In an emotional interview with The Australian Women’s Weekly, she calls for urgent action to help juries understand confusing scientific evidence.
Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton has called for radical changes to courtroom procedures to prevent more Australians being jailed for crimes they didn’t commit.
Speaking exclusively to The Australian Women's Weekly, the 75-year-old iconic Australian, who spent three-and-a-half years in prison after being wrongly convicted of murdering her daughter Azaria, has issued a heartfelt plea for more support for jury members in cases involving conflicting scientific evidence.
“Science is now over the head of the average person,” she says. “We’re giving juries very complex tertiary and even PhD-level forensics to decipher and decide whether a person is guilty or innocent. It’s not their fault if they get it wrong.”
Her comments come in the wake of the acquittal of NSW woman Kathleen Folbigg, who was convicted in 2003 of killing her four infant children, but pardoned in June this year after new scientific research suggested they could have died from natural causes because they shared a rare gene mutation.
“Kathleen’s case has once again really slapped this in the public’s face,” Lindy says. “And people have gone, ‘Hang on, we were wrong about Lindy because we didn’t get all the information. Perhaps it’s time we did something about it.’”
Lindy also revealed that a juror in her own murder trial confessed that the jury had been baffled by the evidence.
“A juror told me that, quite frankly, they didn’t understand a word of it. But that Joy Kuhl (the Crown’s scientific advisor) had a nice manner and looked at them and smiled. She treated them like school children. Whereas the defence guy used all these big, jaw-breaking words and had a manner that they didn’t understand at all.”
In a wide-ranging interview in the The Australian Women’s Weekly’s November issue, Lindy also reveals:
- The faulty forensic evidence that got her convicted.
- How her 10-year-old granddaughter reminds her of Azaria.
- Her son’s lifelong battle with PTSD.
- The surprising reason she fell in love with her second husband.
- How she deals with the grief she still feels over 40 years after Azaria’s death.
Lindy is campaigning for juries to have access to a panel of impartial experts in complex cases to advise on the validity of the evidence.
“A lot of people think that if you go to court and tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth, you’ll be believed, justice will be served, but that’s not the way it works.”
Please include a link to Lindy Chamberlain exclusive interview here featured in the November issue of The Australian Women’s Weekly, on sale October 5.
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