Cardinal Pell's Appeal Dismissed
The news is breaking this morning that Cardinal Pell's appeal against conviction for historical child abuse has been dismissed on a 2-1 majority. He is to remain in prison and will not be eligible for parole for over 3 years.
This is the judgement in full:
Basically it boils down to this:
So the evidence was in danger of leading the jury to dismiss the case against Pell, and this was bad because...All I can think is because they want Pell convicted. Can you think of an alternative scenario?The appeal judges summed up what their verdict pivoted on: the complainant seemed genuine, and the defence's evidence that the charges were implausible was dismissed on the grounds it "may mislead or confuse the jury"...— Stat Crux (@Stat_Crux_) August 21, 2019
Notably, Justice Weinberg, a former Federal Court judge who presided over the trial of Melbourne's Bourke Street killer James Gargasoulas last year, said there was a body of evidence that made it "impossible to accept" the victim's account.one person's word against twenty-seven - that one person's testimony a replica of a US case reported in Rolling Stone? When deceased 2nd victim said it never happened?— OnTheSideOfTheAngels (@OTSOTA) August 21, 2019
Mob-hate can turn white black & 'blind justice' becomes blind to all the exculpatory evidence.
"From ... the complainant’s evidence, it can be seen that there was ample material upon which his account could be legitimately subject to criticism. There were inconsistencies, and discrepancies, and a number of his answers simply made no sense," Justice Weinberg wrote in his judgement.
"An unusual feature of this case was that it depended entirely upon the complainant being accepted, beyond reasonable doubt, as a credible and reliable witness. Yet the jury were invited to accept his evidence without there being any independent support for it."
Holy See Press Office - Statement on Cardinal Pell verdict:This is considerably more supportive than his fellow bishops in Australia.
While reiterating its respect for the Australian judicial system, as stated on 26 February after the first instance verdict was announced, the Holy See acknowledges the court’s decision to dismiss Cardinal Pell’s appeal.
As the proceedings continue to develop, the Holy See recalls that the Cardinal has always maintained his innocence throughout the judicial process and that it is his right to appeal to the High Court.
At this time, together with the Church in Australia, the Holy See confirms its closeness to the victims of sexual abuse and its commitment to pursue, through the competent ecclesiastical authorities, those members of the clergy who commit such abuse.
This from Archbishop Fisher
This statement from Archbishop Vincent Long OFM is similar.
And this one from the President of the Australian Bishop's Conference Mark Coleridge.
I understand the need to consider the victims first and foremost and to be aware that there is a great deal of anger, but there is need to support and encourage the principle of justice at the same time. To me all these statements demonstrate how the bishops all over the world, are reactionists and never proactive.
How could there be a situation where Cardinal Pell was committing acts like this and no one knew anything about it (especially given the open areas the acts are alleged to have taken place)? We already know in other cases like that of McCarrick, Daneels and Conry here in the UK, basically, everyone knew that there was really problematic stuff going on. If Pell was committing abuse in open areas of Cathedrals etc, how could it be that everyone who knows him has a different opinion of him?
I agree with the dissenting judge in the Pell appeal. Pell, let us remember, has been convicted on the word of a single accuser, with no corroboration. This is a precedent that will have grave consequences. Remember 'Nick' whose testimony was described as 'credible and true'?— Xander Lucie-Smith (@ALucieSmith) August 21, 2019
The conviction of Pell is an outrage—not because he is a cardinal of the Catholic Church, but because the case against him was not proved, and could not be proved, beyond a reasonable doubt.https://t.co/liDmHm1Cr1— Matthew Schmitz (@matthewschmitz) August 21, 2019