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Evidence is easily swept away by Sympathy

Filed under: Boys / Youth / Education,Child Support,Domestic Violence,Law & Courts,Sex Abuse / CYF — MurrayBacon @ 8:49 pm Tue 2nd September 2008

This should never happen, in a court that takes justice seriously.

This is so fundamental to successfully delivering justice, that the judicial oath was written to cover this issue. (see Oaths and Declarations Act

In the [human]-animal, decisions leading to action, are made in the emotional part of the brain. This enables a fast response to threats, as at times it is needed for survival.

A rational decision takes longer to complete, than an emotional decision. A rational decision can only be made, if the animal has inhibited the emotionally based reaction, long enough to complete the rational analysis.

Many people are not prepared to put in the time and effort, to complete a rational analysis, when the emotive decision can be made easily and relatively effortlessly.

Open courts (or note taking reporters, or recordings) allow the public to know what is going on in a court and to review the judge’s decision. This allows the public to apply a typically wise and well informed corrective force onto any errant judge.

Justice can’t be done in secret and here’s why Times

Discussion about media access to familycaught

judge baragwannath refuses to allow a parking ticket appeal hearing to be filmed for public access

Secret caughts remove these safety mechanisms, so that “judges” may easily drift out of adjustment. The collegial structure of the judiciary doesn’t give the Principal judge of each court any useful remedial power over faulty “judges”.

When you are considering making a court application, or responding to one, then before putting time into gathering evidence, carefully consider where you stand in the Sympathy stakes?

Don’t delude yourself in self-sympathy. You need to find out which judges you might meet and understand their values.

Are they prepared to listen and carefully weigh evidence, or do they work on the intuitive/emotive approach?

You cannot safely evaluate their values from published judgements. They usually do not show enough of the evidence, to allow you to make any useful judgement of the judge. Besides, it seems that judges restrictively select the judgements that they pass on to the legal publishers, so you could easily be mislead by the published judgements. You need access to a fuller understanding of what goes on in these caughts. Talk to a good number of their previous customers, before you make your decisions.

judge mahony speaking to Parliament’s Social Services Committee about forwarding judgements

judge mahony’s Secret Meeting with Select Committee

Can you make your application at such a time, as to prevent it being heard by the least reliable judge? This is difficult for non-custodial parents to achieve, due to the low priority given to their applications, resulting in very long delays before getting to a real hearing.

Men tend to be socialised by work pressures, into the “rational” model. This may result in them omitting to consider sympathy, before they consider issues regarding evidence. You cannot manage your evidence, if you haven’t got sympathy issues under some sort of control, because in this case you will never get the judge to the evidence anyway. Men are sometimes naive about the worthlessness of evidence, once it has been swept away in a flood of sympathy. Sympathy is a fickle mistress.

To find well documented examples of judgements made against the facts, we can recall the following recent cases from daily newspapers:

Three Whakatane police were acquitted of assaulting a detained prisoner, despite 3 hours of video record showing this quite clearly.

Stephen Wallace was shot by a policeman, not in self defence. He was tried for murder, in a private prosecution and acquitted

Judge Sharp discharged the prosecution of two women charged with perjury, after noting the technicality that there was no permission to use evidence from familycaught, in the open District Court. (The police shy away from prosecuting perjury, as they know that the judges usually spring the accused, so why waste money even trying to prosecute women?)

It seems that to punish hard working and serving police officers or women, seems to be too severe, so there is no punishment at all (of course other than the cost of their legal defence).

Although Parliament passed laws and set maximum penalties, when sacred cows are faced with punishment for their actions, the judges don’t have the heart to attach the set punishments for the crimes. This results in the total loss of the deterrence function of the court system.

When people know (or even just think mistakenly) that they are beyond the reach of the law, then our society becomes unnecessarily a more dangerous place. The accused who have evaded the responsibility for their actions, then know that they are free to do it again and again.

An 18 year old man in Alexandra was prosecuted for dangerous driving. He produced evidence from two independent traffic engineers, that supported his statement and disproved the policeman’s evidence. The JPs refused to accept the boy’s statement, supported by the two traffic engineer expert witnesses, against the policeman’s word. The JPs simply refused to weigh the evidence, the uniform carried more weight. A later appeal in the High Court reversed the earlier lower court judgement, when the police realised that they didn’t have a leg to stand on and if they continued to abuse the boy using the caught process, that the young man would appeal until the prosecution case was eventually thrown out..

The crux of this discussion, is that sympathy/intuition is quick and easy to apply.

However, it fairly frequently gets it very wrong. It is based on assumptions, instead of facts, weighed in the light of good knowledge about how the world works. Intuition often detects a lie, but telling what did happen takes more than just a quick guess!

These assumptions are sometimes checked, but usually not.

This problem is endemic in all of our courts.

Evidence ambush as a successful litigation strategy

Self representation in familycaught

However, it is a wider problem in our society. Lets look at the performance of Parliament and voters.

This acceptance of guessing, intuitive, assuming, emotive, prejudiced and sympathetic decision making, explains why voter’s sympathies are 25 years behind the social situation.

Note that I haven’t criticised politicians, they can turn on a dime, once they perceive changes in voter’s attitudes. These time lags result from us voters being lazy, slow learners. Learning and gathering up to date information does take some effort.

This is why so many of our laws are a sensible response, but to the social situations that pertained 25 years ago. Good, but 25 years too late! Unfortunately the problem isn’t solved in 25 years, as there is often an overswing and this is followed by the reverse problem hanging in for a further 10 or 15 years. This does give a large incentive to put in some effort and solve these problems quickly and accurately.

Eventually the truth will come fully into the public’s awareness. In the meantime, quite a few people may have been mangled by inappropriate and sometimes quite destructive Government responses. In particular, minorities suffer in these situations. When change is ongoing, the legislation may never become appropriate to the social environment it is intended to manage.

These problems will be greatly reduced, if voters choose to become well informed.

You can do your part to make our society more responsive to what is happening, by putting in a reasonable amount of effort into making your voting decision. Life is dangerous, if we take the shortcuts all the time.

Errors in values are often hidden under issues of fact – thus disguising decisions based on prejudice as having been decided under some principle. The best writer on this that I have seen, is Ronald K. Henry. Although he writes for USA, what he says is just as true in NZ, when references to legislation is changed appropriately.

THE PRIMARY CARETAKER THEORY: Backsliding To The “Tender Years” Doctrine

People do get irritated by talking about gross miscarriages of justice, especially it seems the legal workers. These complainers should just go away, get over it and suffer out of sight and in silence. Who could care less?

Protect your family, by caring.
Cheers, MurrayBacon.


  1. Well done Murray, I always like the way you write.

    Comment by wendy — Wed 3rd September 2008 @ 6:35 pm

  2. Murray,

    An intoxicating peice of writing, even enjoyable as is a good red (Head).

    However your 4th to last paragraph inserted below seems to sum up your writing well – Or does it?

    **Eventually the truth will come fully into the public’s awareness. In the meantime, quite a few people may have been mangled by inappropriate and sometimes quite destructive Government responses. In particular, minorities suffer in these situations. When change is ongoing, the legislation may never become appropriate to the social environment it is intended to manage.**

    Are you accepting bad law on the basis that in time it may be good law?

    Are you accepting that its OK for the Judicary and its Lawyers to live well from the delays of good law?

    Are you accepting that many lives will be destroyed while bad law progresses to good law?

    Are you suggesting that chosing your vote well will speed up the process of good law?

    I beleive that every time we touch law we show it the way to expand its Injustice. Thus we who need to touch it from time to time show it how to increase its ability to enhance the lives who dare take it as a disapline in their schooling.

    Many probably begin quite honourably but as time goes on become as intoxicated by the obvious potential wealth that may be generated so that they can live on good red (Head)

    Why would one want to touch something so incidious?

    How can a vote change the rot?

    Onward – Jim

    Comment by Jim Bailey — Wed 3rd September 2008 @ 9:41 pm

  3. Another example of women not being held accountable for grievous crimes, courtesy of the clowns in the districtcaught$:

    [lady]-Lawyer-to-be avoids prison
    By Chloe Johnson
    5:30 AM Sunday Jul 29, 2012

    A law graduate has avoided a prison term despite deliberately taking the wrong man for DNA testing to get her ex-partner’s name removed from her son’s birth certificate.

    The 33-year-old woman, who now lives in Masterton, was sentenced in the Auckland District Court this week to three months’ community detention for preventing the course of justice. She has been granted permanent name suppression to protect her son’s identity.

    Crown prosecutor Claire Robertson said a term of imprisonment was usually warranted for such a crime, but she did not think it was appropriate given mitigating factors, including her duty as a mother and the impact it would have on her becoming a lawyer.

    Defence lawyer Owen Harold sought a discharge without conviction so she could become a barrister, obtain a private investigator’s licence and travel overseas.

    Judge David Wilson, QC, said the offending related to a “poor decision” when she took a male friend into Auckland’s DNA Diagnostics clinic in June 2010 and falsely introduced him as the biological father of her 2-year-old son.

    The man provided a DNA sample for a legally binding paternity test which showed he was not the father.

    As a result, the real father’s name was removed from his son’s birth certificate.

    During a battle over visiting rights, a Family Court judge picked up the discrepancy and reported the woman to police.

    Late last year, Waitakere District Court Judge Simon Maude requested new DNA samples and soon after the mother asked DNA Diagnostics to destroy the samples she had requested.

    In an affidavit to the court, the mother claimed she wanted the biological father off the scene because she feared for her safety after their volatile relationship ended.

    Judge Wilson said, “I can understand your motivation but it does not excuse the lengths to which you went.”

    He said the biological father became anxious and stressed after being told he had been removed from the birth certificate.

    The father, who also has name suppression, said he was disappointed with the sentence.

    “She got off lightly for lying in court, supplying false documents and wasting thousands and thousands of dollars of taxpayers’ money and police time,” he said.

    New Zealand Law Society general manager regulatory Mary Ollivier said a conviction would not stop people becoming registered lawyers.

    By Chloe Johnson | Email Chloe

    MurrayBacon comment-

    I was very pleased to see that “a Family Court judge” picked up the perjury and notified the police. Although very good to see, I am very disquieted that most of the stories I have heard where judges have come across perjury, they have just let it go. Maybe some judges do want the courts to be taken more seriously than just being entertainers?

    The man who supplied the DNA sample should also have been charged.

    Note the grammatical?? error by the Law Society General Manager Regulatory:

    A conviction WOULD not stop people becoming registered lawyers.

    This could have more honestly been written:
    A conviction DOES not stop people becoming registered lawyers.

    This isn’t exactly news, we have seen this many times. If I recall correctly, I think people have even qualified in law, while studying in prison? Or is this just a joke, I am not sure. I would prefer that they just studied safe-dynamiting. Safer for the public anyway.

    The bottom line is that if I was a juror, I would be just a bit more cautious accepting the uncorroborated word of a lady or a legal-worker, or a judge. By hiding and obscuring and adjusting the truth by suppression, the smear ends up unfairly spreading over all of the innocent people who share the same characteristic.

    Real justice would aim much much higher than that.

    I fear that our judges are little more than entertainers. MurrayBacon.

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Sun 29th July 2012 @ 11:09 am

  4. Interesting she got caught! Remember Kay Skelton tried the same tactic!

    Comment by Gwahir — Sun 29th July 2012 @ 5:10 pm

  5. Toddler Taming, that excellent little book says that to be effective, discipline must be quick after the offence. Kay Skelton had to break a whole pile of laws, before they threw the book at her. Even then, it looked like they threw the book at her, only after it was all public knowledge anyway. So the familycaught$, in my opinion, didn’t look to have any sincerity or credibility or integrity or disciplinary competence at all.


    Comment by MurrayBacon — Sun 29th July 2012 @ 8:15 pm

  6. Evidence is easily swept away by Sympathy – Humans approach situations with empathy and sympathy. We may identify with one party more than the other. If we don’t take care in our judgement, these emotions may easily mislead us: (Of course these human factors would obviously be much worse in a secret secret caught!)
    NZ Herald Rare legal move on hit-run

    Crown looks at possible appeal over judge’s ‘joke’ sentence

    In a rare legal move, the Solicitor-General is considering an appeal against the sentence imposed on investment banker Guy Hallwright who was found guilty of running down a man in a road rage incident.

    A spokeswoman for the Solicitor-General said a “thorough review” of the case was being carried out to decide whether there were grounds for an appeal.

    The appeal is backed by Auckland Council for Civil Liberties president Barry Wilson, who wrote a letter to Solicitor-General Michael Heron saying the court’s handling of the matter “reinforces the public perception of a two-tier justice system”.

    In the Auckland District Court last month, Judge Raoul Neave sentenced Hallwright, a senior market analyst with Forsyth Barr, to 250 hours of community work, banned him from driving for 18 months and ordered him to pay $20,000 reparation to Sung Jin Kim.

    Mr Kim suffered two broken legs when Hallwright hit him with his car after an argument on Mt Eden Rd in September 2010.

    Hallwright drove off, but returned to the scene later.

    While passing sentence, Judge Neave said Hallwright was a contributor to society with a “spotless reputation” and “impeccable character” and it was highly unlikely he would have driven at Mr Kim.

    He said the reparation payment represented Hallwright’s remorse, and was not a legal system loophole that allowed rich people to buy their way out of more serious sentences.

    Mr Wilson said the comments were bizarre, and the public clearly regarded the sentence as inadequate.

    “A major flaw in the judge’s sentencing comments was that he appeared to deliver a glowing tribute to the defendant based on a limited knowledge of his background.

    “To the extent that this contradicted the jury’s verdict, it contributed to the public perception of an inadequate sentence.”

    Mr Wilson said the severity of Mr Kim’s injuries should be considered by an appeal court.


    A witness who gave evidence at the trial, Giampiero De Falco, later told the Weekend Herald he was infuriated by the sentence and the judge’s comments.

    “He [Mr Kim] was screaming … I was there from the beginning until the end,” said Mr De Falco.

    “It’s inappropriate. And the sentencing is a joke. If it’s not hit-and-run, what the hell is it?”


    Hallwright declined to comment yesterday, saying: “I have no faith in the media.”

    – APNZ

    By Matthew Theunissen

    Mr Kim has said the surgery on his legs – he would probably need six operations in total – would cost about $150,000.

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Sat 15th September 2012 @ 10:39 am

  7. @ Murray. I think you have got this totally wrong. Evidence hasn’t been swept away. It is there for all to see. The question here is whether a Judge made the appropriate decision on punishment and if it is considered he didn’t there is an avenue of appeal. You are also suggesting that the fault of the family court is judges misguided by sympathy and empathy. I couldn’t disagree more. You’ve left out behaviour according to belief, protocol, process (undue of course), and predetermined outcome to name a few. To be blunt mate – this is the sort of comparison I would expect from a feminist troll excusing the family court behaviour.

    Comment by Down Under — Sat 15th September 2012 @ 2:28 pm

  8. Dear Down Under, I don’t see much disagreement. Whether it be sympathy or “behaviour according to belief, protocol, process (undue of course), and predetermined outcome”, in practical terms the result is the same. The difference lies only in assumed internal states of the “judges”.

    As you mentioned, there is the possibility of appeal. It is difficult to measure the degree of success of appeals in open caughts, but 10 to maybe 15% seems to be most observers estimate. In familycaught$ it is even more difficult to measure, as so many judgements are not supplied to legal publishers, so all we can say is less than 15%, probably a lot less, especially for Non Custodial Parents.

    Thus, unless a NCP has an extremely well prepared initial application and a willingness to throw lots of good money after bad, it just not worth pursuing this almost mythical right to appeal. I know personally two men who have successfully appealed against familycaught$ judgements, both at financially inordinate cost. In other words, even if the right outcome was achieved, they were seriously ripped off by the “judges” and legal-workers. But for most NCPs, the use of right of appeal is just another piece of rort. By way of example, as Steve Jelicich was exercising his right of appeal and submitting application, the mother of his child and his child were far outside of NZ’s jurisdiction, flying at 800 km per hour. Of course he didn’t know that, as this just made it a complete waste of money. This was only able to rort like this, as the “judge” informed the mother several days before Steve was informed of the outcome of the earlier hearing.

    If a legal process fails to deliver value for money, as well as proper outcomes, then it is no more than rort or thievery.

    “It is there for all to see.” In a secret familycaught$, there are none so blind, as will not see……

    “behaviour according to belief, protocol, process (undue of course), and predetermined outcome” sounds to me like lazy ignorance, knowledge far behind the professional knowledge of social sciences, economics and psychology. Their knowledge is based on raising parental stress levels, to open up wallets and is up to date in this professional area. Cheers, MurrayBacon.

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Sat 15th September 2012 @ 6:15 pm

  9. @ Murray, the appeal in the hit and run case you referred to is taken by the state (yes at the expense of the tax payer) on behalf of the injured person and society in general. That’s a completely different situation to an individually-funded, blind-appeal from a father in lawless jurisdiction. Now you have reversed your point of view and said the family court is stuffed (and I totally agree) so the criminal jurisdiction must be too. Can’t see the average punter buying this argument.

    Comment by Down Under — Sun 16th September 2012 @ 8:10 am

  10. Dear Down Under, thanks. Turning it to the positive, if I quote a few examples of ongoing poor practice, generally the solution is fairly obvious….. All of the examples are variations on the theme of good management and accountability. Accountability evasion is just as socially destructive as tax evasion, just not actually illegal! We should hold people who flagrantly evade accountability in at least as much contempt as tax evaders and vandals. There is much more to delivering social service, than wearing a suit paid for by overcharging taxpayers.

    I suggest that while familycaught$ stays effectively secret, it will never turn into a socially constructive, usefull, or cost effective service, except for customers who value it’s abuse and destruction delivering services.

    While Government pays “judges” by the hour irrespective of the quality of performance and doesn’t check for conflict of interest, then the courts will never act with workable integrity.

    While Government runs a complaints about “judges” service that is funded to reply to letters, but not for doing investigations, the quality of “judges” performance will never become acceptable.

    While Government runs a complaints about “judges” service that allows “judges” to evade being investigated, by resigning for the moment, the quality of “judges” performance will never become acceptable.

    While Government pays “judges” by the hour irrespective of the quality of outcomes, then the courts will never be successful at serving society. Given that the odds of crimes being detected and the criminal identified correctly are relatively low, then punishments have only poor deterrent effect. The punishments available to judges are poor in deterrent effect and in many cases, have a perverse encouraging effect to offenders with anti social personality disorder. (Google “Lawrence Sherman” “What works” for ideas for more effective punishments. Sherman has being making these comments for a long time now.)

    While most citizens pay their legal workers to fail in representing them, then most legal workers will continue to do exactly that! (Most legal workers couldn’t provide competent representation even if they wanted to, they have been too lazy to learn). Sure, it is difficult for members of the public to contract with their lawyer in a manner to give the lawyer a workable incentive to succeed for them, but not impossible.

    The court punishments are structured, that once charged, it is more cost effective to plead guilty even if you are innocent (although this is ignoring the value of an unblemished record for the future).

    While the Government pays prosecutors for cases taken and incentivises successful prosecution, without looking at the quality of the case and the public interest involved, then they have an incentive to prosecute the easy cases for winning, even where the offence was trivial and not in the public good. Example – assault where the police photos show trivial bruising, while millions of dollars of burglary and financial frauds go uninvestigated and unprosecuted.

    When problems lie unaddressed for very long periods of time, in this case more than 2 beneficiary generations in NZ, then eventually other forces will come into play. For example, within the next 10 years most legal work will be done by computers, at very low cost. This will remove the problems where Government and citizens don’t go to the trouble to manage conflicts of interest. (Our present legal workers will probably be forced to turn to burglary and robbery to pay their bills. Will they still wear good suits and shoes, when they climb in someone’s window?)

    The world financial equalisation between east and west is now forcing us to address work incentives around social welfare benefits and also benefits for judges – we just cannot afford ongoing featherbedding in caughts.

    All of the improements suggested here, require active, competent management, that can measure the quality of outcomes, not just the quantity. The present caughts maximise quantity of output, they are just a sausage machine without judgement.

    These changes will happen when everyday citizens demand honest work from these self serving interest groups.

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Sun 16th September 2012 @ 9:37 am

  11. Article lists the human processes to turn false evidence into a false judgement”
    From False Confession to Wrongful Conviction: Seven Psychological Processes

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Sun 9th March 2014 @ 9:58 am

  12. Hearing evidence in familycaught$ might be likened to bullying?

    Interrogation and False Confessions among Adolescents: Differences between Bullies and Victims

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Sun 9th March 2014 @ 10:06 am

  13. The prosecutor in the Oscar Pistorius murder trial seems to be playing a very hardball approach. I haven’t followed it carefully, so maybe I have got the wrong end of the stick?

    He is making much out of Oscar Pistorius’ refusal to admit pulling his finger on the trigger to shoot.

    Oscar has admitted that noone else was in the flat, but that at the time he thought there was an intruder. This is in essence a direct admission that it was he who shot Reva Steenkamp.

    The prosecutor has said that Oscar Pistorius never accepts responsibility for his actions and that this characterises his behaviour in general.

    As far as I can see, Oscar Pistorius direct apology to Reva’s family lays lie to the prosecutor’s assertion.

    It looks as though the prosecutor is trying to make the judge(s) lose sympathy with Oscar Pistorius and then for it to be easy for them to find him guilty of murder, rather than manslaughter.

    If it was a jury, perhaps there would be more sympathy for Oscar Pistorius. If the prosecutor tried this same strategy with a jury, it would be more likely to backfire and result in not guilty, the opposite of what the prosecutor is trying to achieve. Even with a judge, the same might happen, though less likely?

    Using sympathy to decide issues of fact, is irrelevant to the actual issues of guilty of manslaughter, or guilty of murder.

    Using sympathy to make decisions easy – when there is no hard evidence on which to base the decision, is no better than dunking witches into a river – if they live they are guilty of being a witch and if they drown they were innocent (but are now dead – problem over).

    When there is no hard evidence on which to base a decision, the end result is a gamble and we should be honest about that.

    There are many examples where we may be forced to make a decision, without the information that we would need to make a reliable decision”

    Prostate cancer decisions

    Should the judge have given DV PO against Edward Livingstone?
    In this case the judge did not have all of the information, as they never do. However, by winding up the pressures, the judge’s behaviour may have been a large contributing factor to the final outcome. DV POs is but one way of managing risk and we do need to explore and use other options when they offer better safety.

    Sharing access time between parents
    Although judges could read the statistics about which parents kill their children, custody decisions frequently put children in the majority care of the parent who endangers the child the most and is at risk of failing to develop the child happily and with good mental health.

    This situation is one where the information is readily available, but judges refuse to read it. In the resulting vacuum of apparent evidence, sympathy again becomes the basis for low quality decisions.

    Sir Peter Gluckman has encouraged the Government to make social policy decisions on the basis of good quality research evidence, rather than just ideology. Bit of a problem in NZ, as Government seriously underfunds social research in NZ. Perhaps they underfund it, because they know they almost certainly wouldn’t read it, even if they did do more research?

    NZs biggest problem is failing to use all available information carefully, before big decisions are taken. We are our own worst enemies.

    Nobody else does as much harm to NZ, as we do.

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Sat 12th April 2014 @ 3:28 pm

  14. Having listened to media excerpts from the Pistorius trial then last night the live proceedings I have become more and more convinced he is telling the truth generally. The prosecution lawyer appears to be trying, by being a prat, misrepresenting previous replies etc, to get Pistorius either to get riled up and show a loss of self-control or to become so upset as to become confused. Pistorius shows emotions congruent with what he’s considering and saying, his account hangs together as realistic yet it would be very difficult to make up the details he describes. Just my opinion…

    Comment by Man X Norton — Sat 12th April 2014 @ 7:15 pm

  15. #15 Murray. Do you recall the last time you saw a NZ Lawyer behave the same way as the Pistorius prosecutor on TV ? Yes, that was during the Ewan MacDonald murder case and the Lawyer’s name was Greg King …. and we all know what happened to him some months later.

    Comment by golfa — Sat 12th April 2014 @ 11:32 pm

  16. John Banks lost sympathy and the evidence was weighed against him.

    He wasn’t a member of the “in” Government group, so he was easily sacrificed, to maintain “The System”‘s image of integrity. The Police gave him the benefit of the doubt, but public opinion moved against John and later…

    I wonder if anyone manipulated the public sympathy? Kim Dot Com? I actually think the the most manipulation was done by John Banks himself, quite against his own interest? The way he handled the accusation against him, fuelled his own demise.

    By comparison, Trevor Mallard fairly quickly confessed and was able to escape any serious consequences.

    Anyone heading towards being judged, needs to protect their call for sympathy (in the eyes of whoever will be the judge), or despite the best evidence in the world, they can be swept away…

    If they have no claim to sympathy, they are f***ed.

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Thu 5th June 2014 @ 3:20 pm

  17. As a possible sex abuser of a child, the father had no sympathy on his side. The bogey of race also reared its ugly head.

    One such caught malpractice case becomes visible, but how many similar cases have occurred and leave innocent fathers rotting in jail?

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Thu 28th August 2014 @ 4:30 pm

  18. There is a really good TV1 programme on at the moment, about the young Alexandra man up against the perjuring local policeman. The young man did win in the end, but only after receiving an astonishing amount of support from a friend of his father.

    Few young men get such support………

    The lesson to take away, is to respect the freedom of all caught$ to choose arbitrarily what “evidence” they will listen to and that which they will ignore.

    Look before you leap…..

    Comment by MurrayBacon. — Wed 1st April 2015 @ 7:57 pm

  19. Sympathy can derail police investigations, as easily as caught weighing of evidence:
    Gay-hate theory: third inquest By Kathy Marks

    5:00 AM Thursday Apr 16, 2015

    More than a quarter of a century after a gifted young mathematician was found dead at the bottom of a cliff in Sydney, his family hope their suspicions of a gay hate murder may finally be confirmed.

    The NSW Coroner has ordered a rare third inquest into the death of Scott Johnson, a 27-year-old American student, whose naked body was discovered at the base of Manly’s North Head in December 1988.

    The first inquest, in 1989, ruled his death a suicide. But Johnson’s family rejected that conclusion, and a private investigation which they funded in the mid-2000s uncovered evidence of gay hate gangs operating in Sydney in the late 1980s.


    “I think this lights a fire under the people who committed this crime and thought they got away with it,” he told Fairfax Media.

    The NSW Coroner, Michael Barnes, said new evidence had come to light since the 2012 inquest, and it “could well lead to a different finding were it accepted”.

    The evidence is believed to relate to police interviews with former gang members who have admitted to carrying out violent attacks against gay men in the 1980s.


    Agius also said a private investigation funded by the family had identified up to 50 possible suspects and five anti-gay “gangs or loose groups” operating in the Manly area at the time of Johnson’s death.

    NSW police have welcomed a third inquest!!!!?????. However, Unsolved Homicide Squad detectives said they did not expect it to reach a different conclusion from 2012.

    Johnson’s brother appealed for help. “I would call for anyone who knows anything about how the [gay] beats worked, how the violence worked, the gangs that roamed the northern beaches … If you heard any of these stories, please come forward,” he said.

    – NZ Herald
    With limited investigation resources, the police have to prioritise their work. Possibly lack of sympathy for homosexuals led to police failing to investigate fully evidence already held in their own interview files.
    End result – with the help of perfect wisdom of hindsight – several groups of murderers were left free to carry out many more murders, than if they had been apprehended at the time.

    Side note:
    Professional groups who operate under a macho culture, often hide surprisingly large numbers of the groups they are ostensibly prejudiced against. Thus military and police often contain much higher proportions of gays, than the wider population.
    Similarly for domestic violence, the stresses and irrationalities of police employment, result that police are a little more likely than most of the population, to be involved in a domestic violence incident.

    Thus they have the most to gain, from a competent evaluation of domestic violence incidents, resulting in appropriate handling, based on the facts of the case.
    However, feminists have driven them back into a corner, by demanding that the book be thrown at the male in a claimed DV incident, in other words, demanding inappropriate outcomes from incidents. The resulting victims are often the policeman and his own children.

    When police and judges realise that careful weighing of real evidence and careful choice of what outcome is actually appropriate to that situation, then children and vulnerable adults will be properly protected, from liars and manipulators and violent adults.

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Thu 16th April 2015 @ 10:05 am

  20. Hypothetically, if one or a few of the gangs were boys in blue, proving their heterosexuality, by beating up and sometimes killing gay men…… I am not “one of them”, I beat them…… [equal human rights…?]

    Then the police might be much less motivated to follow through with a full and frank investigation?

    Our media show negroes gunned down in cold blood in USA, but are horrifyingly silent about what goes on inside NZ, especially in our silent, secret caught$.
    Rights are only real, when they are accessible to all of the people in the society.
    Similarly for men and for disadvantaged women in familycaught$
    It will only change, when men publicly show they care for women’s human rights and so on.

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Thu 16th April 2015 @ 10:38 am

  21. In this situation, sympathy points the same way as the evidence and the legal principles.

    However, the drug dealer, prisoner, real estate agent should have looked at the facts and the sympathy issues and seen that both point to him failing at the Tenancy Tribunal. He should just accept his losses, which he has totally brought onto himself. He should make some sensible agreement with Kadon Captain, as he is likely to do far worse in the formal Tribunal hearing.

    Although in this case, both evidence and sympathy point in the same direction, the common situation is for fathers to be in the situation where the child protective facts, or property facts are in their favour. However, for whatever reasons, in familycaught$ sympathy is probably going to be against them.

    In such a situation, the father needs to proceed with great care, in particular not behaving in any way which might allow the judge to justify to themselves breaking all of the formal rules and giving everything to the mother. If the father behaves in any way, to give away sympathy, then they lose everything in a moment.

    I have seen this happen too often, one small sign of frustration, or of rudeness and the facts lose all value.
    They have been swept away by sympathy.
    The results may be cruel, even crushing. This is how life may proceed in the darkest and most godless corners of our society.

    In any negotiating or judgement situation, your own behaviour may have a large impact on the outcomes, sometimes much larger than it ought to have. You have a huge incentive to maintain exemplary self-control.

    There is no point over-stressing about the things that you cannot control. More to the point, focus on the things that you can control.
    Mum horrified over ‘toxic’ meth house NZ Herald 5:00 AM Sunday May 24, 2015

    A solo mum and her two children have been forced out of their rented home after tests for P residue revealed levels of the drug 25 times above safety limits.

    The four-bedroom villa at Fairway Ave, Red Beach, Whangaparaoa, is owned by large-scale methamphetamine dealer Brett Campbell Bogue, who was jailed for more than nine years in November.

    But when Kadon Captain rented the house for $720 a week in January she had no idea about its past.

    She rented the property through a North Shore letting agency. Bogue’s mother, real estate agent Janice Bogue, was the acting landlord, and his sister, Krishla, was Captain’s initial point of contact for any property issues.

    On Thursday, Captain appeared in the Tenancy Tribunal seeking compensation from Janice Bogue, who in return is counter-claiming, seeking $6,582 in alleged unpaid rent from Captain.

    Captain became aware of the property owner’s history after being informed by a neighbour two months after moving in.

    “I was horrified,” she told the Herald on Sunday. “I know residue from that drug is toxic and I had real worries for my family’s health.”
    Two weeks later, Bogue indicated she would organise a meth test, but nothing happened, Captain said. She went ahead with private testing, conducted by MethSolutions.

    “Results showed the lower part of the house was 25 times Ministry of Health guidelines for decontamination,” Captain said. “My teenage son was staying there.”
    Brett Bogue, 44, a former award-winning real estate agent was sentenced in the High Court at Auckland after pleading guilty to six charges covering class-A drug offending and unlawful possession of a pistol.

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Sun 24th May 2015 @ 1:07 pm

  22. The Psychology of Criminal Justice
    Learn how behavioural science can improve our criminal justice system.

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Sat 26th May 2018 @ 3:33 pm

  23. @22: Somebody enroll Garth McVicar and his cronies from the Superstitious Sentencing Trust!

    Comment by Man X Norton — Sat 26th May 2018 @ 5:09 pm

  24. Our whole society is slack about weighing evidence, alas.
    No fun to be on the receiving end of “mistakes”, whether it is to do with hospital budgets or finding guilty/innocent, or children’s custody “determinations”.

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Sun 27th May 2018 @ 2:38 pm

  25. Sympathy?

    Interesting case as the evidence was very weak for a murder trial considering the amount of self defence evidence.
    Ultimately found not guilty in unanimous verdict.

    I especially found a comment by the prosecutor interesting. Instructions to the Jury.

    “You are judges, and you need to decide this trial based on facts and evidence unaffected by feelings of sympathy and prejudice.”
    “To put it short, the defendant is guilty of murder even if the person he killed is not likeable and whose actions you don’t approve of.”

    What the hell!
    There’s a rather large pile of dead men that are going WTF.
    Noting that in the trial of the woman who murdered them.
    Stabbing them in thier sleep.
    Stabbing them somehow in the back while talking at the other side of a table.
    Thier beating and torture, hog tied transport, and eventual slow strangulation.
    The pushing down the stairs.
    The sneaking up from behind and chopping with an axe.

    All of whom watched from heaven or hell as some prosecuter paraded some pansy prosecution to a Jury.
    Whole cases drowning out every fact and excluding in every way anything the prosecutor has pretended to present as a case.

    The he was the monster card.
    Or the predudice card.
    She was violent but he is a monster.

    Irony is despite the prosecuters desire to get another knotch on his belt the defence gets to play that card anyway.
    A Jury cannot unsee what it has seen or unhear what it has heard. Neither can unpresented secrets sway it.
    That sympathy and prejudice saved this young man?
    Or as I implied in the begining the evidence never supported a prosecution for murder.
    Because he is male he must be prosecuted?

    There a plenty of female crimes where the predudice agianst males and the sympathy for females voids this process all together. The prosecuters drop the murder charge from the get go. Bit of nodding and winking later with all the professionals involved and prison term is magically commuted to home D.

    Comment by DJ Ward — Fri 8th June 2018 @ 6:53 pm

  26. @25: I agree that a female who did the same thing may well not have been prosecuted at all, but that doesn’t mean the evidence didn’t support a prosecution. This young man was definitely found not guilty due to sympathy, sympathy for the dead man’s wife.

    The questions that for us are unanswered (but may or may not have been asked in the trial) include
    – Did the young man or the family call the police during the time the father was threatening them? If not why not?
    – Was there any history of the father carrying or using a knife or any weapon of equal or more lethality, or was there any evidence he had a weapon on the night of his death? If not, then why would the son have any basis for thinking he was armed?
    – Was there any evidence the father had threatened that evening to kill people?

    We all have an obligation not to take the law into our own hands.

    A self-defence legal defence usually requires the use of no more force than what is threatened against you. Taking a big knife outside when there is no good reason to believe the other person is armed does provide evidence for murder or at least manslaughter.

    The sympathy vote in this case was because a woman had been beaten. If the dead man had done the same violence towards only other males, the jury would have convicted the son at least for manslaughter.

    I don’t actually care that this violent man was killed. I do care about sexist justice whatever form it takes.

    Comment by Man X Norton — Sat 9th June 2018 @ 11:16 pm

  27. I have just had a long conversation that led to a word.

    Starting with a conversation about a decision.
    About going to a strangers house.
    However logic dictates my friend knew the person.
    Otherwise how did he decide to go to the house.

    There was not a good outcome to going to the house.

    Ending with a claim that the future is predetermined.
    Implication that decisions can’t effect the future.
    As it is written, in effect.
    This conflicts the conscious mind, with physics.

    He out of the blue, crushed a can with his foot.
    Was it predetermined.
    Or was his mind doing things on automatic, or decision.
    I asked, and he had to think about it.

    So another test.
    Put down two cans.
    And ask him to crush one can.
    Surely the conscious mind now decides.

    However there remains something predetermined.
    That a can would be crushed, it’s fate sealed.
    I the tester are excluded from the decision of what can.
    Unless he decides to refuse to do it, and the can saved.

    Think of a large star.
    In a 100 million years.
    It will swallow a large planet.
    And detonate, as a supernova, as it exceeds physical limits.

    Could you then push the planet away.
    So it is never swallowed.
    And never exceeds the limit, to be a supernova.
    You could decide to save it, or not save it.

    So confusing, as the observer looking backwards.
    Can see what is written about the past.
    And the person now can be a butterfly.
    Predetermining what is written.

    Comment by DJ Ward — Wed 27th January 2021 @ 9:48 pm

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