A group of senior legal scholars from New South Wales and Victoria have sent a letter to the New South Wales Attorney General demanding the immediate release of Kathleen Forbigg from prison.
- Last month, a judicial inquiry found new scientific evidence as a basis for reasonable doubt about Kathleen Forbigg’s conviction.
- Mr Forbig remains in prison pending final report from Commissioner Tom Bathurst
- Forbigg served 20 of his 25-year sentence
The letter comes just weeks after an investigation into the case found each of Folbigg’s convictions to be in reasonable doubt.
A New South Wales woman has spent 20 years in prison after being convicted of murdering her four children, Caleb, Patrick, Sarah and Laura, who died separately from 1989 to 1999. All children were under the age of two.
In a letter to Attorney General Michael Daly, the signatories said there was “substantial agreement that expert evidence supports the discovery of natural causes of death in children.”
Mehrah San Roque, Associate Professor of Law and Justice, New South Wales, is one of the co-authors of the letter to Mr. Daly.
“It was very clear from the final filings from the assisting attorneys, especially the Attorney General’s Office, that the situation was very open to the investigators, the Commissioner. [Tom] Mr Bathurst, please make a finding that there was a reasonable doubt as to the conviction,” she said. 7.30.
Retired Chief Justice Tom Bathurst KC is preparing a final report, but academics say Australia has a precedent for releasing prisoners when material evidence of wrongful convictions comes to light. there is
During the course of the investigation, scientific evidence that two of the children suffered from a rare genetic disease was accepted by the Prosecutor General as a basis for reasonable suspicion of Folbigg’s conviction.
In addition, new psychiatric evidence has revealed that Mr. Forbigg’s diary about his children, which was originally used to secure the prosecution against Mr. Forbigg, had been misunderstood.
“In this research, we are able to contextualize these diaries and contextualize her manner of speaking to reveal that these are within the so-called normal or usual range of reactions given her circumstances. It was clearly abnormal,” Dr. Sanroque said at 7:30.
“Obviously the most prominent example or precedent for that would be Lindy Chamberlain,” said Dr San Roque.
In 1986, Lindy Chamberlain was quickly released after her child Azaria’s matinee jacket was discovered at Uluru, undermining the basis of her conviction.
Dr. San Roque said Chamberlain’s full innocence investigation was first conducted in 1988.
“She was released as soon as the evidence was discovered, but it wasn’t until several years later that the actual proceedings — the final annulment of the conviction — actually took place.”
Forbigg, now 55, is serving a 25-year sentence on three counts of murder and one count of manslaughter. She has always claimed her innocence.
Scholars have raised concerns for her safety in prison in a letter to the New South Wales Attorney General.
Dr San Roque said Mr Forbigg was in protective custody.
“Our understanding is that she is being held in very restricted circumstances, protective custody, and essentially there have been incidents of her being beaten in prison. To that extent…her personal safety continues to be at risk.”
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-05-17/senior-academics-call-for-kathleen-folbigg-release-730/102359516 Senior academics write to New South Wales Attorney General demanding early release of Kathleen Forbigg