Quote Of The Day 02/04/2020

THURSDAY, 02/04/2020:

https://www.pinterest.com.au/pin/302867143672297855/

‘Washing ones’ hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral.’

– Paulo Freire

Miscarriages of Justice on Adelaide’s Doorstep.

While high-profile cases that are printed in the media are crucial in highlighting and educating the public on issues such as false confessions, misleading evidence, wrongful convictions and malicious prosecution, it would be incorrect to assume these particular cases are exceptional or uncommon.

When we think of ‘Miscarriages of Justice’, our minds immediately float to cases like the ‘Central Park 5’ or Brendan Dassey and Stephen Avery from Netflix’s ‘Making a Murderer’ documentary.

Thanks to platforms like Netflix, Social Media and Innocence Project initiatives, the public is more informed than ever when it comes to Miscarriages of Justice.

In the last few years, there has been a growing interest in such cases – Netflix has an ever-expanding library on the topic, with titles such as:

Source: https://www.netflix.com/au/title/80200549
‘When They See Us’ – A Netflix Documentary Series based on The Central Park 5
Source: https://www.netflix.com/au/title/80000770
‘Making a Murderer’ – A Netflix Documentary Series based on Stephen Avery and Brendan Dassey

And while high-profile cases that are printed in the media are crucial in highlighting and educating the public on issues such as false confessions, misleading evidence, wrongful convictions and malicious prosecution, it would be incorrect to assume these particular cases are exceptional or uncommon.

In fact, Miscarriages of Justice are more common than you might think.

There have been a number of cases across Australia in recent years which have amounted to Miscarriages of Justice, including: Lindsay and Michael Chamberlain, whose baby went missing at Uluru; Gordon Wood, whose partner was found at the bottom of a notorious suicide spot in Sydney; and closer to home, Henry Keogh from Adelaide, whose partner was found dead in the bathtub.

All of these cases were found to have amounted to a Miscarriage of Justice, and although the total number of innocent people convicted of crimes can never be fully known, Civil Liberties Australia estimate 7% of all people convicted of crimes are innocent.

Now 7% may shock you, or it may not.

But if we’re talking about 10,000 prisoners, that means 700 of them are serving time for a crime they did not commit.

That’s a lot of cases, a lot of people, a lot of suffering families, and a big problem for the Australian Legal System. The University of Cincinnati Law Review published an article written by Lynne Weathered in 2012, which outlines the fascinating way in which Australia’s (generally modern) Legal System seems to fall drastically behind in regards to wrongful convictions.

Weathered is co-founder and Director of the Griffith University Innocence Project, and believes that although there are many reasons why a Miscarriage of Justice may occur – acknowledging flaws in the Justice System does not necessarily undermine it, but opens up opportunities for reform.

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-09/calls-for-royal-commission-in-wake-of-high-court-ruling/9131598
Dr Colin Manock (ABC News)

This is a view backed by other experts in the field, such as Dr Bob Moles, who has been heavily involved in Miscarriages of Justice cases all over the world, including Adelaide, Australia.

He and Associate Professor, Bibi Sangha from Flinders University are especially interested in the State of South Australia’s several failings in regards to their former Chief Forensic Pathologist, Dr Colin Manock.

Dr Manock performed thousands of autopsies and testified in hundreds of court cases in South Australia – after the state declared that he wasn’t competent to certify the cause of death.

Ms Sangha and Dr Moles said:

‘…question marks now hang over a substantial number of criminal cases in which Manock appeared as a scientific expert, as well as casting doubt on the findings of the thousands of autopsies he conducted.’

Dr Bob Moles is calling for a Royal Commission into the matter, after Henry Keogh’s conviction was overturned in 2014, after spending 20 years in prison after being convicted of drowning his fiancee in the bathtub.

The Court of Criminal Appeal found there had been a Miscarriage of Justice due to flawed evidence provided by discredited forensic pathologist Dr Colin Manock. Two new experts, Professor Derrick John Pounder and Dr Matthew Joseph Lynch found that Dr Manock’s evidence was flawed.

In the judgment, it was found that:

‘…Both [experts] agree that there is nothing in the autopsy findings to exclude the probability that Ms Cheney’s death was a drowning in the bath following a fall and a head injury which rendered her unconscious…’

Twenty years is a long time to sit in prison for a crime you didn’t commit – which begs the question: are there more innocent people sitting in prison because of the evidence of Dr Colin Manock?

The answer is a resounding ‘yes’. One such case, which is currently before the courts, is that of Mr Derek Bromley.

Derek Bromley, an Indigenous Adelaide man, was convicted of the murder of Stephen Docoza in 1984, based on the evidence of Dr Colin Manock, much the same as Henry Keogh.

http://netk.net.au/BromleyHome.asp
Derek Bromley (Networked Knowledge)

As stated on Dr Bob Moles’ website, ‘Networked Knowledge‘, Bromley completed his non-parole period in 2008, but has not been released, as he maintains his innocence.

For a prisoner to be released, they must admit their wrongdoings and display their remorse, proving their rehabilitation – something someone who is innocent cannot do.

Derek Bromley has been in prison for 35 years – making him one of Australia’s longest serving prisoners.

Bromley’s case is due back before the courts in the coming months, with supporters keen to see his conviction thrown out:

Some may still question whether or not there is a possibility that Bromley may have committed the crime for which he was convicted, despite the botched evidence from Dr Manock. Regardless, Bromley has served more time than people convicted of much more horrendous crimes, who have long-since been released because they have admitted to what they have done.

But for an innocent man who refuses to admit to a crime he did not commit, he must stay in prison.

Some might also question why Bromley would not just admit to the crime, and therefore potentially be released on parole?

So let me ask you:

Would you admit to a crime that you did not commit?

If you would like to learn more about Derek Bromley’s case, or find out more about Miscarriages of Justice, head to:

*There is also a link at the bottom of my blog to Networked Knowledge, a page (and the people behind it) that I am proud to support in the continual search for justice, not only locally, but world-wide.

Book Review: The Tattooist Of Auschwitz.

A review of: The Tattooist of Auschwitz – By Heather Morris.

The Tattooist of Auschwitz

TITLE:

The Tattooist of Auschwitz

AUTHOR:

Heather Morris

GENRE:

Historical Fiction, Romance, Holocaust

PUBLISHED:

2018

PAGES:

352

GET IT HERE:

eBooks.com

Overview:

The Tattooist of Auschwitz is based on interviews with Holocaust Survivor and Auschwitz-Birkenau tattooist Ludwig (Lale) Sokolov.

The novel follows the journey of Lale, as he finds himself transported to the concentration camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau. His ability to speak multiple languages works in his favour, with his captors putting him to work as the ‘Tätowierer’ (tattooist).

Lale’s story finds him permanently marking his fellow prisoners over the two and a half years he is there. Using the perks of being the ‘Tätowierer’, he finds ways to help the people around him as best he can, including a young woman named Gita, who he falls madly in love with.

Lale’s story is one of incredible resilience, bravery and sadness. The account of his time as a prisoner is chilling and his survival is truly remarkable and of course a reminder of the horrors of World War II.

My Thoughts:

The Tattooist of Auschwitz was a novel that saddened me deeply. There truly are no words to describe how horrendous it must have been for the millions of people affected then, and still to this day, by the Holocaust.

Although the story of Lale as the ‘Tätowierer’ is one that is definitely worth reading, there were times in the novel where the author (Heather Morris) seemed to brush over some of the finer details, making the story seem rushed and perhaps not as deep or emotional as it could have been, had there been more description. I almost feel like a separate novel was required for the second half of the book, in order to give more details to the reader.

This aside, the story was still incredibly moving. The author describes in her ‘Author’s Note’ about how she had to gain Lale’s trust, and the struggle of untangling so many years worth of memories – which in itself would have been an incredibly hard task.

The Tattooist of Auschwitz is a story of love and of loss, and above all else, survival – a story worth being read.

My Rating: 3.5/5

5 Signs You’re in an Abusive Relationship; My Experience & What I Learned.

My story and the lessons I learned along the way.

 

NOTE:

Before I go any further, let me just say – it isn’t anyone’s place to judge another’s relationship, and that is not the intent of this article. This is simply a personal experience, and the things I found to be true for me.

 

 

MY STORY

The topic of a abuse within a relationship is often hard for a lot of people, which is one of the reasons I haven’t written about it until now. A lot of the time, the person that puts you through this type of thing has such a profound emotional hold over you, it’s hard to talk about your experiences, no matter how much time has passed.

For that reason, in this particular article, I’ll refer to that person as ‘He’.

For me, ‘He’ was the one. We had known each other for a couple of years, He was a social butterfly, He made me laugh and every time we hung out, it turned into some kind of fun adventure. People talk about the ‘Honeymoon Period’ of relationships – a brief period of time where everything seems perfect, you agree on everything and arguments are non-existent. This was the Honeymoon Period to beat any other – and I should have realised then that it was too good to be true.

I had suffered from Anxiety and Depression for a number of years before meeting him, and he helped me see the fun in life. He was smart and logical, but He had a spontaneous streak that was so much fun.

I truly believed we would get married, have children and live happily ever after. We had stupid nicknames for each other, we played pranks on each other, we stayed up late giggling and we took photos of each other snoring. We spent our weekends happily exploring the city and beaches and never fought about anything. Everything was fun and easy.

At that time in my life, I was a University Student, and he was a tradie/ labourer. It didn’t take long for us to move in together. He worked long hours and was the main breadwinner, and He was proud of that. I would spend my days studying, going to Uni, cleaning the house and making sure there was food on the table for Him when He finally trudged through the door.

Soon enough though, I could see He was starting to resent the fact that I didn’t have a job, although I was trying to work my way through Law School and look after things at home. I spent every penny of my Student Allowance on rent and things for the house, but it wasn’t enough. Before I knew it, I had picked up a couple of casual jobs working retail to try and even things out. I wanted to help. I loved Him. He could do no wrong in my eyes.

It wasn’t long after this that He came home and said He had been let go. At the time, I didn’t see it as too much of an issue – He was a robust and confident person, and I was sure He would pick up something new quite quickly.

I was wrong.

Ever since He was an apprentice, He had never not had a job, and His confidence plummeted. Something ‘snapped’ so to speak and He was never the same. Him being fired sent Him into a rapid depression, followed by paranoia and anxiety.

I tried everything in my power to help Him, but I was struggling too. I began taking my anti-depressants again, was stressed and taking on extra shifts at work to get us through to the next week. I eventually realised that I would have to drop out of University if I was going to help us get by. So I did. I deferred University to focus on looking after us. I loved him. I wanted to help.

I had heard about people developing paranoia, but His paranoia was something I had never experienced before, and I had no idea what I was meant to say or do to help Him. I tried everything. I listened to his rants without judgment, I offered my support, I told Him I believed Him when He said He was worried about people following him. I helped Him write job applications, introduced Him to new people, suggested He get professional help.

Nothing would calm him down.

He truly believed someone was ‘out to get Him’. Every conversation we had would go down the same path; ‘there’s someone following me’, ‘someone’s been in the house’, ‘they know too much’, ‘don’t talk about personal stuff over the phone’… it was overwhelming.

I came home one day and He was scanning the walls with a device that checks for ‘bugs’. He wouldn’t apply for jobs because he was convinced ‘they’ would sabotage him. He would constantly sat he was being followed in his car, or at the shops.

He started to become suspicious of me. I didn’t understand it, because I couldn’t see it. There was never anyone following us, nothing out of the ordinary happening in our lives besides His behaviour. I couldn’t find a way to help Him. All I knew was that I loved Him dearly and believed that He would snap out of it as quickly as it all started, if He just got another job and got back on track.

But it didn’t work that way.

Things went downhill. Rapidly. Nothing I would say would convince Him that there was no-one out to ‘get’ Him. I was so caught up with trying to help the person I loved, I failed to see I was becoming tangled in an abusive and toxic situation.

It was subtle at first, but by the end of our tumultuous relationship, the house was a war zone. Even now, years after, I experience the effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Small things like someone grabbing my wrist, coming too close to my face, raising their hands or even the slightest raise in someone’s voice sets me off.

 

I’ve wanted to write this for a long time. And I wanted to list the types of warning signs I missed, but wished I hadn’t. It’s hard to recognise these things when you’re blinded by your situation. Because you don’t want to believe that the person you love is also the person destroying you.

Even if this helps one person recognise their situation for what it is, that would be enough for me. Keeping in mind that every relationship is unique along with the people in it, these are the 5 signs I look back on and wished I’d noticed:

 

 

 

NUMBER ONE:

Isolation.

I realised too late that I had distanced myself from many of my friends, probably at a time when I needed them the most. Once He became paranoid, He needed to keep me ‘safe’. He was scared someone was out to ‘get’ me too. He didn’t want me on Social Media, He was suspicious of visitors, new friends and even old friends.

I ended up cutting ties with a lot of people, all based on who ‘He’ thought was ‘safe’. Every person He met was a threat. He believed people who visited the house planted devices or stole things, and eventually it became easier to placate him by simply cutting people off.

 

 

NUMBER TWO:

Gas Lighting.

Whether it was intentional or not, He made me believe I was going crazy. He used my history of mental illness against me, telling me I was the crazy one. He would tell me that I was a psychopath, that I was the one with no heart and that I had no idea how much I put Him through.

When we fought, He’d tell me to ‘take another pill, crazy’, ‘go cut your wrists in the bath’ or ‘do the world a favour and kill yourself’. We had a small unit, so I would try and lock myself in the bathroom to get away from the taunts. When I did, He would yell that I was crazy and why would I lock the door on HimClearly was the suicidal one, and would kill myself in the bathroom. He’d break down the door to get to me, ripping the handle completely off, or making a hole in it – just so He could tell me to stop being an attention seeker.

If I tried to leave the house to get away from Him, He would stop me. He would stand in the door frame and tell me I was being dramatic. He’d tell me I had started the fight and that He hadn’t done anything wrong. He’d tell me I wasn’t leaving because I might hurt myself. He’d steal my keys, break my phone and threaten me. All the ‘help’ me.

He truly convinced me that I was the crazy one. That hiding in the bathroom to get away from Him meant I was the one with the issues. .

When I’d eventually open the door (or He’d break it down), He’d say things like: ‘I’m trying to help you’ or ‘I don’t want to have to break down the door again or call the police on you because I think you’re going to kill yourself in there’. He and I both knew that it was never my intention to hurt myself, but I began to believe that maybe I might. Maybe I was crazy. Maybe I was suffering from my mental illness in such a way, I couldn’t see how crazy I really was.

 

 

NUMBER THREE:

Becoming Physical.

This is the stereotypical sign of being in an abusive relationship, but it wasn’t until the physical abuse became very violent that I realised it had started long ago.

It started with things like grabbing my wrists or arm to stop me leaving a room, or holding me on the ground or on the bed so I couldn’t use my phone. But it got worse.

Any time we had an argument and I tried to leave, phone a friend or go into another room to get away from all the verbal abuse and tension, things would go flying (me included). He would put things like my laptop outside in the middle of the road. He would take my dinner outside and tell me to eat out there ‘like the dog I was’. He would laugh when I cried and begged to be allowed to leave.

Arguments in the car were common, because He know I couldn’t escape. He wouldn’t get out when I asked Him to, and He wouldn’t let me pull over and get out either. I had no choice but to keep driving, while He screamed in my ear, spat in my face and kicked the interior of the car.

One day He was so out of His mind with rage, He ripped the radio clean out of my car, wires dangling, and threw it out the window of my car into traffic while I was driving.

I was constantly having to come up with stories to tell my family and friends about why my things were constantly damaged and broken. The radio had ‘malfunctioned’. My phones were always being ‘dropped’ or ‘run over’ or simply ‘stopped working and needed to be replaced’. Sets of glasses never lasted long, the holes in the doors were from ‘tripping’ and the bruises were brushed off as me being clumsy.

Make no mistake, all of these things are abusive and violent. But when you love someone, sometimes you don’t see them for what they truly are, and brush them off.

 

 

NUMBER FOUR:

Put Downs and Name Calling.

There’s a saying: ‘Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me’. But they do. Especially when you’re told everyday how awful you are. When you’re told you’re fat. Told you’re a psycho. Told you need to go to a psychiatric home. Told that no one will ever love you besides Him. Told that you deserved all the bad things that ever happened to you. That you deserve to be alone. Especially when you’re told all this by someone you love.

Eventually these things get to you. And once you start believing them, you gain a sense of hopelessness that doesn’t fade, even after you leave. You truly believe you are defected, damaged and no-good. It has taken years to be able to look in the mirror without hating my own reflection, and even now, I suffer the consequences of the verbal torment I was put through.

 

 

NUMBER FIVE:

Guilt and Blame.

This mightn’t seem as important as the other signs. But this is the thing that affected me more than anything else.

Every fight we had, no matter how violent, ended with Him saying things like: ‘I’m sorry, I love you’, ‘Please don’t leave me, you’re all I’ve got’ or hours of tears and promises to do better.

It was emotional torture. The man I once wanted a future with and who I loved so dearly, was hurting me in ways I never knew I could hurt. Of course I wanted to believe Him. Of course I wanted to brush off His behaviour as nothing more than a momentary lapse in judgment.

I remember the fights, and the anxiety crushing my chest. The tears, the fists and the threats. Then one day, His beloved Nan died. I knew this would make everything so much worse. If He was depressed, anxious and paranoid now, then this would surely tip Him over the edge completely. I wanted desperately to be there for Him. I wanted to comfort Him, to bring Him back to what He used to be, but I couldn’t do it anymore.

I was exhausted. I knew every fight we wold have from thereon out, every time he would hurt me, it wouldn’t be ‘His’ fault anymore. It would be because His Nan had died. Everything He did would be blamed away.

So I left.

Maybe deep down He was messed up and maybe He was sorry and perhaps He truly did need me. And I knew He must have been feeling very isolated and hurt too. But I realised much too late, that you can’t help someone who isn’t willing to help themselves.

I left Him after His Nan’s funeral. I would have left sooner, but again, I felt an overwhelming sense of guilt. I loved Him. I felt like I needed to at least get Him through the funeral. I didn’t want to be ‘that’ person.

But who is ‘that’ person? I stayed so long. Put up with so much. For what?

 

WHAT NEXT?

Leaving Him was the most painful thing I have had to do in a long time. I’m not going to pretend that it was easy. I was so emotionally broken, I could feel my heart breaking with every breath I took.

Even after I left, I paid the rent in the unit we lived in for months until He moved out. I cleaned up all the mess He had left once he finally did leave. I never sent Him the bill.

I called Him every day after He moved out to make sure He was okay. He would cry on the phone and tell me He was so sorry. I would drive past His new house and bring Him food, because I knew He hadn’t eaten for days. I took Him to appointments, kept in touch, made sure He was okay and wasn’t going to hurt Himself.

Once I would get home, I would cry by myself on the kitchen floor for hours and hours, wondering how everything had gone so horribly wrong. I had given Him everything I had, and I had nothing left to give.

He begged me to give Him another chance.

But I couldn’t.

Because you can love someone so much, but at the end of the day, you have to love yourself more. And sometimes it takes a long time to realise that. When I look back on what I went through now, I wish I had seen the signs earlier. It took me so long to leave. Because I kept putting Him first, making excuses for Him, allowing His toxic behaviour to continue, because I was more worried about losing Him.

We do so much for the people we love.

But in the end, we are all human. I’ve come to terms with the fact that we are all on a journey. And you can’t save everyone on the journey to save yourself.

And that’s okay.

 

 

 

 

 

Quote Of The Day 23/11/2018

FRIDAY, 23/11/2018:

Source: https://goo.gl/images/XHq8Qt

‘But nothing makes a room feel emptier than wanting someone in it.’

– Calla Quinn