Popular perceptions of our court system are dominated by the stories of justice gone awry. The recent re-conviction of Mark Lundy for the murder of his wife and daughter, Teina Pora’s successful appeal to the Privy Council, and the ongoing debate over whether David Bain should be compensated all have at their heart the unsafe convictions that led to their long, brutal, and often highly divisive fights to have their convictions reviewed.
Whilst there is continuing debate, even after the exoneration of Pora and Bain, and Lundy’s re-conviction, as to whether justice was done in these three cases, these cases all raise the terrible possibility that innocent people are languishing somewhere in our prisons. Many of these individuals are unable to obtain state assistance in gaining the resources necessary to seek to challenge their convictions; the system therefore favouring the better resourced. Furthermore, the inability of those who maintain their innocence to access many of the courses vital to successful reintegration into society means that those who assert that they have been wrongfully convicted are doubly punished.
This is a research report conducted to outline the circumstances of the prosecution, conviction, trials, retrials and appeals of Teina Pora, David Bain and Mark Lundy to promote informed discussion at the Symposium. This report aims to be objective and to present the facts as they stand based on evidence gathered and considered by EJP’s Outreach volunteers.
Following a statement of the facts of each case, each of the below questions are then addressed in turn; both in regards to each case and with also in regards the lessons to be drawn from reading all three cases together.
- Are there gaps in the prosecution, trial, conviction, and appeal processes in our Criminal Justice System that may lead to a miscarriage of justice?
- If there are gaps, how can we address them to deliver more adequate justice?
Report Researched, Compiled, Proofed, Formatted, and Edited by: Harriett Adams, Harriet Birch, Kelly Burrowes, Gabrielle Carter, Maree Cassaidy, Allanah Colley, Joy Guo, Sebastian Hartley, Luke Kibblewhite, Jason Kim, Naushyn Janah, Liam Johannesson, Min Kyu Jung, Rayhan Langdana, Jasper Lau, Linda Lim, Callum Lo, Bronwen Norrie, Chalisa Paltridge, Max Smith, Justys Vickers