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Old 5th April 2006, 09:25 PM   #1
Dave
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Te Awamutu, New Zealand
Posts: 100
New Zealand Louise Nicholas Case

For those who don't know: Louise Nicholas accused some cops of historical rape but lost the court case. Unless all the court reporters forgot to tell us something, there wasn't really a case at all except her word that it happened.

The verdict has created outrage amongst feminists, some of whom hit the streets of Wellington handing out pamphlets which included suppressed evidence they felt should have been presented.

Here's my armchair observations:

In this country we have a principle of "innocent until proven guilty". There is no definition of "proof" which says someone's word is sufficient to prove anything. You simply can't convict someone based on someone else's word.

I've seen some blogs asking "Why would she make it up?". Having worked in the field of psychology I find it hard to believe people could be so naive. I'll just say this.... people make up stuff like this every day. I myself was falsely accused of rape while working as a nurse. It happens.

The information contained in the pamphlets is illegal to make public but it's not hard to find. I've seen the pamphlet and I have to say it does colour one's opinion of the whole case - it is very damaging to the defendants (it regards their previous record). But here's the rub - the information is not actually relevant to this case. At first glance it does seem very relevant but if you think about it from a logical point of view it isn't. The process of arriving at a logical conclusion is very specific, and from a logical standpoint this information is entirely irrelevant to the Louise Nicholas case.

If this evidence had been allowed, it would undoubtedly have influenced the jury's deliberation. Whether or not the case would have had a different outcome I don't know, but people are only human (and most have no idea about logic) so I would be very concerned about the impact it would have had. I think it was the right decision to suppress this information.

But just when you thought it was simple....
- The police spent two years pursuing this case, suggesting that they thought it had some merit. It's hard to imagine them putting that much effort into a case based only on someone's word.
- The jury spent 27 hours deliberating, which seems strange given the non-existence of any reported evidence.

But in the end it all comes down to "innocent until proven guilty". No proof, no conviction. End of story.
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Old 10th April 2006, 02:02 PM   #2
Dave
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Since I posted the entry above, an unprecedented email campaign has been launched to spread the information contained in the pamphlet. According to one poll, 30% of New Zealanders believe they know what the information is and this will continue to rise quickly. I think it's fair to say that anyone who cares to know what the information is will be able to find it.

This raises several questions:

(1) If more than half of all New Zealanders are prepared to get involved in this campaign of civil disobedience (which is what it amounts to) then maybe they are saying they don't agree with the current law. For better or worse we live in a democracy, and if most people feel that a particular law is an ass then perhaps the Government should take note.

(2) I'm not sure why the information in this case is still suppressed. I stand by my assertion that it was the right thing to do during the trial, but I don't see why it's necessary any more.

(3) By continuing to suppress this information, the courts are handing control of the information to people who are not accountable. For example, I've already seen copies of the original pamphlet which have been altered or embellished. How are people to know which facts are real? What's to stop people making up new information and spreading it via email?

I think it's time to lift the suppression order and give control of the information flow back to accountable news media. They may be far from perfect but at least they are accountable and the public can have some measure of confidence in the information they provide.
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Old 15th May 2006, 05:00 PM   #3
BigD
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Twaddle

"But here's the rub - the information is not actually relevant to this case. At first glance it does seem very relevant but if you think about it from a logical point of view it isn't"

I have nevert heard so much twaddle in my life. Do you understand 'patterns of behaviour' ? Do you know what logic is ?

Here is a pattern:

2,4,6,8 ... guess the next number

Whether they are guilty or innocent is another question but dont say it is not 'logical' to look at previous patterns of behaviour.
 
Old 16th May 2006, 11:53 AM   #4
Dave
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigD
Do you understand 'patterns of behaviour' ?
Yes. As a registered psychiatric nurse I spent a lot of time dealing in patterns of behaviour.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigD
Do you know what logic is ?
Yes. I studied logic at university. Unfortunately I never finished my logic papers but I have kept a keen interest in logic and critical thinking.

There are some logical conclusions which can be made based on patterns of behaviour, but I'm afraid there is no logical process which would allow a jury to use the first of these cases as reliable, relevant evidence in the second.

One of the pitfalls of our judicial system (or more accurately, the way we tend to judge people) is that we are swayed by facts which are not directly relevant, especially in cases which are highly emotive. Court cases need to be won and lost on evidence, not patterns. We could learn so much from CSI .

BTW, I would like to clarify something: I do not know whether these people are innocent or guilty, but we have a system known as "innocent until proven guilty". Until you can prove that someone is guilty you can't convict them.
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Old 1st March 2007, 02:15 PM   #5
bogmailer
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New Zealand rape fantasy

I am appalled the justice system tolerates and supports so many of these flaky "crimes against women" trials, just to appear PC to the media. Most of these so called put-upon-women enjoy no standing in the community and so are quite willing to use the establishment to cynically tarnish other peoples reputation. I think most people in the street, still in command of a working brain, will see their actions as either revenge or benefit motivated and fortunately jury's still reflect the public view. My feeling is, legal action should be taken against these litigants for their vexatious actions.
 
Old 29th October 2007, 03:43 PM   #6
sita
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you #### make me sick

Quote:
Originally Posted by bogmailer View Post
I am appalled the justice system tolerates and supports so many of these flaky "crimes against women" trials, just to appear PC to the media. Most of these so called put-upon-women enjoy no standing in the community and so are quite willing to use the establishment to cynically tarnish other peoples reputation. I think most people in the street, still in command of a working brain, will see their actions as either revenge or benefit motivated and fortunately jury's still reflect the public view. My feeling is, legal action should be taken against these litigants for their vexatious actions.
Because men such as the above are idiots, and do not understand what it is to be the weaker, sexually vunerable sex, who can be the victim of sexual violation at any time that a male choses, they will never understand how women feel. Women do NOT report rape for fame: that is the most incredulous, infuriating statement I have ever heard. This post is so ridiculous it barely deserves a comment, but I am sick of this chauvenistic #### that men have to say. Many women are the victims of sexual abuse and rape, and I commend those who are BRAVE enough to stand up for themselves, and put themselves out there, where they are often shunned and labled as liars, as what happened to Louise Nicholas. I was have been the victim of rape twice, once at fourteen and once at seventeen, both times the perpetrators were friends I knew and trusted. I never went to the police, purely because I was afraid of being in the same position of making people have to choose to believe them or me. We all know how that usually turns out. Rape is the hardest crime to prove, and the most damaging to its victims. What happened to me remains with me EVERY SINGLE DAY. It is with me when I have intercourse with my partner, when there is violence against women on tv, and it is with me when #### like some of those on this blog decide to comment on something that they have no #### clue about, and never will. Perhaps you should get yourselves arrested so that you can have a stay in prison, and then you might know what it is like to live with the sort of fear and vunerability that many women live with everyday.
 
Old 2nd March 2007, 09:12 AM   #7
Quixote
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New Zealand Justice Dumb as well as Blind!

Well, we ALL know who to BELIEVE now! In most criminal cases before a Judge, the defendant's PRIOR offending IS detailed and does EFFECT the Judges verdict. It also undoubtedly affects the Police case?
Jury's SHOULD know. "Justice lied is justice denied?"
The fault is a FLAWED judicial system. Watch the Politicians make a change?
 
Old 9th August 2007, 07:28 PM   #8
Genni
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Question sick of attention seeking woman.

On Daves side here. Big waste of tax paying money time that a he says she says scenario can justify investigation and time. Louise Nichols is an embarassment to women in a world where we are capable of making our own decisions, drinking, playing, and having fun. Poor little us - at the mercy of mean men - we should be able to drink and then not have to be accountable??. The real feminists can't be bothered with her likes.
 
Old 18th April 2008, 01:03 PM   #9
Barbara Hughes
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Question The Cobb and Co

I lived and worked in Rotorua through the years Louise Nicholas was tormented by those we thought were here to protect us, I worked at the Cobb and Co Resturant and witnessed police having a good night out before retiring over to their own station to continue their good times with whomever they had managed to collect on the way, I witnessed uniformed officers leaving underage persons in the bar then returning when they were off duty in their civies only to buy drinks for these persons before retiring over the road to the station. The police officers were crude to say the least,I will scratch your back if you scatch mine seemed to be the motto they worked from.
 
 
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