Lawyers Aren’t Always Bad

Years ago, in a house far, far away, I was undergoing a course which involved a module to do with the “Law of Evidence”, which involved learning about what types of evidence is acceptable in Courts in Victoria. We did an in-depth study of the case of Leith Ratten, a man from the very far North of Victoria who was convicted of shooting his eight-month-pregnant wife, causing her death.

Now, Leith Ratten may or may not have been guilty, because I’m certainly not convinced “beyond reasonable doubt”, and we all know what that means. Leith Ratten was apparently turning from facing left to facing right while holding a loaded rifle, and he was blind in his right eye. So yes, it could have been intentional, and it could have been an accident. And when he rang the Echuca telephone exchange (who were, and are now, in charge of connecting all phone calls) he said either “Police!” or an unheard (“Ambulance”) “Please!” Again, reasonable doubt springs up.

Add to it that Ratten was having an affair with a married woman at the time. Reasonable doubt all around, either way. Read the rest of this entry »

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