Saturday, June 08, 2019

Cardinal Pell Conviction Appeal Proceeds (UPDATED)

After only one of three trials against Cardinal Pell resulted in a conviction, I opined that the one conviction did not pass the smell test.  I am far from alone in that opinion.
So far the appeal of that conviction seems to be going well:

On the first of the two days, Cardinal Pell’s lawyer, Bret Walker, defended the cardinal principally on the grounds that Cardinal Pell’s conviction last year on charges of sexual abuse was unreasonably based on the testimony of one surviving victim and that the trial judge unfairly disallowed defense evidence.
Walker argued that the guilty verdict was returned despite the lack of proof beyond reasonable doubt.
The following day, June 6, prosecutor Christopher Boyce reportedly struggled to answer questions from the three appeals court judges, and accidentally named the alleged victim, which is suppressed in these cases.
Boyce appeared to have difficulty articulating his own arguments, or was lost for words under judicial questioning. One of his arguments was that the alleged victim’s story was too outlandish to be invented.
Prior to the appeal hearing, the three judges visited Melbourne’s St. Patrick’s cathedral, the place where the abuse is alleged to have taken place. The visit, which was apparently unprecedented for the Australian legal system, was to help them understand the evidence that was considered by the jury.
So clearly the three appeals judges are giving this appeal more than the usual consideration.  Their decision is expected this month.  Let us pray it will be just.


UPDATE: Julia Yost has a good summary of the case so far at First Things.  Again, this has several marks of a wrongful conviction.

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