Monday, April 3, 2017

David Harold Eastman: Australia; Bulletin: (Butchered forensic case. HL); Stay motion fails; He is to face retrial over murder of federal police commissioner Colin Winchester, the West Australian reports. 29 March, 2017.

"David Harold Eastman will face a retrial over the 1989 murder of federal police commissioner Colin Winchester after the High Court dismissed his appeal. Mr Eastman, 71, spent nearly 20 years behind bars before his original conviction was quashed in 2014. Since then he's been fighting a retrial, but the High Court on Thursday dismissed his application for leave to put his arguments for a stay on the trial to the nation's top judges.

See Wikipedia account at the link below: "Eastman was found guilty of shooting Colin Winchester twice in the head at point blank range in the driveway of Winchester's home in Deakin, Australian Capital Territory on 10 January 1989.[7] He was tried in 1995. During the 85-day trial, Eastman repeatedly sacked his legal team and eventually chose to represent himself. Eastman also abused the judge during his trial, and during later legal proceedings and appeals.[8][9] Subsequent to his conviction, Eastman repeatedly appealed his conviction, attempting to win a retrial on the basis that he was mentally unfit during his original trial.[10] On 27 May 2009, Eastman was transferred from a New South Wales prison to the newly opened Alexander Maconochie Centre in the ACT to see out his sentence. During his period in New South Wales prisons he lodged a large number of complaints alleging ill-treatment by guards and was frequently moved between jails.[11] A new inquiry relating to his conviction was announced in August 2012.[12] In 2014, the inquiry, headed by Justice Brian Ross Martin, found there had been "a substantial miscarriage of justice", Eastman "did not receive a fair trial", the forensic evidence on which the conviction was based was "deeply flawed" and recommended the conviction be quashed. Because a retrial would be neither feasible nor fair, Eastman should be pardoned. However Martin said he was "fairly certain" Eastman was guilty but "a nagging doubt remains".[13][14][15] Publication of the report followed a failed attempt by the Australian Federal Police to have at least parts of it withheld.[16] On 22 August 2014 the Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory quashed the conviction and ordered a retrial."

See earlier post of this Blog at the link below: "A former AFP forensics chief says the litany of mistakes that were made with the crucial gunshot residue analysis in the Winchester case simply could not be repeated in a modern-day investigation. The forensic work on Colin Winchester's murder, one of Australia's most high-profile police assassinations, was subjected to scathing criticism in the final report of the Eastman Inquiry that was published on Friday. Robert Collins Barnes, a Victorian-based expert, was the case's most critical forensic witness. His analysis linked gunshot residue found in David Eastman's boot with that found at the scene, describing the retrieved particles as "indistinguishable". The inquiry heard evidence that "devastated" Barnes' reliability. The supposedly independent expert was found overwhelmingly to lack impartiality and, instead, to be in favour of the prosecution. Among other errors, he mixed up exhibits from Eastman's Mazda and the crime scene, something senior counsel assisting the inquiry, Liesl Chapman SC, summed up by saying: "For a forensic scientist, it doesn't get any worse than that." But experts say the kinds of flaws displayed in the Winchester case would simply not be allowed in modern-day investigations......... Barnes worked on a handful of other high-profile cases, including the 1986 bombing of the Russell Street Victorian police headquarters and the1993 killing of escaped convict Archie Butterly. His work on the Butterly case also raised concerns, eventually prompting a wider audit of his work. The defence and the trial judge were largely unaware of Barnes' flaws at Eastman's 1995 trial. Professor Robertson said there were no real systemic problems with forensics identified in the Eastman Inquiry." l