Not only was Allan convicted of a crime he did not commit it is now apparent that the treatment of him leading up to his original conviction was also unlawful not to mention inhumane.
Allan was grilled for 23 hours nonstop without the legal right of having a lawyer present, just one of the travesties committed by the police against him. For 37 years he fought to prove his innocence, all the while being blocked by police, lawyers, bureaucrats and politicians.
I have asked myself many times, still not being able to find a definitive answer, how can the law and legal practice in our supposedly democratic country be so abused by the people who oversee administering it.
Previously I have discussed the lack of evidence, now turning to the actual lack of human brain power, or the incredulous human ignorance, for want of a better phrase.
In New Zealand the court system runs under what is known as the Westminster model and is based on a concept called separation of powers. This means the institutions of government are divided into 3 branches Parliament, also called the Legislature, Executive and Judiciary of which all 3 are guilty of ignorance and failure in the Allan Hall case.
At the first trial in 1986 the police hid the first two written statements of Ronald Turner, the primary eyewitness to the alleged offender who had murdered Mr Easton, and the actual statement they released to Allan’s lawyers they had to remove any reference to the offender being Māori or dark-skinned.
They also concealed the statements from the Easton boys about the offender being Māori, and the evidence of an ambulance driver who had repeated the offender’s description.
The deliberate altering of Ronald Turner’s statement to obscure the offender’s description was “deceit, plain and simple,” words spoken by Nick Chisnall, lawyer for Allan Hall and furthermore he said, “I think corruption is probably a term that aptly fits what’s happened”.
Mr Chisnall also said, “The case is riddled with myopia, and the only conclusion that can be reached is that the non-disclosures, changing of evidence and reconstructions were all attempts by the police to make the evidence match their theory which was that Alan was the offender.”
The justice system has repeatedly turned a blind eye to Alan’s conviction, despite extensive proof of what had gone wrong with his case, sitting in officials’ files for decades, repeatedly ignoring Alans claims of innocence even when undeniable evidence was put in front of them.
How did Crown Law fail? How did the judiciary fail? because they did and how was the system able to take nearly 30 innocent years of someone’s life.
Tim McKinnel has been a paramount part of Allan Halls release who himself said the police need to look at whether their own have committed crimes in getting Alan convicted also how they allowed their own inquiry to go off the rails so terribly.
The Ministry of Justice rejected three applications for appeal by Hall,
The late Peter Williams presented an application for the Royal prerogative of mercy which was declined and Lawyer Bruce Stainton who assisted Sir Peter Williams said he was left “shattered and disbelieving” when authorities ignored proof of evidence, also saying Sir Peter Williams was as equally devastated by what happened to Alan.
The officer in charge of the Arthur Easton murder inquiry, former Detective Senior Sergeant Kelvin McMinn, told reporter Mike Wesley-Smith that the alterations to Ronald Turner’s statement were made on the advice of the Crown prosecutor, because it was felt Turner’s descriptions were unreliable.
If that isn’t corruption ladies and gentlemen then what is? But now for the golden question, does this government have the guts to ignite a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the wrongful conviction of Allan Hall and make sure not only the system changes but also that those people responsible for all the crimes committed against Alan are held responsible.
Jackie Foster, CEO, Social Justice Aotearoa