networkn:Geektastic:networkn:sleemanj: The trouble is that the population at large has the (not quite, but almost universal) misguided opinion "if the police arrest them, they MUST be guilty", doesn't matter what the outcome of a trial, let alone an appeal, doesn't matter the evidence or lack thereof, to the population at large, once you've been arrested, you are guilty, and guilty people don't get paid out.
Politicians know this, they know that if they pay out somebody who was incorrectly detained, that large swathes of the VOTING public will be incensed that this obviously guilty person (because they were arrested, let alone tried for the crime) has received a payment, which they will perceive as coming from their tax dollars.
So the answer to the question "Why is there no right to compensation for wrongful imprisonment in NZ?" is, in my humble opinion, "because the unwashed masses are by and large one step away from forming a vigilante mob with torches and pitchforks based on no more than somebody being arrested".
This might be the case in the people you mix with, but I've never heard of anything like that in my 35+ years. Most (I say this having not once found an exception) people would be more than happy for genuinely innocent people to be compensated for being wrongly imprisoned. I can't imagine much worse than having it happen to me for sure.
I do however firmly believe that those who spend time in prison for a crime they DO commit, and get off on a technicality, should get nothing (except their freedom), and I've found the VAST majority of people feel this way too.
I would say that I would view someone arrested (and charged) for a crime, to be reasonably likely to be guilty of said crime, as an initial impression.
However, it is pretty rare for someone to do what you suggest, because the only certain way would be if they actually admitted the crime, in which case it's unlikely in the extreme a 'technicality' would serve to get them off.
In the case of Mr Bain which has been offered as an example here by others, I am fairly sure he has never done anything but deny responsibility from day one. I would agree he might have committed an offence against public decency with regard to knitted wearing apparel however....
Fortunately, how you or anyone else chooses to view a suspect's arrest and charge with regard to guilt or otherwise is not how the legal system works - otherwise we really will be heading back to pitchfork-toting mobs!
Well I guess I am talking about someone who gets their conviction overturned as a result of a thing like incorrect chain of evidence or something like that. The evidence shows they did commit the crime, categorically, but it can't be presented at trial due to a breach of the rules.
Whilst I am not happy they are out, it falls into the way that the rules work, and I am prepared to accept it, however to then turn around and give that person money as compensation for spending time in prison, I'm afraid you'd never convince me that is the right thing to do.
I will be very unhappy indeed if Bain gets compensated (As I believe he falls into the above category), however, we are a socialist country and will likely give him something I believe.
So let us assume two people who commit identical crimes and the evidence chain is compromised as you suggest.
Person A is found not guilty at trial and released to continue life.
Person B is found guilty, jailed for 20 years. 10 years later, the chain of evidence issue comes to light and his conviction is found to be unsafe and he is released.
In that example, A has had 10 years of freedom and earning. B has not.
Both allegedly committed the same crime but were not convicted for the same reason, simply at different points in time.
It seems to me that the State, which presumably had responsibility for the evidence chain, owes person B some compensation. Do you not think so?