International Wrongful Conviction Day, October 2, 2021

International Wrongful Conviction Day began as an effort of the Innocence Network in the US, an affiliation of organisations dedicated to providing pro-bono legal and investigative services to individuals seeking to prove innocence of crimes for which they have been convicted, working to redress the causes of wrongful convictions, and supporting the exonerated after they are freed. This is the eighth annual day. 

Coincidentally, it is a little over eight years since our first articles on Australian wrongful convictions began to appear – launched and propelled by the case of Sue Neill-Fraser in Tasmania – first (since August 15, 2013), in the Democracy & Justice section of our sister blog, and since February 26, 2018, here in the blog dedicated entirely to wrongful convictions. The catalyst for our interest was the 2013 Eve Ash documentary, Shadow of Doubt. On the film’s release, Neill-Fraser had been incarcerated for almost four years. We have published over 160 articles on the Neill-Fraser case; the judges in her second appeal are yet to deliver their decision.

Readers who browse through the cases listed on the right hand side of our pages will discover heart wrenching stories of justice gone wrong, gone rogue, gone off the rails – sometimes it seems on purpose.

What International Wrongful Conviction Day provides is an attention point, just one day on which every fair-minded person can make an undertaking to themselves to keep an open mind when reading or watching media reports about those accused of serious crimes. We all want justice for ourselves and our loved ones. We should want no less for our fellow citizens.

Benjamin Franklin

“Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are. ” – Benjamin Franklin (1706 – 1790), writer, scientist, inventor, statesman, diplomat, printer, publisher and political philosopher.

Tomorrow, coinciding with its publication on Canada’s The Charles Smith Blog (by Harold Levy), we will publish The Disturbing Case of Derek Bromley, by Dr Bob Moles, to help mark International Wrongful Conviction Day.

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17 Responses to International Wrongful Conviction Day, October 2, 2021

  1. owen allen says:

    He saved his mates from the enemy in war and died knowing he would.

    Seventy-eight years to the day since his heroic actions in World War II, Ordinary Seaman Edward ‘Teddy’ Sheean has become the first Navy crew member to be awarded Australia’s highest military honour, the Victoria Cross.

    Key points:
    Tasmanian war hero Edward ‘Teddy’ Sheean has been awarded a Victoria Cross, 78 years after he died in battle
    The 18-year-old was last seen aboard HMAS Armidale in 1942 and was shooting at Japanese aircraft as the ship sank
    Politicians, historians and Sheean’s family have campaigned for decades for him to receive the honour
    In an investiture ceremony in Canberra on Tuesday, Ordinary Seaman Sheean was being honoured for his “remarkable gallantry, sacrifice and the significance of his actions to modern Australia”.

    In December 1942, the 18-year-old defied orders to abandon the rapidly-sinking HMAS Armidale off the coast of East Timor, which was under heavy attack by Japanese aircraft, and instead strapped himself to the ship’s anti-aircraft gun and shot at enemy planes until he disappeared beneath the waves.

    Who is the enemy now, snakes that defile the Australian Way of Life, that make mockery of Honest Policing and and Honest Justice System.

    Any decent politician and policing authority around Australia should be up in arms over this Tasmanian situation of Perversion Of Justice by the whole System , who are individual willing participants.
    I see Hobart Trials coming on; like Nuremburg.
    We have to STOP THIS NOW.

  2. Jerry Fitzsimmons says:

    I wanted to use this moment to say thank you Andrew, on this commemorative day, 2nd of October, and to thank everyone who continues to contribute in the name of wrongful convictions associated with this site.
    It would be a mammoth task to cover the names of those who well before the Wrongful Convictions Report was established, who had commented on behalf of individuals, a passion that you have continued to uphold, who had, and have wrongfully lost their freedom.
    I note your next article will be based on Derek Bromley, an aboriginal man who because of what in most part appears to be, entrenched racism will no doubt raise much ire about the justice system. I go back further to another aboriginal man who was sentenced to hang, Max Stuart, once again, entrenched racism within the system and the work of one Rupert Murdoch who, like you, sought justice and almost brought down the government of the day in doing so. Max Stuart survived to become a leader in his community.
    I come back to the present and I have read what Geraldine Allan has provided for us all to read and I can only but ask; has anyone on behalf of SueNeill-Fraser inquired of the appeal judges why it’s taking so long?
    This revelation, thank you Geraldine, is one of the reasons why the above quote by Benjamin Franklin is so relevant. Thank you once again Andrew for all you are doing and for bringing to light what a special date this is today.

    • andrew says:

      Thanks, Jerry, appreciated – if only our collective efforts would have prodded the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions in the direction of justice and driven repairs to the system it has reprehensibly damaged.

  3. Tom Cairns says:

    The delay in making a decision in Susan’s appeal is a sure sign that they know she is not guilty and never was. Otherwise, if there were no doubt as to her guilt, they would have fallen over themselves to call it very loud indeed. They simply can’t find a way out, just like the USA was in Vietnam.
    Peace with honour they called it, or tried anyway.

  4. owen allen says:

    I have to say everyday and night I think of Tasmania, and Sue Neill-Fraser.
    I am very sick, of it.
    I no longer suffer trauma from speaking or even thinking about Tasmania.
    But the anxiety and depression is still with me.
    I wonder what they, The Tasmanian Oppressors think at dinner time and after dinner about their day and life.
    Are they happy and worship the devil.
    Devil worship in Tasmania is real, I have access to guff. I do not know how wide spread.
    But Tasmania certainly does not display any, any celebration of ANZAC FREEDOM.
    The Tasmanian HERO of WW2, I am sure would spew on the deck if he knew what is going on, and turn the guns around.

  5. Williambtm says:

    Andrew, with respect I refer you to an insight dealing with the writ of habeas corpus, and that it is still a live course of action.
    Perhaps you could examine the content in the link below, in the context of the SNF wrongful conviction?
    I would appreciate your response.
    Thank you.

  6. Andrea says:

    Id have to say even over sue that steven avery has been dealt the worst wrongful conviction ive ever read about. Wrongfully convicted of rape did 18 years to be let go to be shoddily at best framed for murder by the sheriff’s dept he sued is disgraceful.

    • David Smith says:

      This again shows how the Bully Boys in Power can do what ever they want – they can convict Innocent People or release Guilty People. These people do not have a conscience – and then they are given an Award – The Governor and or Politicians can change this any time they want – but choose to ignore Basic Facts – and believe Lies Innuendo and Gossip to keep these people behind Bars. Change the Politicians at the next election and bring back to Tasmania some Honesty Ethics and Professionalism.

  7. Peter Martin says:

    Is anyone in the defence team entitled to ask the judges in her second appeal what is delaying their decision?

  8. owen allen says:

    Well done Andrew, I thank you and your org, and Eve Ash for trying your best and not giving up.

  9. Rodger Warren says:

    Andrew, Keep up the great work.
    The Benjamin Franklin quote says it all.
    Wouldn’t it be great if Sue was out for Christmas 2021.
    Take care
    Rodger Warren

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