Thursday, October 9, 2008

Breakfast radio goes to court

Madonna King, host of ABC Brisbane 612 Mornings, had an interesting programme on Wednesday. I listened as best I could, but you can now download the programme in three parts and listen from the ABC site.

A hypothetical case where a woman, out for the evening and after a few drinks, is driving and has a car accident in which another driver is seriously injured and his passenger is killed. The court case is the woman's. There are many other factors in the case. There was a jury of 140 people at the court.

I found it interesting. From what I heard I decided that the hypothetical accused could not be found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the charge against her.

What do you think?

Listen here, the links are at the bottom left hand side under the awful picture of Madonna King labelled 612 Mornings court broadcast - Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.

Let me know what you think and why, and I will explain why I made my decision. It's an interesting exercise in learning how impartial and objective people can be.

4 comments:

Dylan in France said...

I listened to it but had to conclude she was guilty. The only potentially mitigating factor was the cocktail but I didn't find it overwhelming. Before she even got to the cocktail she had had a couple of light beers but she'd also taken her medication and must have known there would be some reaction.

Further, while the cocktail might have been spiked, I find the notion that it was spiked with 'excess alcohol' rather silly. People spike your drinks with drugs, not alcohol. She's a grown woman, who was mixing meds with alcohol and taking cocktails from strangers.

I agreed with both advocates when they didn't use the lack of a seat belt on the young girl as a real mitigating factor. The kid was stupid but an average person knows you can drive without a seatbelt most times and be relatively safe. I think most also know that meds, alcohol and drinks from strangers do not make for an equally safe trip behind the wheel.

So, any-hoo, I would probably have come down on the guilty side.

I do hope, though, they put up today's (??) visit to the prison. Some of those voices in the promo sounded downright creepy and the guy who's serving ten years or something and who's mates think he is on an overseas jaunt...just amazing.

kae said...

Hi Dylan
It was interesting, and yes, she's putting up the prison stuff from today, keep an eye out for it. If I remember I'll link.

Now, the charge was dangerous driving causing death.

Yes, guilty of dangerous driving. But I can't be sure that she caused the death, a contributing factor was the girl not wearing a seat belt. Had the girl been wearing her seatbelt, which is the law, she may not have died.
If it was only dangerous driving causing GBH or something like that I'd say yes. Guilty. She was stupid, she did do the wrong thing. But the charge was incorrect.

Dylan in France said...

I noticed that the pic they had up showed the audience was mainly older people. I'm not sure how they select juries in Qld (or here, for that matter) but that might have been a factor in the overwhelming vote of guilty by the crowd on the day. If they are anything like my grandparents it would have been 'She had a drink? She hit someone? Someone died? Guilty - now pass the scones, will ya?'

kae said...

There were quite a few pix. It was in the morning during work hours so I suppose a lot of them were retirees and people who could get time off work.
I'd really love to discuss it with someone who knows the law. The other thing was that we didn't hear the witnesses. It wasn't a real court case in that respect.
I'd love it if someone with a law background who might visit here could give some insight in the correct way for me to approach the charge - if I was really on the jury I could get advice from the judge about things, I could ask questions.

Pass the jam and cream, love.