The following note was sent to me on Saturday, March 2, 2019, by a man whose life has been damaged in much the same way as have the lives of Justice Kavanaugh and Cardinal Pell, by allegations of sexual abuse without supporting evidence:
You recently said “there’s only one thing as bad as child sexual abuse and that is a false accusation of child sexual abuse.“ The damage an accusation like this makes is, if represented by a number, countless!
I too watched the Kavanaugh enquiry with great interest. I saw unproven, unsupported and uncorroborated allegations with no forensic evidence almost ruin a good man. Or perhaps in some ways, it’s not almost. It has to some degree stained him forever.
I now watch Cardinal Pell. I don’t know if Cardinal Pell is guilty of anything, but I believe that to be found guilty of abuse of two boys, one of whom is dead and having told his mother that no abuse took place, and the other has offered absolutely no evidence and presented circumstances which render his story suspect at best – is deeply concerning.
What is the test for reasonable doubt? No evidence? Accusations which do not stand up to scrutiny? False statements? A flawed police investigation? Evidence of collusion? DPP accepting unlikely and implausible accusations? A system which seeks to win and not to find truth? All of the above was done to me. I have met many men who have been convicted of abuse or violence with no evidence. One method is to find a second person who dislikes or hates the accused, get them to say anything which may constitute a pattern of behaviour. No evidence of that being true either but somehow a second accuser makes an impossible story possible, or in fact probable.
It’s called Tendency and Coincidence evidence, used to discredit an accused when the primary evidence proves nothing. I believe, from my enquiries and personal knowledge that no one in the criminal justice system is seeking truth. There are dozens of men convicted by the above method and serving two to five years each for crimes they did not commit: 50 men serving four years each are in jail for a combined 200 years. 200 years of jail time for innocent men is a tragedy, both for them and their families.
I can’t be named as I would be asked to leave the apartment I live in by vigilante neighbours or anyone for that matter who believes that if I was found guilty by a jury, I must be guilty. I like Pell, was convicted with no evidence. I have lodged a request with the NSW Attorney General to Petition the Governor to order a Judicial Enquiry into my conviction (70 pages documenting the flaws in the case against me, prepared for me by a concerned lawyer pro bono). I have had no response in over four years. I am a 70 year old man and the accusations go back to 1986.
My father brought me to this country to be safe as he had lost a child in Europe during WW2. He would die all over again if he saw the way this country and so many of its people have treated me. My story is full of information and realizations of convictions of the innocent. We should talk; my family and I need help.
What I know of this man is that he has led a good life, generously supported charities and was a good sportsman, a model father, husband and citizen. He has no criminal record of any kind and has never been charged with any offences before or after his life was upended by a jealous and vengeful young woman.
Many people are of the opinion that if a jury returns a guilty verdict, it must be so. Yet records show that is not always so. It is estimated that five to seven percent of people in prison have been wrongfully convicted. In the UK with its Criminal Cases Review Commission and the US with its Innocence Project, several hundred convictions have been overturned in the past 15 years or so. Australia’s legal system is just as fallible and needs a Criminal Cases Review Commission to help address and correct its mistakes.
Behind every individual that makes up such statistics is a broken life, a tainted character, a story of a shattered family and great sorrow.
Andrew L. Urban is the author of Murder by the Prosecution (Wilkinson Publishing), about wrongful convictions.
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