Friday, August 27, 2004

The Preacher and the Overdue Library Books Gang

The story of the ring of theives that was stealing valuable books from the Canterbury Public Library has taken not just one, but two twists. In an article not on-line the Press today revealed that the identity of the dealer that allegedly bought the stolen books is one Barry Hancox of the well-known Smiths Bookshop. An even bigger shock for me was that Prosecuter is one Graeme Capill, the former leader of the Christian Heritage Party. It seems to be his first case as he was only appointed Police Prosecuter in late July and the NZ Herald said then that he would take up his position "in a few weeks".

Fortunately for those with deviant tendencies (you know who you are) the Dominion Post reported at the time of his appointment:

Despite his former party's hardline stance against violent crime, euthanasia and homosexuality, Mr Capill said there was no scope for personal feelings or bias to get in the way of doing his job.

He was bound as a lawyer to adhere to Law Society rules. "The moment I actually showed any bias at all in my comments, that would actually go against me."

If true, I daresay he will do well as a prosecuter for two reasons. The first is that is his oratory will shine in the courtroom. This isn't hard to do as on the basis of televised trials, the standard of declaimation in the court is dire. The lawyers speak in a droning monotone, they pause frequently in awkward places (i.e. "the other... day, my client...") and they seldom make eye contact with anybody else in the court. The second is he already has ample experience in arguing with passionate certainty dodgy cases built on dubious premises that many prosecution cases are.