Sunday, April 10, 2005

When the 'guilty' is innocent....

Pro-death penalty activists believe that there is rarely a chance when an innocent person would be convicted. Consider this caseā€¦A deaf mute Perth man found guilty of the axe murder more than four decades ago created Australian legal history today when his conviction was overturned on appeal at the sixth attempt. Darryl Beamish, now 63, was just 18 when socialite and chocolate heiress Jillian Brewer, 22, was slain in her Cottesloe flat by an intruder, who brutalised her naked body with a tomahawk and a pair of dressmaking scissors. Two years later Mr Beamish was convicted by a jury and sentenced to death after the West Australian Supreme Court heard apparently compelling evidence of his confessions, which contained details of Ms Brewer's killing. He spent 15 years in jail after his death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment. In the same Perth courthouse today, Justices Christopher Steytler, Christine Wheeler and Carmel McLure ruled Beamish had not committed the murder, saying they now believed a 1964 gallows confession from one of Australia's most notorious serial killer, Eric Edgar Cooke. The appeal decision creates the longest gap between a conviction and an appeal victory anywhere in Australia....Mr Beamish was originally sentenced to death by hanging but that was commuted to life in prison. He served 15 years behind bars before his release in 1977. (AAP)


Post a Comment

<< Home