MEDIAWATCH: The demonisation of defense lawyers

Interesting piece in the Herald about the backlash to defence lawyers

Samira Taghavi: Criminal defence lawyers – vilified yet vital

Last week, a very able and dedicated colleague, lawyer Nick Chisnall, appeared before the Supreme Court to successfully clear the name of wrongly-convicted “murderer” Alan Hall.

Hall served nearly 20 years in jail after police officers doctored and concealed evidence that pointed to Hall’s innocence. As Chisnall told the Herald, “To me, it’s an example of what is seldom proved; police altering evidence and the rules of disclosure to convict someone.”

The final achievement of some justice took 30-plus years of fighting – much of it done by defence lawyers.

Putting aside the forging of witness statements by police, the case was, as said, apparently one of intentional non-disclosure of exculpatory evidence – that is evidence that points to the defendant’s innocence – and evidence the police have a duty to disclose to defendants.

Samira Taghavi has led the move against woke restructuring of rape laws in NZ and speaks from a position of real insight between the Identitarian dogma and presumption of innocence.

In the new post MeToo cultural landscape, the evidential threshold is whatever a woman (whom you must believe) says on Twitter and due process is a heteronormative white cis male privilege. Taghavi however reminds everyone there is a price to this new woke kangaroo court…

Suitable sentences have to be fought for as tenaciously as with a full trial – even guilty people need fair outcomes.

As do innocent people.

It is not just the big names such as Alan Hall, Teina Pora, David Dougherty, Aaron Farmer, Arthur Allan Thomas, et al, who are wrongly accused.

It happens regularly, particularly to the poor and ill-educated and often for prosaic reasons you might expect; witnesses can be honestly wrong (or actually dishonest), investigations can be inadequate and prosecutorial impressions can be ill-founded.

…the Sensible Sentencing Trust damaged the political debate on justice like no other movement.  By using the pain of victims, the SST forged a powerful nexus of power and media coverage while their ‘tough on crime’ rhetoric destroyed social policy.

The new woke Lynch mobs are causing the exact same ‘tough on crime’ rhetoric, just with less evidence.

As Stuff destroy Kamahl Santamaria, as Amber Heard’s trial goes down in flames and as Allan Hall gets found not guilty, Taghavi reminds us there are two sides to every story.

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