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The Sounds Murders back in the News

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And another appeal. Where will the case go?? With the death of a key witness Guy Wallace is this going to be a fair trial?? I have no firm opinion guilty or not but seems to me others have got released sooner for similar crimes. In Scotts mind he is innocent and would be released if he admitted guilt but in Scotts mind hes not guilty.

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I think it is fair to say the conviction is unsafe because of the high level of dodgy-ness used at the trial. In any other narrative, finding the girls hair on the third go but not the first or second, while there were slits cut in the evidence bag, in any other narrative that would be called planted evidence. Not a coincidence.

But there is an underlying issue of did he do it or not? I don't have a clear view, despite reading much on the case.

Sometimes I think he is guilty, and deserves what he gets, sometimes I imagine, what if he was innocent all along and has been wrongly convicted?

I know there are people that are convinced he did it. Having spoken to one person that sailed with him, that belief is around character traits rather than hard evidence. But the belief is strongly held.

Complicated. It would certainly rock the public's trust in the justice system if the verdict were overturned now, what, 30 years after the fact? Still it has happened to other convictions from the same era.

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What convinced me it wasn't him, not even a remote chance, not even in this universe - is that even your most novice "sailor" could have explained to the jury that it is impossible for Watson on his boat 'Blade' to have done the boatspeed required to get out the anchorage and sail / motor to the vicinity of where they say he dumped the bodies overboard, and get back to the anchorage in time.  His boat would have had to have been capable of 20 knots.  It's a sick joke.

There is a heap more evidence against the conviction - I mean the mystery hair that all of a sudden showed up on the third search is a sick joke - and hair analysis is a very, very dodgy "science" in the best of cases - I have read enough about convictions in America being overturned due to the less than ideal veracity of "hair analysis".  There are plenty of books out there if you want to get into the specifics of the injustice that has been bought by "hair analysis"..

The guy that should be in jail is Detective Inspector Rob Pope.  Frankly that guy is an absolute scumbag.

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8 hours ago, harrytom said:

If for some reason they find him not guilty but not acquitted like the Bain case(some legal term for it) what would they compensation be??

As I understand it, this case will not result in a finding for or against Watson.  Its testing the legal validity and/or safety of  the original finding.  If it is found that hte original guilty verdict was unsafe because of false evidence or an overrreliance on questionable evidence, a further  legal process would be required to set aside the original verdict.



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11 hours ago, harrytom said:

If for some reason they find him not guilty but not acquitted like the Bain case(some legal term for it) what would they compensation be??

As AA mentions, I think the term is 'set aside' the original conviction. That doesn't mean he is guilty or not guilty, just that they can't rely on the original verdict. You just have to ignore the original verdict.

That turns into a strange kind of legal no-mans-land, where you are neither guilty or not guilty.

What happens after that is anyone's guess. It is clearly not possible to have another trial, since the key witness killed himself and it all happened 25 years ago. I would imagine that Watson would want another trial so he can be found not guilty, but I can't see another trial happening.

Another option is the Solicitor General or Minister for Justice, I get mixed up which (an elected MP, if I have my facts right) can issue a pardon. That person at the time declined to issue a pardon for Bain. I think it was Judith Collins. I'd be very surprised if anyone would issue a pardon for Watson, unless some new, unequivocal evidence came to light.

Then, none of that has any influence on compensation. My understanding is for compensation to be given, it must be demonstrated that a miscarriage of justice has occurred. Again, just because a verdict was set aside doesn't necessarily mean a miscarriage occurred, although it would strengthen the argument greatly.

Confused yet?

I'd say the best outcome for Watson is that he is let out of prison and can just live a peaceful quite life somewhere. Noting he is well past the minimum sentence length and wont be released on parole because he wont admit to the murder. A serious catch 22 if he didn't actually do it. Regardless of any legal outcomes, his name is intrinsically linked to a shocking double murder, he isn't ever going to be able to join the Glendowie Gulf Club or RNZYS, or hang out with wealthy or influential people anytime soon. Given he'd have zero money now, maybe he's better off inside where he gets free rent and three cooked meals a day paid for by us? Gets to potter around in the prison garden growing veges and watch TV every night.

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