Andrew L. Urban.
As the second inquiry into the murder convictions of Kathleen Folbigg winds up its first week, we ask why NSW Attorney-General Mark Speakman made his prejudicial remarks.
While acknowledging the need to hold a fresh inquiry, NSW Attorney-General Mark Speakman had commented: “I can well understand why members of the public may shake their heads and roll their eyes in disbelief about the number of chances Ms Folbigg has had to clear her name, and why does the justice system allow someone who has been convicted of multiple homicides get another go.”
For an Attorney-General to make such prejudicial remarks is reprehensible. Indeed, ‘members of the public may shake their heads and roll their eyes in disbelief about’ his expressed, unethical bias. The remark also reveals ignorance about the case, including the new scientific information that came to light after the trial and the long ago debunked Meadows Law (inadmissible in court) that multiple such deaths must be murder.
Writing in The Australian (November 11, 2022), Quentin McDermott noted: “But that didn’t prevent the prosecutor, Mark Tedeschi, from articulating Meadow’s Law – as it came to be known – in a roundabout way.
“Rather than quote it directly, he compared the births of Folbigg’s four children to piglets being born to a sow – with wings attached. Could all four deaths be from natural causes, he asked rhetorically. Yes, they could but, equally, pigs might fly, he inferred in his closing address. It was, he suggested, fantasy to think otherwise.
“But Tedeschi’s assertion that there had never been a reported case of three infants in a family dying from natural causes was wrong. Other confirmed cases of multiple infant deaths from natural causes in a single family were recorded before 2003.” But then there had not been a reported case of four child murders in the one family …
McDermott also noted: “The signs are the Liberal NSW government is unlikely to free Folbigg if it can help it ahead of next year’s state election in March* – and potentially the ultimate responsibility for deciding Folbigg’s fate may then fall to a Labor attorney-general. How sad if, in the end, it all comes down to politics.” *This inquiry will not conclude before that election next year…