Years ago, I undertook a course involving a lot of law subjects, one of which was Criminal Law.
I had a very good mate in that class, whose name I’ll protect, but we shall call her Diane. Diane was a fairly average student, while I was a particularly great one (High Distinctions all around, I’m afraid. Yes, I was a nerd!) and we had a few political differences, but considering she was more worried about clothes and becoming the next great actress, I just kind of wrote that off.
Until the day I learned who her cousin was.
Things vastly changed that day. Her cousin is Jason Roberts. He is one of the two men found guilty for cold-bloodedly murdering two police officers, Gary Silk and Rodney Miller, in a street merely kilometres from where she and I were furthering our education. The other man was Bandali Debs a man so filthy that I need a shower after merely mentioning his name.
Both Silk and Miller were good men, of that I’m sure. I’d actually met Miller once, and was very impressed with both how he behaved as an officer, but he was also quite a gentleman. And I was the tearaway daughter of another copper, yet he treated me much nicer than I really deserved at the time… even when I did something at the station that nobody should. When Silk and Miller were murdered in 1998, in incredibly cold blood, it was a really big hit to all police families, of which I am one. I may detest my father passionately, but that still doesn’t mean I want him dead.
But back to Diana. She was firmly convinced that her cousin, the same age I am now, and the same age she is now, wouldn’t have done such a thing. She claims that the police intimidated the jury that heard the case against Debs and Roberts.
Rubbish. Simple geography answers that question.
Diana once told me that the police sat opposite the jury, in uniform, with their arms crossed. Garbage. Not. Physically. Possible!
The jury in a Supreme Court trial in Victoria are faced simply by a blank wall. It’s purely impossible for police to intimidate the jury in that manner, according to the four or so Supreme Court Rooms I’ve ever been in. Yes, I can accept that police officers with a day off may have attended court in their uniforms. Yes, they may have filled the press gallery (a story above and way to the right of the jury seats) while wearing their uniforms. But my biggest problem with the case comes from two fronts.
One: the evidence nailed the exact freaking car, one owned by Debs’ daughter. Forensically matched and detailed quite well. Forensics is fairly accurate for the most part.
But the strongest reason was a story Diana told me herself.
She and her sister attended court on one of the trial dates. Her sister sneezed, and was cautioned to leave the room if she needed to continue on sneezing. She refused, and started laughing. You don’t laugh at a judge. Yes, they can be wrong, but intentionally gaining their ire? STUPID!
How on earth would someone justify doing that? Unless they thought their cousin was guilty anyway?
Her cousin started laughing, and didn’t even attempt to leave the room. That speaks a lot to me.
I haven’t seen Diane in years, and I’m pretty sure I don’t want to.
Who wants an apologist for police murderers around?
Well, SAY something...