Essential Reading

Insights from Quadrant
Insights from Quadrant

‘At odds with the evidence’

While the sentencing of George Pell attracted much coverage over the past week, with the Cardinal’s foes decrying any questioning of the jury’s “manifestly ludicrous” decision, the final resolution of another case hanging on allegations of clerical sexual abuse of a child flew largely beneath the radar. Like the accusations that have put a conservative prince of the church behind bars, the alleged offences of a Christian Brother, John Francis Tyrrell, saw him imprisoned.

On Friday, Victoria’s Court of Appeal opened the jail doors by overturning the conviction and ordering the 80-year-old’s immediate release. The Justices’ reasoning will give hope to those praying the Cardinal also will see eventual justice:

…The complainant first spoke to the police about the matters that were the subject of the charges in September 2014. He had never previously mentioned them to anyone else. There were a number of substantial inconsistencies between the account that he gave to the police, and the evidence that he gave at the trial. In addition, there were serious discrepancies between his version of events, and the facts that were objectively established by the evidence.

For example, the complainant initially told police that the offending occurred between 1965 and 1968, extending continuously over that entire period. He said that it had only concluded when he confronted the appellant directly at the school in early 1969.  However, it was clearly established that the appellant had ceased to teach at the school at the end of 1966.

Accordingly, the complainant’s account was totally at odds, in that regard, with the objective evidence. There were a number of other material inconsistencies in the complainant’s evidence, and there were also significant aspects of it which were improbable…

…Having carefully reviewed the evidence in the trial, the Court of Appeal concluded that in light of the many inconsistencies in the complainant’s account, and the improbabilities associated with his evidence, it had not been open to the jury to be satisfied, beyond reasonable doubt, of the guilt of the appellant. In reaching that conclusion, the Court applied the test, specified by the High Court, that an intermediate appellate court, faced with a ground challenging a conviction as being unsafe, must conduct its own independent review of the evidence …

The full summary of the Tyrrell jury’s errors can be read here.

Meanwhile, a lesser legal mind’s faith in another jury’s reasoning remains unshaken:

Insights from Quadrant

Who needs courts?

While not one of the world’s great newspapers, readers might still expect the Byron Shire News to nevertheless maintain some sort of standards. Editor Christian Morrow apparently sets his own, as per the clip from a recent edition reproduced above.

For those with less than perfect eyesight, Editor Morrow writes:

A cardinal sexually assaulting school children, can it get any worse?

Of course it can. He could win his appeal against the conviction.

The important thing, according to this News Corp editor, isn’t justice and the integrity of appellate review, it’s that the ultimate decision might go against his personal preferences.

Insights from Quadrant

A just man’s lot

Justice, Victoria-style, as seen from abroad:

Cardinal George Pell was exactly where he should have been Wednesday night in Melbourne: in jail.

Let Henry David Thoreau explain: “Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison” (Civil Disobedience).

Now that the peculiar “suppression order” in Australia has been lifted, we are free to state what has been evident for several years now. The prosecution of Cardinal Pell has been a monstrous miscarriage of justice, a religious persecution carried out by prosecutorial means.

Cardinal Pell was convicted last December for sexually assaulting two 13-year-old boys in 1996. The process that led to the convictions was, from the start, a sustained and calculated strategy to corrupt the criminal-justice system toward politically motivated ends.

And now Cardinal Pell is in jail, awaiting his sentencing next month. There is no shame that Cardinal Pell is in jail; the shame is sufficiently abundant to be worn by all those who put him there…

Fr. Raymond de Souza’s j’accuse continues at America’s National Catholic Register

Insights from Quadrant

Culturally enriched

It seems Minneapolis has something in common with Melbourne, other than both cities beginning with ‘M’:

…in the city soon to be formerly known as Minneapolis, where the good people of Minnesota — of Scandinavian, German, and Irish stock —  have been busily importing people from perhaps the most culturally alien region of the world, Muslim East Africa, whose charming natives are unlikely to follow the traditional immigrant path outlined above. In Charles Dickens’s masterpiece, Bleak House, Mrs. Jellyby ignores her own brood while busily organizing aid to Africa; today’s Mrs. Jellybys have instead have brought East Africa to them.

Shootings, robberies, intramural ethnic discord, caring-industrial complex excuse mongers, plus a police force that is damned if it acts against the city’s Somali crime wave and damned just as loudly when it doesn’t. Michael Walsh reports on a troubled and transformed city.

UPDATE: More on Minnesota and its woes, one of which is a virulently antisemitic congresswoman.

Essential Reading

Insights from Quadrant
Insights from Quadrant

‘At odds with the evidence’

While the sentencing of George Pell attracted much coverage over the past week, with the Cardinal’s foes decrying any questioning of the jury’s “manifestly ludicrous” decision, the final resolution of another case hanging on allegations of clerical sexual abuse of a child flew largely beneath the radar. Like the accusations that have put a conservative prince of the church behind bars, the alleged offences of a Christian Brother, John Francis Tyrrell, saw him imprisoned.

On Friday, Victoria’s Court of Appeal opened the jail doors by overturning the conviction and ordering the 80-year-old’s immediate release. The Justices’ reasoning will give hope to those praying the Cardinal also will see eventual justice:

…The complainant first spoke to the police about the matters that were the subject of the charges in September 2014. He had never previously mentioned them to anyone else. There were a number of substantial inconsistencies between the account that he gave to the police, and the evidence that he gave at the trial. In addition, there were serious discrepancies between his version of events, and the facts that were objectively established by the evidence.

For example, the complainant initially told police that the offending occurred between 1965 and 1968, extending continuously over that entire period. He said that it had only concluded when he confronted the appellant directly at the school in early 1969.  However, it was clearly established that the appellant had ceased to teach at the school at the end of 1966.

Accordingly, the complainant’s account was totally at odds, in that regard, with the objective evidence. There were a number of other material inconsistencies in the complainant’s evidence, and there were also significant aspects of it which were improbable…

…Having carefully reviewed the evidence in the trial, the Court of Appeal concluded that in light of the many inconsistencies in the complainant’s account, and the improbabilities associated with his evidence, it had not been open to the jury to be satisfied, beyond reasonable doubt, of the guilt of the appellant. In reaching that conclusion, the Court applied the test, specified by the High Court, that an intermediate appellate court, faced with a ground challenging a conviction as being unsafe, must conduct its own independent review of the evidence …

The full summary of the Tyrrell jury’s errors can be read here.

Meanwhile, a lesser legal mind’s faith in another jury’s reasoning remains unshaken:

Insights from Quadrant

Who needs courts?

While not one of the world’s great newspapers, readers might still expect the Byron Shire News to nevertheless maintain some sort of standards. Editor Christian Morrow apparently sets his own, as per the clip from a recent edition reproduced above.

For those with less than perfect eyesight, Editor Morrow writes:

A cardinal sexually assaulting school children, can it get any worse?

Of course it can. He could win his appeal against the conviction.

The important thing, according to this News Corp editor, isn’t justice and the integrity of appellate review, it’s that the ultimate decision might go against his personal preferences.

Insights from Quadrant

A just man’s lot

Justice, Victoria-style, as seen from abroad:

Cardinal George Pell was exactly where he should have been Wednesday night in Melbourne: in jail.

Let Henry David Thoreau explain: “Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison” (Civil Disobedience).

Now that the peculiar “suppression order” in Australia has been lifted, we are free to state what has been evident for several years now. The prosecution of Cardinal Pell has been a monstrous miscarriage of justice, a religious persecution carried out by prosecutorial means.

Cardinal Pell was convicted last December for sexually assaulting two 13-year-old boys in 1996. The process that led to the convictions was, from the start, a sustained and calculated strategy to corrupt the criminal-justice system toward politically motivated ends.

And now Cardinal Pell is in jail, awaiting his sentencing next month. There is no shame that Cardinal Pell is in jail; the shame is sufficiently abundant to be worn by all those who put him there…

Fr. Raymond de Souza’s j’accuse continues at America’s National Catholic Register

Insights from Quadrant

Culturally enriched

It seems Minneapolis has something in common with Melbourne, other than both cities beginning with ‘M’:

…in the city soon to be formerly known as Minneapolis, where the good people of Minnesota — of Scandinavian, German, and Irish stock —  have been busily importing people from perhaps the most culturally alien region of the world, Muslim East Africa, whose charming natives are unlikely to follow the traditional immigrant path outlined above. In Charles Dickens’s masterpiece, Bleak House, Mrs. Jellyby ignores her own brood while busily organizing aid to Africa; today’s Mrs. Jellybys have instead have brought East Africa to them.

Shootings, robberies, intramural ethnic discord, caring-industrial complex excuse mongers, plus a police force that is damned if it acts against the city’s Somali crime wave and damned just as loudly when it doesn’t. Michael Walsh reports on a troubled and transformed city.

UPDATE: More on Minnesota and its woes, one of which is a virulently antisemitic congresswoman.