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Capital Case File Report to Govenor Capital Case File Report to Govenor

Public Record Office Victoria

Public Record Office Victoria (State Archives of Victoria, Australia)

Public Record Office Victoria (State Archives of Victoria, Australia)
North Melbourne, Australia

The capital case file documents the action taken by the Government to review the mandatory death sentence imposed for guilty verdicts for capital offences with a view towards determining whether a recommendation should be made to the Governor for the death sentence to stand or be commuted to a lesser one. The Kelly capital case file includes the notes made by Judge Redmond Barry during Kelly's trial. To get a complete picture of what happened during the trial it is necessary to refer to other sources, such as the reports carried by the Argus and the Age on 30 October 1880. Kellys defense attorney was the inexperienced barrister Henry Bindon. In reply to the long parade of Prosecution witnesses (see the Prosecution brief) Bindon mustered the simple defense that McIntyre was the only person present at the shooting and thus the only person whose evidence truly counted. He also attempted to cast doubt on Kellys admissions by questioning the impartiality of the witnesses and forcing the admission, where he could, that Kelly might have been overstating his guilt in order to shift blame from others. This defense had little weight. In his summary, Judge Redmond Barry pointed out that Kelly had the opportunity to make an unsworn statement in his own defence, which he had not made use of. He directed the jury that a verdict of manslaughter was not possible in this case - it must be a verdict of guilty of murder or an acquittal. The jury took half an hour to come back with the guilty verdict.

Details

  • Title: Capital Case File Report to Govenor Capital Case File Report to Govenor
  • Creator: Public Record Office Victoria, Public Record Office Victoria
  • Date Created: 1880
  • Provenance: VPRS 4966 P0 Unit 2 Item 4 Record 15, VPRS 4966 P0 Unit 2 Item 4 Record 15

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