The court was visiting the campsite from which Azaria had been taken, and Lindy was sitting with others at the picnic table. One of the camera operators nearly tripped, and someone else made a very funny comment. Lindy’s automatic reaction was to laugh, along with others. As she did however, suddenly all the media cameras came up.
Fearful of a repeat of an earlier headline to a photo taken while she was eating her sandwich lunch at another table, which had claimed ‘Picnic at Death Rock‘, she immediately put her hands up to cover her face. The reporters knew the situation, but the caption writers back at the office clearly had a headline that would capture more readers.
Just a flavour of the news headlines. Some seemed to have very little knowledge of the ‘truth’, but they still whipped up a fury. The bottom right headline Mistake on Azaria Blood came out after a Crown scientist acknowledged that mistakes had been made. That was well after Lindy had been released from prison.
I wonder what these protestors think now? Do they share the feeling of some, that Lindy ‘just had good lawyers?’ Or, have they looked further and realised, as thousands have written to say, that they were fooled by the media reporting what the Northern Territory government wanted the public to believe.
The centre top sign shows that the public does not really understand how the justice system can work. The jury – by their own claims – did nothear ‘all the evidence.’ And a much of what they heard was not evidence, but rumour, twisted words, and only ‘part of the truth.’
Had there been a death penalty it is possible that
Lindy would only have been found innocentafter she had been put to death.
It is natural to want to trust our police and justice system, and it usually works well. But no-one can deny that people who make up the system can be corruptible – there have been too many investigations into jury tampering, bad judges, and police corruption to think otherwise. Why else do larger police departments the world around have internal affairs departments, whose sole job is to investigate their own force?
It was the media who, after the harshness of the sentence, began to swing the other way, in support of the Chamberlains. Some could be cynical and say it was just another way to keep the story going, and there could be an element of truth in that. But it would be short-sighted to think that it was the only reason. The media is made up of people with feelings too.