Thursday, June 5, 2014

David Harold Eastman: (Aftermath 9; Inquiry report); The three judges who must consider Inquiry Judge Martins' recommendation to quash the conviction and free David Eastman have been named. Canberra Times.

STORY: "Three judges to decide on Eastman guilt named," by reporter Christopher Knaus, published by the Canberra Times on June 4, 2014.

GIST: "Justices Rares, Wigney, and Cowdroy will now consider the final report of the Eastman inquiry, which called for his conviction to be quashed. Should the judges follow the inquiry's recommendation, Eastman would be freed after serving 19 years of a life sentence. Eastman would walk despite inquiry head acting Justice Brian Martin saying that he was ''fairly certain'' of his guilt but had a nagging doubt. The three judges can only decide from four options; quash the conviction, quash the conviction and order a re-trial, confirm the conviction, or confirm the conviction and recommend the ACT executive pardon the prisoner. They can consider only acting Justice Martin's report in reaching their decision. Police and prosecutors can make no further submissions to influence them. A re-trial would be next to impossible, and a pardon appears unlikely......... But the inquiry, steered mainly by counsel assisting Liesl Chapman, SC, has uncovered some startling evidence. Most critically, it identified serious flaws with the forensic analysis, greatly weakening the link between Eastman and the crime scene. The work of Robert Collins Barnes, a Victorian-based expert brought in by the Australian Federal Police to work on the Winchester case, was exposed as unreliable and lacking veracity. Failings in the duty of prosecutors to disclose material to Eastman's defence, particularly about Barnes, were also identified. "

The entire story can be found at:

Related story: Judges to meet Tuesday to work out "directions"  for their hearings:


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