenders. An appeal to the Victorian Supreme Court didn’t free him.

Unfortunately, his defence team rightly argued (within the realms of common sense) that it was impossible for Pell to have committed the crimes. I say ‘unfortunately’ because, in the most extraordinary twist of fate and logic, this allowed two appeal court judges out of three in the state of Victoria to reject his appeal in August 2019, by concluding that it was not impossible. Thus, the novel standard of proof of ‘not impossible’ was given legal currency.

An old lady was unfortunately mugged last evening. I have no iron-clad alibi and the possibility exists that I might have done it. Fortunately for me, the system of justice inherited from English common law generally requires a rather more persuasive level of proof than mere possibility. Let’s see, beyond reasonable doubt, I think it is.

I mention the bizarre majority decision of the Victorian Court of Appeal because it may excuse the jury having reached the same verdict. After all, if two judges can be seriously wrong why not twelve jurors? I’ll tell you why. Under the system of selecting jurors, it’s very unlikely that all twelve in the one room will be incapable of thinking clearly and dispassionately.

A first jury could not reach a verdict. It is widely speculated that the breakdown was ten to two for acquittal. A mistrial was declared and a second trial quickly followed. Both trials, by the way, were held partially out of public view to protect the identity of the accuser (one of the choir boys as referred to below) who gave his evidence by video link. At question, how in the world could the second jury (four women and eight men) have reached a unanimous verdict to convict?

On the first and most egregious of the charges, they concluded that two choir boys left the procession shortly after Solemn Mass at St Patrick’s cathedral in Melbourne to swig altar wine in the priests sacristy. Instead of greeting congregants, as per usual, the Cardinal also made his way alone to the sacristy where, in an area usually full of activity after Mass and where anyone could enter at any second, he found the choir boys and dealt with them most dreadfully. This can be best followed in all of its made-up nonsense in Keith Windschuttle’s book The Persecution of George Pell.

It was quickly evident that the timing was wrong. The Cardinal and the choirboys did not have time to arrive coincidentally at the place of the alleged crime. Moreover, he was always accompanied when robed by his Master of Ceremonies and would have been missed. As to the robes, they are so encumbering that only a contortionist of uncommon skills could have managed the alleged acts. One of the two choir boys had died but had told his mother that he had not been molested. He would say that they said, leaving all of us of sound mind to puzzle over what he would have said if he hadn’t been molested.

The only conclusion which is tenable is that the jury was got at and succumbed. I don’t mean ‘got at’ directly, as in a gangster movie, or that they were under any kind of physical threat. I mean that media and societal intimidation got to them. In other words, they failed miserably in their duty to judge the case on its merits.

The Catholic Church was under the cosh in the media for historical instances of child sexual abuse. A federal Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (2012- 2017) had laid bare sins of the past. Prime Minster Scott Morrison issued an apology (popular among virtue-signalling politicians these days) for past government inaction, just seventeen days before the second trial. And, the left-wing, green, anti-Christian staff-collective at the ABC were using taxpayers’ money to go after Pell. Pictured below is an illustration the national broadcaster published as the ‘get Pell’ fever grew ever hotter.

The #MeToo movement was also in full swing, adding yet more hysteria. Scapegoats needed. Pell was the kind of scapegoat that has leftists lickin’ their chops. A catholic priest; and, to boot, a socially and politically conservative one.

The High Court decision to uphold Pell’s appeal in April 2020, and by seven to zero, no doubt amazed those who had followed the case via the ABC and other mainstream media. A common reason for upholding an appeal is for an error of law. A less common reason is that the verdict cannot be supported by the evidence. It was the latter that rightly freed and acquitted Pell. Measured in prison time, justice was much too long in coming.

KYLE Rittenhouse did not carry a firearm across state borders, as was widely ‘reported’. The firearm was kept in the home of a friend’s stepfather in Kenosha. He was legally entitled to carry the gun in Wisconsin. The protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, were not peaceful. Only politician and news reporters, with complete disdain for the truth, bare-faced liars in other words, could maintain this description.

Joe Biden and the MSM defamed Rittenhouse by calling him a white supremacist. He isn’t. He’s enrolled in online nursing classes at Arizona State University. He’s a life guard. He’s a cadet with the fire department in his home town of Antioch, Illinois, where he lives with his mother and two sisters.

He did drive across the state borders. For information, while this might be illegal in the hermit Commonwealth of Australia, it is not illegal in the United States. Kenosha, where he worked as a life guard and where his father and other family members live, is roughly 20 miles from Antioch. He didn’t travel to Kenosha to confront rioters. He travelled to Kenosha the day before for his job and was staying at a friend’s house.

He showed up during the riots to offer first aid and to prevent a car dealership from being burnt down, as others had been. Law enforcement was missing in action. He carried a fire extinguisher to try to put out fires. He was attacked, beaten and chased. He shot three (white) men in self-defence. Video evidence showed this clearly. A good account can be found here.

The surviving attacker, Gaige Grosskreutz, who was shot in the arm, testified that Rittenhouse didn’t shoot him when he put his hands in the air but only after he approached Rittenhouse, gun in hand. This was the most amazing piece of testimony, ever I would guess, from a prosecution witness:

Defense attorney: When you were standing three to five feet from him with your arms up in the air, he never fired, right?

Grosskreutz: Correct.

Defense attorney: It wasn’t until you pointed your gun at him, advanced on him with your gun, now your hand’s down pointed at him, that he fired, right?

Grosskreutz: Correct.

How in the world did this particular charge ever make the courtroom? Progressive politics, prosecutorial malfeasance and a sickness within the media are all complicit. They are the same forces which brought Cardinal Pell to a show trial.

And now the difference. The jurors in the Rittenhouse trial faced a level of intimidation beyond that faced by the Pell jurors. Yet they didn’t flinch.

It was widely circulated that photographs had been taken of them. They knew that BLM and Antifa thugs might target them and their families. The judge barred MSNBC from the trial for commissioning a tailing of the bus carrying the jurors home each night. My goodness! And remember, they were not sequestered and therefore would have known about the continuing defamatory and poisonous coverage of Rittenhouse on the wretched media throughout the trial.

They had an out. Rittenhouse faced five charges: one count of first degree intentional homicide; one count of attempted first degree intentional homicide; one count of first degree reckless homicide; and two counts of first degree recklessly endangering safety. These latter two charges, carrying the lightest sentences, might have provided a weak-kneed set of jurors with a way to avoid the ire of the mob. They didn’t take it. They took the narrow way. The courageous way. The way of truth.

You might think I am overstating the case. I don’t think so. It shows that ordinary people can face up to the baying and threatening leftist mob and do the right thing. There’s great hope for our future in there. Sadly, that great hope was not evident in Melbourne in December 2018. I’m reluctant to draw a general conclusion. Show your support

Published by Nelle

I am interested in writing short stories for my pleasure and my family's but although I have published four family books I will not go down that path again but still want what I write out there so I will see how this goes

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