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Hurley Not Guilty

1544 Views 30 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  isoboy
Chris Hurley has been found not guilty. Slightly old report before the news below:

Jury retires in Hurley trial

THE jury hearing the trial of police officer Chris Hurley - charged over a death in custody on Palm island - has retired to consider its verdict.

In his closing instructions to the jury, Justice Peter Dutney urged the panel to judge the case against Senior Sergeant Chris Hurley on its own merits and consider their verdict carefully.

Snr Sgt Hurley has pleaded not guilty to one count each of manslaughter and assault over Mulrunji Doomadgee's death at the Palm Island watchhouse on November 19, 2004.

Justice Dutney told the Townsville Supreme Court jury: "This trial is not concerned with police in general, it is not concerned with the riots which occurred after Mulrunji's death was published."

Yesterday, Special Prosecutor Peter Davis, in his closing address, said Senior-Sergeant Chris Hurley had admitted killing Cameron Doomadgee, now known as Mulrunji, after a violent struggle that led to a fall in the doorway of the police station.

Mr Davis told the jury it was up to them to decide if the lethal blow was "deliberate or accidental". "He told a lie," Mr Davis said.

"We know the accused has had time to stand up, pull Mulrunji out of the doorway, and, the Crown says, drop his knee into him.

"We are not trying to rebuild ancient Rome, it is simply as he gets up, he has lost his temper and bang."

Hurley, who has pleaded not guilty to unlawful assault and unlawfully killing Mulrunji, clearly did not intend to kill him, Mr Davis said.

"We don't say he intended to cleave his liver across his spine, probably all he intended to do was wind him and disable him temporarily and put him in the cell."

Mulrunji, who was arrested for swearing, died from massive internal bleeding due to his liver being virtually split in half and his portal vein ruptured by the compressive force, most likely a knee, less than an hour after being taken into custody on the morning of November 19, 2004.

His death sparked riots on the island and led to locals burning down the police station, watch house and barracks.

Mr Davis ridiculed Hurley's claims he was mistaken in his evidence to investigators and the whole incident was a grey area.

"He can't help you with the booming question of this case: How could he so badly injure this indigenous man without noticing?

"What he said was a part of a body must have touched him, well, that must be an understatement when you look at the medical evidence."

Defence barrister Bob Mulholland, QC, told the jury the death was a tragedy and to convict Hurley would be "a double-tragedy".

"Mr Hurley will never forget that he was the accidental instrument of another man dying, that is the cross he will carry for the rest of his life despite what happens here."
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"What do you suggest should have happened in the wake of a man dying in custody, from injuries he sustained while in police custody?"

Hurley should have been dealt with like any other Australian regardless of occupation or skin colour. If after an investigation the DPP concluded that there was insufficient evidence to proceed that should have been the end of it. The fact that the CMC made an identical decision and the fact that the DPP got advice from Judge Thomas scream that the DPP got it right.

They shouldn't have hired Jessie Street's boy to find something else. At the very least they should have got someone with more recent experience than someone who retired as a judge in 1988 so that irrespective of bias at least they would be qualified. But in any case the DPP decision should have ended it. Hurley's fundamental civil rights should not have been breached.

"And yes, the court decided that there was no *proof* that the fatal injuries were maliciously caused by Hurley, but it was always a court that should have decided this, not an internal investigation by the police themselves - hardly an impartial investigation!"

Neither a coroner nor a police officer are in a position to decide on someone's guilty or innocence. They may have views but their job is to investigate. The DPP decided not to proceed. That was obviously an impartial decision.

"And just because it was never a guarenteed conviction doesn't mean it shouldn't have proceeded. Using your logic, no cases would be ever be prosecuted unless there is unequivocal CC-TV footage, or the criminal themselves sign affadavits admitting to their crimes!"

It wasn't a case of whether or not there was a guaranteed conviction. There was insufficient evidence to proceed. A reasonable jury could not return a guilty verdict.

Perhaps you should acquaint yourself with the facts of the case. After the $7million investigation and prosecution it is fair to say that Hurley has been proved innocent beyond reasonable doubt.
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