Is this the same Justice Edwin Wylie who believed the word of Kim Dotcom over Amanda Banks?
A judge has refused to release any prior criminal history of the man convicted of the murder of Connor Morris, questioning the media’s practice of running “what the jury didn’t know” stories.
Justice Edwin Wylie this week knocked back applications by both TVNZ and TV3 to view Michael Murray’s criminal file, if any.
The broadcasters said they wanted to report quickly and accurately after the verdict if Murray had a criminal history.
But Justice Wylie said the assumption any prior convictions should be in the public domain was unsound.
“It has become relatively common journalistic practice to publicise, after a verdict, a record of the defendant’s criminal convictions, frequently under the heading of `what the jury didn’t know’, or the like.”
Justice Wylie said he hadn’t been given any sound rationale for that type of reporting.
“Rather it seems to me that it could potentially undermine the fair administration of justice, by inviting the public to `second guess’ any verdict.”
Yup dirty media tactics…I have some sympathy with Wylie J on this.
Murray also had a right to privacy, Justice Wylie said.
That’s a pathetic reason.
Media were entitled to report on what went on in court but that didn’t extend to information not presented in open court, he said.
Prior to trials, defendants’ criminal histories are generally suppressed so as to protect their right to a fair trial.
Justice Wylie said if any criminal history came out during sentencing it might be relevant to report on it then.
Murray, 34, will be sentenced next month after being found guilty of Mr Morris’ murder following a two-week trial in the High Court at Auckland. Mr Morris was hit in the head with a sickle in a street fight in west Auckland.
Justice Wylie makes some valid points about the crusading media on behalf of criminal scumbags. They become invested in a story and become advocates for the criminals.