Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Did Justice Katz Free a Guilty Man?

Midway through the trial of husband Yun Qing "Jack" Lui for the murder of his wife Cissy Chen, the trial Judge  'reluctantly' ruled as inadmissible, evidence from a person described as close to the victim.
Victim Cissy had expressed to her friend on the morning Cissy disappeared that should she die or be dying  her husband Jack would be responsible.

After a seven week trial a jury found Jack not guilty.
During the Bain fiasco the now late Justice Neil Williamson ruled out evidence from Laniet Bain's boyfriend on alleged assertions that Robin Bain was in an incestuous relationship with Laniet.
Whether to include Robin as having a motive or a serious impact on an already seriously dysfunctional family such activity could have had major impact around how David and/or Robin might have been affected, My thinking was seriously interested in such evidence and it was nothing to do with prurience only justice and its delivery.

When Justices make such decisions they are making serious impacts on the larger picture and by ruling such evidence out possibly giving decisive emphasis in a finely balanced deliberation.

Justice Susan Katz admitted her decision was reluctantly arrived at but she decided the evidence as to possible motive could be prejudicial.
Now I am not a lawyer but isn't almost all evidence in a court of law "Prejudicial" to either the prosecution or the defendant  and are the jurors not supposed to balance all the evidence as to probity and relevance.
Isn't the "summing up where the presiding judge gives the instructions to the jury where they give guidance to how the jury should use the various evidence presented for their consideration.

Given media accounts of how the relationship between victim and suspect was descending into chaos with considerable financial outcomes at stake it seemed a little odd the Katz made a ruling on what seemed to be rather relevant information.
Sort of smoking gun in a way.

Of course under double jeopardy rules Jack is beyond a second prosecution but had the evidence been given he could have appealed its inclusion had he been convicted.
I am making no assertions as to guilt or innocence but there are some very pertinent questions here around the Judges ruling.


Tinman said...

I am making no assertions as to guilt or innocence but there are some very pertinent questions here around the Judges ruling.

I've read the reports (mainly slime attempts at sensationalism) and have decide that no, there are not.

Anonymous said...

yes Tinman, but I bet the jury is feeling pretty sick right now.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

I have to confess when I saw this story my first thought was 'Banks' and the second was 'Bain.'

gravedodger said...

That's nice Tinman, I was always under the clearly false understanding, evidence is presented, the prosecution and or the defence have wide powers to test and either corroborate or disprove it and that is what the jury is supposed to consider in weighing its value in deciding guilt or innocence.
When the judge decides to exclude it then why not just have judges decide guilt or innocence.
As Adolf alluded to above, when the "environmental court adjudicator" appointed by the Clark government ended up sitting alone and decided on his todd that Amanda Banks was lying and The obese kraut was truthful only to see it all unravel so spectacularly when Amanda B sought out the two Americans it was suggested were present at the "lunch" and whose affidavits cast a rather different story. So different in fact the three judges sitting as the COA in an exceptional decision declared John Banks "Not Guilty" leaving Wyllie looking decidedly suspect in his opinion based decisions.

I accept that juries are not infallible but if the selection process was not so slanted to exclude more intellectually valid people to consider and weigh evidence unfiltered by judges it is apparent to me the system could deliver much better quality verdicts after weighing all relevant evidence council discover and present.

Your evaluation of the friends evidence Tinman, may well be accurate but taken with the allegations of the financial benefits at stake as the relationship between the accused and the victim as presented in the published reports was deteriorating with some potential disadvantage for the defendant, I still question Katz' decision that she acknowledged was not a clear cut one, and was very difficult to arrive at.
Such doubt might have been better left to a higher court for consideration if it became necessary.