Leigh, thank you first of all for your appreciative comments. …

Comment on Liam Jurrah not guilty by Kieran Finnane.

Leigh, thank you first of all for your appreciative comments.
As for the verdict, 12 minds are better than one – the strength of the jury system. And they were obviously conscientious in their deliberations, taking seven hours and 40 minutes to decide on their ‘not guilty’ verdict. We’ll never know the kind of discussions they had, the sticking points they may have wrestled with, but I think they reached the right decision. I found Liam Jurrah’s version of events, given in his interview with police, credible. And the evidence against him did not seem to me strong enough for a guilty verdict beyond reasonable doubt. I also found persuasive Jon Tippett QC’s argument that Liam Jurrah’s actions to help others on the night (an old man, who gave evidence to the effect, and a 14 year old boy) did not fit with the idea of someone about to carry out a savage assault.

Recent Comments by Kieran Finnane

NT closing borders to interstate arrivals
There are features we already know about the coronavirus that distinguish it from the flu.

The ABC’s Health and Wellbeing offers a clear explainer here.

Some of the salient points:

•The new coronavirus is about twice as contagious as influenza.

•It is about 10 times more deadly than seasonal flu, which is already estimated to kill between 290,000 and 650,000 people globally every year.

•Unlike the flu, for which we have anti-viral medicines and vaccines, there are currently no licensed vaccines or drugs for COVID-19.

This is why, if left uncontained, the new coronavirus would overwhelm our health system, which is what the social controls, imperfect as they may be, are seeking to avoid.

Kieran Finnane, senior writer, moderator

Town library, pool close; non-essential Council events cancelled
@Evelyne Roullet. According to the events calendar on the Council website, the Todd Mall markets have been SUSPENDED until further notice.

Dujuan’s moving story and its missing pieces
@ Elliat Rich: My review clearly accepts that Dujuan’s family love him. It gives space to his voice, both with direct quotes and an account of some of his experiences. He impressed me and touched me. And I feel strongly hopeful for him, given his many qualities and especially as his family seem to have found a way to help him stay safe and thrive.
However, the film asks more of its audience than empathetic and grateful witnessing. The campaign around it, which calls for specific ameliorating actions to some of the situations we see exposed in the film, makes that clear.
Even without it though, it would be a rather insouciant viewer, especially if they lived in Alice Springs, who would leave the cinema without wanting to think about what can be better done to support Dujuan and children like him. What changes might that require, in the schools, in the justice system, and more broadly, on the streets, in our neighbourhoods, in our families and our social relationships, in our politics?
My review argues that the film, for all its merits, avoids dealing with some parts of the picture that would be necessary to progress this thinking – important for the town right now, all of us, and most of all the children.

Dujuan’s moving story and its missing pieces
@Local1. The “televised violence” I refer to is indeed the scene described earlier in the article, occurring at Aranda House in December 2010, when Dylan Voller was 13 years old. The guard who physically restrained Voller in this scene was charged with aggravated assault and he was acquitted. That decision was appealed by the Director of Public Prosecutions and the appeal was dismissed. I reported in detail on this case in July 2016, ‘Actions of guard found to ensure “safety of Dylan Voller”’.

I stand by what I wrote at the time, that the acquittal “will not answer all of the questions the public have about this incident, including the non-legal question of whether this is any way to deal with a troubled youth no matter how provoking his behaviour”.

In the film review above, I use the term violence in its everyday meaning.

Cr Auricht: All the way with USA on fate of Assange
Some commenters are assuming that the Alice Springs Town Council has come to a decision to write to the Federal Government in support of repatriating Assange. The vote on a motion to do so will come at the end of the month meeting (February 24). The mood in the chamber on February 10, as reported, would not have delivered a majority in favour.

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