George Pell
(Image: AAP/Daniel Pockett)

On the Pell appeal

Joe Boswell writes: Michael Bradley’s informative article on George Pell appealing his conviction included this: “If the judges have a serious doubt, then
logically the jurors should have had one, too.” But we can turn that statement on its head and it is just as convincing: if the jurors had no serious doubt, then logically the judges should not have one, too. Whichever way round it’s put, and regardless of whether it is logical, it does not help much because we have no clue whether the judges or the jurors erred. But if we really believe judges (who did not attend the trial) are superior to jurors (who were there) at determining reasonable doubt and so deciding guilt based on the evidence presented at the trial then — logically — the whole jury system is nonsense and it should end forthwith. And so would end the only truly democratic element in our institutions of government.

Niall Clugston writes:  Michael Bradley says, “The only result that is not possible is a declaration of innocence. That’s not something the criminal justice system does, at any level. It determines guilt, or non-guilt.” Linguistically speaking, “not guilty” and “innocent” are equivalent. However, in a criminal case a suspect should be proved guilty beyond reasonable doubt. To say that the suspect has not been proved guilty beyond reasonable doubt is not the same as saying he or she is innocent.

On political shift in the bush

Stuart Bruce writes: It seems Rundle hasn’t learnt a key lesson from Trump’s election to the presidency which is that one can’t read the tea leaves on what people think and what their opinions are going to be in the future. The bush might absolutely be denialist for another decade as Australia burns. Once people are in those echo chambers of self-affirming illogicality, what evidence do we have that they will change their opinion anytime soon?

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