High cost of retrial puts case in doubt

David Eastman was convicted in 1995 of the murder of Assistant Commissioner of Police Colin Winchester. On August 22, 2014, the conviction was quashed and a new trial ordered, by which time Eastman had served almost 20 years of a sentence of life imprisonment.

The DPP is proceeding with the retrial. The costs of the retrial are reported by the Canberra Times as something of the order of $27 million. The ACT Budget sets aside $5.103 million for the trial in the current year and in addition $3.028 million is allocated to the Office of the DPP, an undisclosed portion of which relates to the Eastman prosecution.

Casting my vote in marriage debate

After much anticipation the letter arrived. I opened it and read the question a first time. I then wasted time, yelling abuse across the room and acting like a schoolyard bully by calling out childish names. At one point I nearly had to remove myself from the room. My lap …

When will Australia apologise over TL?

So, Australia & East Timor have reached a “confidential” agreement on a new maritime boundary & how they will jointly develop billions of oil & gas reserves in the Timor Sea … maybe, possibly, perhaps, we’ll see … (“Australia and East Timor strike ‘landmark’ deal to end Greater Sunrise dispute”, …

T’woo, T’wit: how Trump dominated

Why does Donald Trump’s popularity remains solid among his supporters? Until 2015, it was the mainstream news media (MSN) that made or unmade parties and political leaders in democratic nations. The MSN expressed its abhorrence of Trump as soon as he announced his candidacy for the presidency of the USA. Interestingly, Trump had …

Leaping to support four-yearly elections

Now that a bipartisan approach to fixed-term elections is on the cards, here are some suggestions for those thinking about it: A scheduled election every February 29. Election day as a public holiday; we could call it the Democracy Day Holiday. Delete one of the anachronistic public holidays to make …

Polish crisis goes on, media stays silent

One of the pivotal events in contemporary European history seems to have largely bypassed Australia. The event is the constitutional crisis in Poland. Simply put: last week, Poland’s parliament lower and upper house passed three laws that would have given total control of the Supreme Court, and the appointment and firing …

Dutton’s super-iority is dangerous oddity

Most Australians will agree with Greg Sheridan’s opinion piece (“Rushed decision on home affairs could very quickly turn out to be a mistake”, The Australian 22/7/2017) highlighting several serious concerns of national importance. My concern is that this move will lead Australia to being a police state under Dutton. Australia’s national security has become …

Same-same all untouchables

Editor: Despite India liberating untouchables (who live in ghettos) the practice continues. The ABC is airing the BBC’s ‘Joanna Lumley’s India’.  In the program, she visits an untouchable mother whose son had been killed.  Why? Her untouchable son had touched milk in a dairy and ruined it.  Nobody was charged with his murder. …

Read runes of war for terror’s cause

Decryption of terror messages and the installation of bollards (News, 11/6/2017) will not stop a suicide bomber from trying to kill people, although they will, for a time, give a false sense of security. Such tactics are therefore a waste of taxpayers’ money. If politicians want to make our streets safe, they …

Cannabis not causal, criminalising’s crazy

Drug Free Australia’s Drug Advisory Council kicks an own goal in calling for “higher penalties for possession and use of cannabis” (letters, Canberra Times, 13 June 2017). Sure, we want to make cannabis less accessible to young Australians but you won’t do that by ramping up the very measures that …

Australian Constitution is a secular text

Kevin Donnelly’s criticism of the predominant view that Australia is not a Christian country is based on spurious arguments (‘Let’s not deny our Christian roots’, Australian, 15/6). Australia has Christian roots in the sense that it was colonised by a world power, Britain, which called itself Christian.  There was little of Christ’s teaching in British colonial …