Imagine you were in the position of Roseanne Beckett
Think about it this way.
Imagine you are charged with nine serious criminal offences, convicted by a jury on all but one of them and sentenced to many years in prison. You lose your appeal. You serve ten years in prison although you consistently maintain your innocence.
Even before you are convicted there is evidence available to the Crown that the detective who led the prosecution of you has fabricated and stood over a witness in another case at around the same time. Eventually some fresh evidence emerges in your own case. Your lawyers succeed in getting you a fresh appeal which involves holding an inquiry to establish anew the facts in the cases against you.
You have no money. After a battle, the state agrees to provide legal aid so that you can present your case. The Crown, which is also represented at the Inquiry by a senior barrister, maintains its case at the trial as well as providing some fresh evidence to support it.
The judge who hears the inquiry finds that key prosecution witnesses including the key detective, were likely to have fabricated evidence against you. He also finds that the Crown's fresh evidence is also unreliable. He recommends that the Appeal court sets your convictions aside
The judge also refers evidence of hundreds of phone calls between Crown witnesses who were instructed not to contact each other during the Inquiry to the NSW Police Commissioner. No action is taken against the witnesses.
Despite the inquiry judge's findings, the Crown still maintains its case. In fact, two senior barristers argue that you are more guilty than ever. Despite this, the Court acquits you of possession of a gun for which you spent a year in prison. It dismisses five further charges and maintains two convictions on the basis that there is no fresh evidence affecting them. You continue to maintain your innocence of those charges as well.
The NSW DPP decides not to put you on trial again for the five charges for which you have already served years in prison.
It is now 16 years since you were arrested. The NSW government offers no compensation or apology of any kind - even for the conviction for which you have now been acquitted.
You have lost years of your life and income, Your children's lives were torn apart.
Unless you want to simply cop it, your only alternative is to sue the state for malicious prosecution. And that as I have argued in [other stories] is tough. Indeed, it is impossible unless you can find lawyers such as Terry Goldberg, a partner at Turner Freeman, who has taken on the case of Roseanne Beckett versus the State of NSW on the basis that he and the barristers will be paid if Roseanne wins the case. If she loses, they will not be paid.
I have now listened to most of days of hearing in the case of Roseanne Beckett versus the state of NSW.
I've explained all this to readers to explain why I wrestle with the ethics of the State's stance in this case.