From the ABC…
Dead man pardoned over 1921 Gun Alley murder
A Victorian man executed for murder 86 years ago, is to receive a pardon.
Twelve year old Alma Tirtschke was raped and murdered in 1921 and her body was left near Melbourne’s Gun Alley.
Colin Campbell Ross was convicted and hanged in 1922 but he always maintained his innocence.
A re-examination of the case has found hairs on a blanket at his home, did not belong to the girl.
Australians Against Capital Punishment believe that there are no circumstances where a state should, in cold blood, execute anyone in the name of justice.
But beyond the moral issue, the case of Colin Ross Campbell again tragically highlights the fact that no legal system is perfect, and no imperfect system should be allowed to take a person’s life, no matter how awful the crime.
Capital punishment worked against the interests of justice twice over in this case. As hard as it is to overturn the wrongful conviction of a living prisoner, it’s unimaginably harder to clear the name of one who has been wrongfully killed by the state.
This case took the better part of a century.
The death penalty guaranteed that the true perpetrator remained at large, while an innocent man was killed.
Colin Ross was less than 30 when he was executed – the Death Penalty stole up to 50 years from him.
We congratulate the Victorian Government on this decision, and wholeheartedly concur with the Attorney General Rob Hulls, that this should serve as another reminder of why the Death Penalty has no place in any justice system.
Wait another 80 years and as sure as night follows day Ronald Ryan (last man hanged in Victoria in 1967) will be also pardoned. Despite various inconsistencies in evidence at Ryan’s trial, including lack of scientific evidence that the stolen rifle in Ryan’s possession had been fired, missing bullets, missing cartridges, two prison guards admitted having fired shots, the unusual downward entry and exit wound of fatal bullet which could not have been fired by Ryan, and the 19-day front page media frenzy prior to the trial, would suggest that Ronald Ryan may have been wrongly convicted and hanged a probable innocent man. Ryan had always maintained his innocence to the end.