Judge Nixes Plan to Drop Counsel Off Cliff in Cage Dangling from Crane
Posted Apr 15, 2008 10:21 AM CDT
By Martha Neil
How far must a judge and jury go to hear the facts of a murder case? Dangling over the side of a cliff in a cage suspended from a crane, in order to view the scene of a claimed 1995 murder of a model allegedly thrown off a cliff by her boyfriend, is above and beyond the call of duty, an Australian jurist has decided.
Following the death of model Caroline Byrne in what a newspaper describes as a notorious Sydney suicide spot, New South Wales Supreme Court Justice Graham Barr "and lawyers for the prosecution and defense were to be lowered in a four-man cage attached to a crane and decide whether the jury for the trial commencing on July 17 should do the same," according to the Australian.
However, the judge told a prosecutor seeking the high-altitude viewing that he needs to be convinced this is the only alternative, and that it is important for the jury to see the scene for themselves.
"The original plan was for an examination to take place from a boat," the newspaper notes.
The latest plan by Crown Prosecutor Mark Tedeschi, explains the Daily Telegraph, "had involved the use of a huge crane and scaffolding to take the jury down in a cage to the rocks where Ms Byrne's body was located."
The Sydney Morning Herald (2004): "Wood killed her, says Caroline's soulmate"