Getting Justice Wrong: Myths, Media and Crime

Getting Justice Wrong: Myths, Media and Crime

Getting Justice Wrong: Myths, Media and Crime

Getting Justice Wrong: Myths, Media and Crime

Excerpt

In a former life (not in the Shirley MacLaine sense) I practised as a barrister — doing, amongst other things, criminal defence work. I would like a dollar for every time I was asked by a nonlawyer:‘But how can you defend him, knowing that he's guilty?’

When I moved into my present role the non-lawyer questions changed. They are now often asked by journalists and talkback radio commentators, the ‘opinionated entertainers’, and of course by politicians. The questions are different but they still arise from ignorance of the criminal justice system, how it operates and what it is properly capable of achieving in a democratic society under the rule of law. Ignorance and myths are perpetuated — and with them the false expectations of the . . .

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