The prosecution in the Shane Geoghegan murder trial failed to convince a jury that the accused was guilty. Therefore, the case against Barry Doyle collapsed even though he gave detailed descriptions of the killing during police interviews.
The defence argued, successfully, that this confession was the result of threats, inducements and coercion, and was therefore unreliable, given the absence of any corroborating evidence such as video, DNA or ballistics.
I don’t like it. I want someone to go down for the murder of an innocent man, but I have to accept this result, angry though I am that nobody has been convicted for the killing.
There’s no point blaming the defence team. Their job is to make sure the law applies fairly. It was the prosecution who failed to convince a jury that they had proven their case beyond reasonable doubt.
That standard of proof exists so that you and I don’t go to jail for things we didn’t do, and much though we’d like to, we can’t start applying different standards to different people, depending on how suspicious we are of them, or where they come from.
Much though I want someone to go to jail for this crime, it needs to happen on the basis of a cast-iron case. In this country, we don’t yet jail people on the grounds of gross suspicion, no matter how much we think they deserve it. When we start doing things like that, we’ll know we’re in a police state.
We need better detection, better evidence and better prosecution.
Several members of Garryowen FC attended the hearing and I’m told that they all wanted to punch the accused. This of course is entirely unacceptable, since the man was not convicted of anything, but I gather it had to do with his facial expression when it was announced that the jury failed to agree.
Previously: Shane Geoghegan murdered