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test your jury skills

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juryman View Drop Down

Joined: 16/May/2017
Location: Australia
Posts: 4
  Quote juryman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: test your jury skills
    Posted: 16/May/2017 at 18:40
Fellow jurors ,
We have here expert evidence for this murder . The accused swordsman claims self defence.   The prosecution has identified the weapon as a length of mulga-wood about 600mm long and 10mm thick with bi-convex oval shape across the blade. Defence counsel notes the reference to a sword by learned academics and says this confusion destroys the case and his client is free from conviction . Here again are the extraordinary facts which we need to assess in verdict :

". On this basis, the boomerang is the most probable candidate for the main trauma. , Of the weapons tested, the frontal wound observed in Kaakutja most closely resembles that produced by an African ‘Samburu’ sword. "    

Catalyst: Toorale Man murder mystery - ABC TV Science
Apr 7, 2015 - ....wounds on Toorale Man appear similar to those on gladiators in Imperial Rome.
So what done it , the mulga or the hard steel?

juryman View Drop Down

Joined: 16/May/2017
Location: Australia
Posts: 4
  Quote juryman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16/May/2017 at 20:26
Good we have 12 jurors in the room and a couple of spares. Just to repeat the day's evidence:

Subject: FW: osteology ( Toorale skull)
Administrative Officer, Fellowship Services Department
Royal Australasian College of Surgeons

Dear Military Surgery Section Committee Members..... --

"I have no experience of a hardwood blade injury to the head and have seen no papers on this subject, but here is my supposition : F=MA . Hardwood is (as the name implies) extremely hard. If the blade were of sufficient mass and acceleration it is likely to cause a comminuted depressed fracture. This could be the topic of a biomedical engineering study! "
Michael Redmond.
" I have had a good look at the Antiquity paper and the accompanying photos of Kaakutja's injuries and I am not convinced that these wounds to the skeleton were caused by wooden weapons. The wound to Kaakutja's face and the slice off the humeral head are consistent with a very sharp blade -I am prepared to stand corrected but I would have said that even a very hard wood could not be sharpened to this extent. I could believe the healed linear wound could be a linear depressed fracture which could in theory be produced by a thin sharp hardwood object but the strikes to the face and shoulder would have resulted in fractures and not the fine slices into bone seen here. I am happy to accept that such weapons may indeed have been sharp enough to inflict cuts and penetrating injuries to soft tissue but not to bone. I would take the view that 'if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck -then it's probably a duck' in that if someone had shown me this and asked me what I thought I would have said 'it looks like someone with metal weapons reached Australia before the Dutch (etc.)' Also there is the issue that if such wounds can be inflicted with wooden weapons why haven't they been noticed in skeletal remains before -not just here but also elsewhere -if wooden blades could do this then why bother producing metal ones?

Dr Martin Smith
Principal Academic in Forensic & Biological Anthropology
Bournemouth University.
("His interests centre principally on areas of taphonomy and trauma with relevance to both forensic and archaeological remains. Martin has strong interests in the study of conflict from prehistoric to modern times.")

"Now I see the full significance of your conclusion ! Martin Smith is a well-known expert so a good endorsement. "
James Robertson

Director National Centre for Forensic Studies (NCFS)
University of Canberra

( quotes given with each author's consent).

juryman View Drop Down

Joined: 16/May/2017
Location: Australia
Posts: 4
  Quote juryman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16/May/2017 at 20:58
Ah yes, the testing . Good point. So we had the size measured and heard the ANU result.

" I have just been looking at our sword clubs, and they are all different lengths and thicknesses, . It is a difficult section to measure accurately, but I would guess that at 10mm back from the edge, the depth ranges from 5 to 10mm."
Collections Officer - Culture: Australia
Australian Museum

" I have received the following comment from the writer: " The aim of the experiments were to determine whether traditional Aboriginal weapons could have caused trauma similar to that of the Toorale skull. Unfortunately our methods did not produce trauma,.. "

School Administrator (Postgraduate Coursework Administrator)
School of Archaeology and Anthropology
ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences.

juryman View Drop Down

Joined: 16/May/2017
Location: Australia
Posts: 4
  Quote juryman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17/May/2017 at 07:24
Moving on , we heard from French , Indonesian and Australian historians

The Indianized States of South-East Asia
George Coedes -1968, p 187.
...Angrok waged a decisive battle at Ganter, the site of which is unidentified. Kritajaya fled and disappeared without a trace.

"A rebel, Ken Angrok, later the king of Singhasari, made a secret agreement with the Brahmans and in 1222 defeated Kertajaya at Ganter. In the place of Kadiri, the kingdom of Singhasari was established."

"In Pararaton Kertajaya called by the name of King Dandhang Gendis.. by the end of his reign he wanted to be worshiped by Hindu and Buddhist . Certainly the desire was rejected, . Gendis Dandhang not scared at all. He claimed could only be defeated by Shiva . Hearing this, Ken Arok also took the title of Lord Guru (another name for Shiva ) and move led troops attacked Kadiri . . Dandhang Gendis himself fled and hid ride to heaven.
(Nagarakretagama juga mengisahkan secara singkat berita kekalahan Kertajaya tersebut. Disebutkan bahwa Kertajaya melarikan diri dan bersembunyi dalam dewalaya ).
"Nagarakretagama also briefly tells the story of the Kertajaya defeat. Mentioned that Kertajaya to escape and hide in dewalaya (a god). Both texts proclaim Kertajaya is a natural refuge of gods. Presumably question is Kertajaya hiding inside a temple cult, or maybe Kertajaya died and become smooth natural inhabitants ( hereafter ). "

Bundjalung people of north NSW remember that a boat arrived from Ngareenbil   "overseas islands" . ( Isaacs 1980. )   Ngareenbil means "your beloved countryman"
( negarane bela   ) in Old Balinese language and the men ( with O Bali names, derived from Old Javanese language) gave laws and languages to countries.

". Ken Arok used Mpu Gandring's cursed kris to assassinate Tunggul Ametung, cunningly put the blame to Kebo Ijo, and built a new kingdom of Singhasari."

"Another theory is that the kris was based on daggers from India. Some of the most famous renderings of a kris appear on the bas-reliefs of Borobudur (825 CE) and Prambanan temple (850 CE) . The kris   is famous for its distinctive wavy blade, although many have straight blades as well."

citizen-joe View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member

Joined: 09/October/2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 731
  Quote citizen-joe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17/May/2017 at 23:43
Originally posted by juryman

So what done it, the mulga or the hard steel?
Who cares.
If you have legal question, just ask it, if you are trying to waste our time - you've succeeded.

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