If this doco doesn’t lead to an urgent, independent investigation of the Susan Neill-Fraser conviction of 2010, it will be yet another miscarriage of justice. Watch it and weep.
Australia’s collective conscience, also known as Fair Go, should take Tasmania’s justice system to court on charges of criminal levels of incompetence and/or malicious prosecution. I would argue for both. Eve Ash has made a forensic case (better than Tasmanian police ever did in this matter) for such an investigation, although the doco doesn’t call for one – that’s left to us Australians who view it with indignation and fear. Fear that such a catastrophic error can be made – and reconfirmed through appeal – in upending the most basic principles of our legal system.
The most appalling aspects of this case are reminiscent of the Lindy Chamberlain case, in that there is no body, no witnesses, no murder weapon, no motive and not even forensic evidence to prove Sue killed her partner, yet she was convicted. Shadow of Doubt indeed. I would have thought that even if the police and the prosecution managed to get it into court (which is scary enough) the judge should have had the wisdom to provide wise counsel to the jury warning them that finding Sue guilty of murder would be most unsafe. The risk of an innocent person going to jail – for 26 years no less – was too great under the circumstances.
Eve Ash has done Australia a favour with her cool, clinically precise doco; let’s hope the screenings in Hobart and on Ci Channel will trigger a wave – nay a tsunami – of unrest and urgent calls for action to right this wrong.
Superbly crafted in all departments, Shadow of Doubt shows the power of filmmaking as a lever for making a difference.