The incredible force of nature that is my high school friend Tracy Chapman is in Sydney this week. She caught the train down from the north coast for the closing submissions in the second judicial inquiry into Kathleen Folbigg’s case.
Tracy was all over the news yesterday being amazing and articulate in the battle to free Kath. I am immeasurably proud of her and awed by her determination to seek justice.
The NSW Director of Public Prosecutions has conceded there is ‘reasonable doubt’ in Kath’s case. Sophie Callan SC, one of three lawyers assisting the inquiry, said the evidence overall shows there is reasonable doubt about Kathleen’s convictions, and a strong plausible case for each child’s death.
“Ms Folbigg urges Your Honour to find reasonable doubt and the strong possibility of innocence,” Callan said.
Outside the inquiry, Tracy said: “To hear it in the courtroom this morning… I should have brought more tissues, I cried a river. I’m ready to go and get her and bring her home.”
Callan said evidence about a rare gene mutation Kath shared with her two daughters – CALM2G114R – must be seen as casting doubt on her convictions for killing Laura and Sarah.
She said other medical evidence about seizures and epilepsy must be seen as casting doubt on Kath’s convictions for killing sons Patrick and Caleb.
She also said psychiatric and psychological expert evidence presented to the inquiry has cast doubt on Kath’s diary entries used to convict her at trial.
Callan told the inquiry Kath “had a major depressive disorder and was expressing maternal grief” when she wrote about struggling with motherhood.
The inquiry will conclude with the remaining closings submissions today before the judge delivers his findings at a later date.
If he finds there is reasonable doubt as to Kath’s guilt, he can refer her case to the Court of Appeal where her convictions could be quashed. He can also send his report to NSW Governor Margaret Beazley, who can issue Kathleen with a pardon.
“If there’s empathy and humanity in this space, the judge after hearing what he’s heard, I would love him to give her parole now,” Tracy said.
“But ultimately I’d love a pardon. We’ll take what we can get at this point. Bring her home!”
I still can’t get my head around what Tracy has doggedly achieved. She has devoted so many years to getting medical experts around the globe to champion Kath’s case.
What happens to the prisoners who don’t have a Tracy in their corner?
My heart is full. Godspeed my friends, I hope this is the last, fast leg of your long journey to freedom.
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