5 June 2009

It's Old News Now!

And I'm sure you've heard, but some guy named David Bain was just judged not guilty for murdering his five family members in 1994.

If you don't know what I'm talking about, and wonder why murders from 1994 are on trial now, it's because Mr. Bain already served 13 years for an 18 year sentence he was given in 1995 when orginally found guilty. However, he's always maintained his innocence and in 2007 was released on bail due to miscarriage of justice.

And now he's not guilty.


It was a long and at times boring re-trial, and while it sometimes seemed like there was enough evidence to go either way, the jury today decided that Mr. Bain did not kill his family.

I still remember June 1994, when it happened. I was eight years old, and back then no-one seemed to assume anything other than his guilt. It was just, "David Bain killed his family". I do have vivid memories of watching the Bain household burn to the ground on the news - it was set alight by the New Zealand Fire Service. Which was fair enough. As if that place was ever going to sell.

It's an odd case because the evidence isn't particularly compelling for either party, and I dare say whatever evidence there was, was manipulated by both the defense and prosection. There was, for example, a great deal of controversy surrounding the entry wound on Robin Bain's head - was it at close range, or long distance? Was it possible for him to have shot himself using the rifle that caused his death? Of course, the prosecution had three gun experts who said no. The wound was not consistent with suicide, it was from a distance, and as such must have been administered by David. The defense then brought out their own experts, who argued that in fact the wound was caused by a rifle pressed against his head, as per suicide. One even went so far to demonstrate how suicide using a rifle (with a silencer no less) could be undertaken. Disturbing.

Anyway, I guess we can no longer mull over the intricacies of the case, as Mr. Bain is officially innocent.

I'm going to Christchurch tomorrow, where the trial was held. It's going to be bedlam. I cannot wait.

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