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TO THE EDITOR. Sir, —If anything were wanting to prove the necessity for this, the Cutler perjury cases in Melbourne should be ample. Here nine men were arraigned for the crime, and upon precisely the same evidence five were found guilty and the other four acquitted—and each before separate juries too ! Such a thing may occur in New Zealand tomorrow. Our present law, after such proof, is certainly a remnant of barbarism. Now, before tho Judge charges the jury, had the prisoner the right, competent but not compellable, to make a statement on oath (making him thus further liable for perjury), with the Judge’s further right of questioning, how different would have been the result. There were always doubts as to whether Ryan shot Farrell, and Cummock was guilty of arson. Perhaps some hon. member will move in this direction of reform during the coming session. Opposition from the legal profession must be expected, yet these Melbourne cases should convince the most sceptical. After years of experience and thought I am satisfied the reform would do no harm. —I am, etc., Reform. Dunedin, June S.

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CRIMINAL EVIDENCE REFORM., Issue 7930, 11 June 1889

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CRIMINAL EVIDENCE REFORM. Issue 7930, 11 June 1889

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