Monday, March 30, 2015

Mark Lundy retrial: Major development: New Zealand Herald reports that after a superb charge by the judge, the jury is now out. (Judge says "great care" is needed before accepting the evidence of "Witness 'X' - the inmate who claimed he heard Lundy's confession.)

Justice Simon France turned to the jury in the murder trial of Mark Lundy at the High Court in Wellington yesterday afternoon at 10 to one and said: "It's over to you." A moment later, he said again: "It's over to you." Then he thanked them, warmly, sincerely. "So that's it," he said, concluding seven weeks of legal argument. "It's a big thing being asked of you ... It's over to you......... France spent most of his summary on the one subject that took up most time in the trial: the stains on Lundy's shirt. "If you accept that it is human brain, then the Crown's case is considerably strengthened ... Mrs Lundy's brain tissue is obviously a very significant thing." The defence say the stain could be food splatter. His financial position was stable, and he wasn't in desperate need of an insurance pay-out. France to the jury: "Some of you may not know that small businesses owing money to people isn't unusual. And it's important to remember the recent change in their insurance policy wasn't at his instigation.  As for witness X, the inmate who claimed he heard Lundy's confession, the judge rather sighed, "I don't know how he appealed to you. Maybe you thought he was an engaging sort of chap. I'm not saying you can't accept his evidence, but great care is needed.".........
Dirty Lundry, or clean Lundry? It's over to the jury. "One can't believe impossible things," says Alice in Through the Looking-Glass. Lundy's defence claims three impossible things prevent the jury from believing Lundy did it. "If you accept he did not have enough petrol to make the trip," said Justice France of the defence's first impossibility, "you must acquit". The alternative is to deliver a verdict of guilty, twice, for the murders of Christine and Amber Lundy. There are two charges, as Justice France reminded the jury. "Realistically," he said, "your answers will be the same for both". They may be given today."

See News 3 report on the jurors returning for their second day of deliberations:

See the Wikipedia account: "Christine Marie Lundy, 38, and her 7-year-old daughter Amber Grace Lundy were murdered in Palmerston North, New Zealand, on 29 or 30 August 2000. Mark Edward Lundy (then age 43), Christine's husband and Amber's father, was arrested and charged with the murders in February 2001.[1] In 2002 he was convicted of the murders after a six-week trial and was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum non-parole period of 17 years. Lundy maintained he was innocent and took his case to the Court of Appeal; the appeal was rejected and the court increased his non-parole period to 20 years.[2] In June 2013 Lundy appealed to the Privy Council in Britain.[3] In its decision, announced four months later, the Council focussed on three main points: the reliability of evidence surrounding the time of death, the accuracy of the testing of brain tissue given the state of the samples and an alternative explanation for the alleged tampering of the family computer.[4] The Council ruled the convictions "unsafe" and ordered a re-trial.[5] Lundy served nearly thirteen years in prison and is now free on bail.[6] The retrial, which is still in progress, was held in early 2015."