The Case of Gordon Wood and the Effectiveness of Law

Topics: Law / Pages: 5 (1048 words) / Published: Nov 5th, 2013
Evaluate the effectiveness of the law in balancing the rights of victims, offenders and society (in general) in relation to the case of Gordon Wood.
The law’s primary objective is to provide justice for all parties involved in legal disputes; however, as demonstrated through the Gordon Wood case it is evident that the law has been ineffective in balancing the rights of those concerns and deliver just outcomes. This is illustrated by the factors of delivery of just outcomes, time and complexity which when applied to the Gordon Wood case demonstrate the law’s failure to protect the rights of the victims, offenders and society.
In order for law to be effective in delivering just outcomes to the accused involved in legal altercations, it is imperative that the legal system follows proper protocols when presenting evidence and limits media influences which can persuade society’s perspectives. However, in regards to the Gordon Wood case, the judicial system has been ineffective in achieving this as the evidence used to charge Wood was circumstantial and due to the media’s coverage, Wood is treated as guilty regardless of his exoneration. Wood appealed his seventeen year sentence in 2012 due to the evidence presented in 2008 to charge him was deemed circumstantial and poorly documented. The entirety of the appeal was based on the standing that suicide could not be ruled out as a case of death and therefore, the prosecution was unable to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Wood is guilty of murder.
As signified in the case, Wood had multiple grounds to combat his miscarriage of justice, some of which include “Ground 3: The evidence and the opinions of A/Prof Cross caused the trial to miscarry.” and “Ground 6: The trial miscarried by reason of the prejudice occasioned by the Crown Prosecutor. According to the SMH news article ‘Wood appeals cliff plunge conviction’ (2011) which addresses ground 3, “Wood's murder trial miscarried as scientific evidence about his lover's

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