from Beck Vass: “With an average jury trial taking at least 12 months, and judge-alone trials taking just six months [that’s actually from charging to end of the case, not the length of time in court], trial times would be halved, reducing the trauma for victims and backlogs in overloaded courts.
Mr Power said his figures did not include the costs to defendants, witnesses, victims, lawyers, the Department of Corrections or other agencies. But with those excluded, an average jury trial cost $20,000 and judge-only trials just $2000.”
Firstly, yesterday Power was saying this wasn’t about money saving. Now it is about money? Secondly, different types of offences are heard by judges only and with juries. Minor offences – quick, simple cases – can only be held in front of a judge. Serious offences (like murder) must be held in front of a jury. Juries are hearing the longer, complex cases. Making more serious and complex cases judge-only won’t magically make them suddenly only take 6 months on average. But Power knew that when he suckered you in, eh Beck?
From John Armstrong: “That Key was reluctant to discuss the revelations that Rankin married her fourth husband soon after his previous wife committed suicide was understandable. Doing so would have been to dive into a moral minefield….Rankin insists she was not having an affair with the woman’s husband prior to the woman’s death. Key has to take her at her word.”
No he doesn’t. Show me where it says he does. She’s not an MP and that only applies in the House. Armstrong has struggled to find the one angle on the one current issue where his buddy Key looks good but he still has to make stuff up.
Everyone knows what went down. Everyone knew about it back when it happened. Paula Bennett, who we now learn is good buddies with Rankin, certainly would have known. Anyway, forget that Women’s Weekly stuff. If the papers had any standards they never would have splashed Rankin’s personal life over the front page in the first place.
Audrey Young touches on the real problem: “Ms Rankin is said to be close to Paula Bennett and has become something of a mentor to her, both during the campaign for her successful election as MP for Waitakere last year and in helping her to adjust as minister for the department Ms Rankin once ran”
So Bennett appointed Rankin (who is about to lose her job as Auckland Regional Councillor because of the Supercity) as a $50,000 a year scratch of her back despite her complete unsuitability. No wonder there were howls of protest from her Cabinet colleagues. Why did they let her go through with it? Did Key insist his golden girl get her way or did her opponents in Cabinet think that if Bennett was given enough rope…?