The Ashburton Guardian Magna et Veritas et Præevalebit WEDNESDAY, MAY 21, 1890. THE CASE OF BERNARD CULLEN.
. That has happened in connection with this case Avhich might have been predicted with absolute certainty—the appeal has been dismissed. In point of fact His Honor Judge Ward could have taken no other course. Had the question at issue been whether Cullen had been rightly convicted, that is to say had it been capable of being shown that there was evidence sufficient to justify a presumption of innocence, or of mistaken'identity, or that the evidence was insufficient to establish his guilt—then it would doubtless have been competent to the superior Court either to quash the conviction or order a re-hearing, but as the identity of the accused with the person who committed the offence, and the.offen.ee itself were not denied, it remained that the intervention of. the superior Court ,was asked on the sole contention that the sentence was disproportionate to the]"merits of the case, or rather, perhaps, we should say the demerits of the prisoner. Now this was to ask the Judge to overrule the discretionary power as to apportionment of penalty accorded to the Court below—to ask him -to do what is never done and hence the appeal necessarily failed. But those who have moved in the matter should not let it rest here. Having put their hands to the plough, they must run it right out of the furrow, and the step -which now lies before them is a very obvious one— they mustlay the'matter before theMinister of Justice, Unquestionably public opinion is that the sentence of three months hard labor is altogether excessive, and that for once the local Benoh has made a-mistake which should be remedied. Should the Minister endorse that opinion (and in view of his action in Morden's case there is room to hope that he will), then a few days will see Cullen set at liberty. By- that time he will have received a lesson that should teach him to respeqt tfr§ authority of the police in future, and the worthy Magistrate who (no doubt with the best intentions) has, in our opinion, erred on this occasion on the side of over-severity, will have received a hint which will probably save him from forgetting on another occasion that justice should be tempered with mei'cy.
Permanent link to this item
The Ashburton Guardian Magna et Veritas et Præevalebit WEDNESDAY, MAY 21, 1890. THE CASE OF BERNARD CULLEN.,
Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2435, 21 May 1890