Bye Bye to George Pell

 
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

Hear the appeal, hopefully verdict upheld and add an extra few years for being a PITA.
If that's at all possible?
michaelgm
Not at the High Court.

Some state Supreme Courts allow the prosecution to appeal a sentence, but not all.

Sponsored advertisement

  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
There was a thought that was floated by someone some years back that if appeals lost should attract an additional 5-10% of sentence automatically. This would perhaps free up some appeals court time by removing some of the ‘automatic’ and other seemingly frivolous appeals.

Honestly, I am not sure if I am a fan or not of that, I don’t think I am.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

There was a thought that was floated by someone some years back that if appeals lost should attract an additional 5-10% of sentence automatically. This would perhaps free up some appeals court time by removing some of the ‘automatic’ and other seemingly frivolous appeals.

Honestly, I am not sure if I am a fan or not of that, I don’t think I am.
Aaron
I reckon that's one of those issues where there are good points both for and against.

I would be against that, for two reasons:
1. In the Australian context, I'm not confident that it could actually work as intended.
2. Offenders who have pleaded not guilty will already be getting a big increase on the sentence that would have applied if they had entered a guilty plea, plus the extrajudicial penalty of being on the wrong side of a system in Australia that doesn't rehabilitate offenders either in prison or following release.


One thing that I do think should be banned is the ability of opportunistic state politicians (usually in the second half of a term in government) to make an emotional stand up and make a big song and dance about a sentence being too lenient and ordering the director of public prosecutions to appeal the sentence. If the legislation governing the sentencing is too loose, the very same politicians should have been doing their job and amending the legislation so it's tighter.

Prosecution appeals against sentences should be on 'technical' grounds (i.e. the judge hands down a sentence that falls short of the minimum set out by the relevant legislation and sentencing guidelines) should still be allowed.
  lsrailfan Chief Commissioner

Location: Somewhere you're not
If the High Court has granted leave for appeal, is there a fairly good chance that he could get let off?
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
If the High Court has granted leave for appeal, is there a fairly good chance that he could get let off?
lsrailfan

The court then has agreed he can appeal to the High Court.  That will be a different decision.
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
There is no additional penalty for pleading not guilty, that is your right, and I would think it is an abhorrent to be penalised for exercising a right.

The corrected version of what happens is that those who plead no contest or guilty get a discount in sentencing applied on a sliding scale according to the timing of their plead in relation to the overall course of proceedings.
  Carnot Minister for Railways

Question - Does Pell have an opportunity to speak his case at the High Court Appeal next year?
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
He shouldn’t be allowed to, he opted to or took advice not to speak at trial, he and his team are appealing on the grounds of an error in judgement - those of the original judge and two out of three from the appeals court. The judgement calls made by Pell and his legal team are not questionable.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
I pinch a lady's handbag, run through JB HiFi, invade your house in the middle of the night etc etc, and get found guilty with a slap on the wrist sentence. I immediately say that I am going to appeal the conviction and am almost certain to be released on bail to await the appeal.

Why isn't/wasn't Pell released on bail pending his original and now second appeal?
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

The transcript of today's hearing has been published. It turns out that the High Court did not grant leave to appeal, but ordered that the application for leave be referred to a hearing some time next year, held simultaneously with the actual appeal.

There is no additional penalty for pleading not guilty, that is your right, and I would think it is an abhorrent to be penalised for exercising a right.

The corrected version of what happens is that those who plead no contest or guilty get a discount in sentencing applied on a sliding scale according to the timing of their plead in relation to the overall course of proceedings.
Aaron
Semantically, that is correct.

However, I do think that an increase is closer to a realistic assessment of how the system actually works in Australia thanks to the lack of transparency around charge negotiation.

I pinch a lady's handbag, run through JB HiFi, invade your house in the middle of the night etc etc, and get found guilty with a slap on the wrist sentence. I immediately say that I am going to appeal the conviction and am almost certain to be released on bail to await the appeal.

Why isn't/wasn't Pell released on bail pending his original and now second appeal?
YM-Mundrabilla
Bail pending an appeal is not automatic in any jurisdiction of Australia.

On the first appeal, his lawyers revoked the application for bail on the day of the pre-sentencing hearing.

On the High Court appeal, I'd expect that an application for bail would have to be made to a court in Victoria.

Maybe his lawyers thought that it was quite a low percentage chance of success and that he may as well not delay starting to serve his sentence any further.
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
I would say the majority of people convicted of serious crime are not bailed whilst their case is pending appeal, in fact the vast majority of people convicted on ANY criminal charge are not generally bailed for appeal.

Chamberlain, Milat, Liddy, Wagner, Bunting Vlasakis, just some ‘famous’ cases I can think of without bail for appeal.
  lsrailfan Chief Commissioner

Location: Somewhere you're not
The High Court has reserved it's decision on the George Pell matter, I assume what will happen now is the judges will go away and discuss the matter at length, and then return with a verdict sometime in the not to distance future.
  Carnot Minister for Railways

The ABC have interviewed those who have allegations regarding Pell's bad behaviour in Ballarat in the 1970s.  

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-04-02/george-pell-ballarat-allegations-revelation/12109952 (Trigger Warning)

Note - These cases were dropped by the DPP.
  wobert Chief Commissioner

Location: Half way between Propodolla and Kinimakatka
I was absolutely disgusted  whilst reading that.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
The ABC have interviewed those who have allegations regarding Pell's bad behaviour in Ballarat in the 1970s.  

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-04-02/george-pell-ballarat-allegations-revelation/12109952 (Trigger Warning)

Note - These cases were dropped by the DPP.
Carnot
Reading between the lines the DPP didn't pursue that case for some good reasons.
  Carnot Minister for Railways

The ABC have interviewed those who have allegations regarding Pell's bad behaviour in Ballarat in the 1970s.  

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-04-02/george-pell-ballarat-allegations-revelation/12109952 (Trigger Warning)

Note - These cases were dropped by the DPP.
Reading between the lines the DPP didn't pursue that case for some good reasons.
don_dunstan
I must admit it is risky for the ABC to make these allegations public before the High Court judgment.

That said, Ballarat has a long and sordid history of evil priests...  A big millstone and deep ocean awaits for them.
  lsrailfan Chief Commissioner

Location: Somewhere you're not
We will find out next week whether Pell will be a free man or not, the High Court will be making it's decision then.
  nswtrains Chief Commissioner

We will find out next week whether Pell will be a free man or not, the High Court will be making it's decision then.
lsrailfan
Next Tuesday in fact. I may be wrong but I think he will still serve his full non parole sentence using a recent decision of the HC to release a person convicted of murder on the day the leave to appeal hearing started. If the HC thought that Pell's conviction was unsafe then why wouldn't the Court let him out, at least on bail, pending a final decision?
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
Two further people have come forward in the meantime alleging they had been abused by pell.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

Reading between the lines the DPP didn't pursue that case for some good reasons.
don_dunstan
Low chance of getting any success, and a risk of spoiling the other charges

I must admit it is risky for the ABC to make these allegations public before the High Court judgment.
Carnot
I don't see it as a problem. It's an appeal that is being ruled on by the High Court justices and not a jury trial, and the material covered is not part of either the case that was tried or any other ongoing proceedings.
  Carnot Minister for Railways
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

Ordering an acquittal is a somewhat extraordinary step for what was essentially a 'reasonable doubt' appeal, and puts Australia's system of trial by jury at great peril.

This is the sort of case where a re-trial should be ordered, or more philosphically a case that should have been tried under Scots Law where the verdict of 'Not Proven' might have been appropriate.

I don't think this will be the end of it. There could be more charges to come, plus potential legislative reforms (probably starting in states other than Victoria) to reinforce the jury trial and limit the scope of appeals.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Unanimous decision by the High Court.  Pell acquitted.

https://www.hcourt.gov.au/assets/publications/judgment-summaries/2020/hca-12-2020-04-07.pdf
Carnot

Unanimous means a great deal. This is an amazing outcome for Pell but also highlights the potential issues with the prosecutions case.
  Carnot Minister for Railways

The DPP really made a mess of this case IMO, thus I'm not surprised at the High Court's decision.

And it won't be the end of it with civil cases pending.

I'm agnostic on Pell's quilt or innocence.  But if he did misbehave it would weigh heavily on his conscience and ultimately Pell will face a greater Judge.  If there have been genuine victims, they will be vindicated.  I hope they don't refrain from telling the truth after this whole saga.
  theanimal Chief Commissioner

he same man when giving evidence before the Royal Commission who denied knowing of the offending of Gerald Risdale said "Ridsdale's offending, once he did become aware of it, was a 'sad story' but was 'not of much interest' to him. And he answered 'no' when asked whether every priest has responsibility for the safety of children taken into the Church's care"

let us see now when they release the redacted parts of the Roy Commission that have been Sub-judice until this appeal ran its course.

Sponsored advertisement

Display from: