Monday, December 18, 2006

New Blog.

There is a new Irish blog on the right Pull out the pin check it out. Another Cork blog. Bloody hell why are there so many Cork people and so few Tipp people. Soon they will be claming it as the "People's blogosphere of cork or something. He has a critice of CK's post on the Nally case. Which I will leave CK to defend his points but myself I would say that what makes the Nally case divisive is that the last shot was after he re-loaded and got Ward on the public road. If it was on his property in a struggle there would be no issue.


Anonymous said...

Hi Simon, thanks for the link! I've been a reader of The Dossing Times for about a year and it's always been a lively, interesting read.

As for your point about the second shooting occurring on the road, I think the fact remains that Ward had broken into Nally's farm which is, effectively, the initiation of force, and once that happened Nally was well within his rights (or at least, should be) to defend himself using any means necessary. It seems irrelevant to me whether the defense occurred on public or private property, once force had been initiated.

CK said...
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Anonymous said...

As part of my first intra-blogosphere post I have also posted this comment over at the new blog linked by Simon.

That the jury made their decision based on the fact Ward was a traveller was not the crux of my argument. I feel they were possibly too driven by emotive issues, removed from the facts of the case and this is evident in them deeming his actions objectively reasonable. The closing arguments are a microcosm of the issue - that of the prosecutor reiterated the facts and the law on the matter. Nally’s defence however described how his piece of mind had been stolen along with his chainsaw, he contrasted the character of both men and of course made reference to the need for legislative change to protect homeowners.

There is no black and white solution but a clear attempt was made to turn Ward into the outright villain of the piece.

I struggle to understand the logic or where the clear application of the law emerges. The jury were aware of the definition of manslaughter which takes account of provocation leading to a loss of control of ones mind. So too they were aware of the fact that Nally returned to his shed to reload his gun, followed Ward onto the road shooing him fatally and dumping his body over a wall.

The second shot is key to determining his frame of mind. It takes Nally’s actions out of the realm of protecting his property and the question for the jury was whether he acted reasonably in the face of provocation, essentially establishing manslaughter. The law and in particular the charge of manslaughter accommodates extreme emotion and reaction. It allows his circumstances to be taken into consideration (a privilege not accorded to Ward) so that the jury were well aware of the position Nally was in.

To go a step further and deem that the actions are acceptable to society as a whole defies logic. Such an outcome, the issues raised at trial, the pre-publicity, the public furore and the general sense of surprise at the verdict even on the part of the accused lead me to believe that much more than the law was considered. This triggers an erosion of the rules and their consistency which are essential to ensuring we are each viewed equal in the eyes of the law. (Also it is a very rose-tinted view that no consideration was given to the fact Ward was a traveller).

Neither shot was acceptable- the fact that he fired them, the fact that he was resigned to sitting in his shed night after night with his gun nor the fact that using a gun was his impulse choice and only option. (Community groups should look to solving these issues before launching a campaign to legislate for executing trespassers). The jury however must look first and foremost at the fact he shot the man and look at his frame of mind at the time of the crime.

The jury system is a central tenet of our legal system, its members need to reach conclusions based on the facts within the parameters of the law as it exists- not how the public perceive it should be as a knee-jerk reaction to an incident. However hungry we are for a harsher line on criminality it is not for a jury to legislate for it. There has to be limits upon how far we go to defend ourselves - by ‘any means necessary’ is an absolute extreme, which would undermine any attempts at liberty for all and a free society.