i was going to write a piece on the grant meads case, but deborah beat me to it. however, there are a couple of aspects of the case that i want to talk about, other than the excellent point she has raised.
the main defence in this case was that mr meads didn't mean to pull the trigger, even though he took a loaded shotgun with him & pointed it at her, with the safety catch off. i'm glad that the jury had no trouble dismissing that defence.
what concerned me more, though, is that the defence presented this couple as being happily married. evidence was provided to this effect, in the form of cards that were exchanged & other statements. given that the evidence he had abused her previously was withheld from the court (and i have no problem with that), i don't see how the defence could introduce evidence trying to prove they had a happy marriage. especially when 1) this was known to be false and 2) the prosecution would be unable to rebut it because they couldn't introduce evidence of the abuse.
i'm not a lawyer, so it's quite possible i'm missing something important. i accept that people have the right to a full defence, and the right to use any defence that is legally available to them. but surely there must be some limit on a defence that is clearly known to be false, on the basis that the jury are being misled? i don't know, it just doesn't seem right to me.
nor does it seem right that the accused could give interviews to the media, presenting himself as a helpless victim of circumstances. the sunday star times article is here, and reaction to it is here. why exactly is this allowed to happen, when the case hasn't even come to trial yet? even if he was only an accused person at that stage who might have been innocent, it's just wrong.