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Plea Bargaining and Miscarriage of Justice: A Case Study of the Prosecution of Gabe Watson, the So-Called ‘Honeymoon Killer’

Journal Article


Abstract


  • The dive in question was set up as a drift dive in which the divers entered the water at the bow diver access point and were to be carried by the current to the exit point at the stern of the wreck.6 Gabe and Tina descended just before a group led by Singleton.7 Less than eight minutes after descending,8 Gabe surfaced without Tina and called for help.9 He was prevented from descending again by a staff member of the boat.10 Singleton found Tina unconscious on the bottom with her regulator in her mouth.11 He brought her to the surface, but efforts to resuscitate her failed.12 Tina's equipment was found to be functioning properly and she had an ample supply of air.13 The autopsy found she had drowned.14 In his statements to the police, Gabe told the police that shortly after they left the diver access point line, Tina gestured that she wanted to go back. V CONCLUSION The phenomenon of a miscarriage of justice following trial has been increasingly recognised in recent decades, but the Watson case demonstrates how plea bargaining, statements made by state agents, and subsequent media speculation can create two separate forms of injustice: conviction and sentencing based on a plea bargain not well grounded in law or fact; and extra-territorial injustice, when investigative errors are perpetuated in public forums outside of the court process.

Publication Date


  • 2015

Citation


  • V. Colvin, 'Plea Bargaining and Miscarriage of Justice: A Case Study of the Prosecution of Gabe Watson, the So-Called ‘Honeymoon Killer’' (2015) 34 (1) University of Queensland Law Journal 71-98.

Number Of Pages


  • 27

Start Page


  • 71

End Page


  • 98

Volume


  • 34

Issue


  • 1

Place Of Publication


  • Australia

Abstract


  • The dive in question was set up as a drift dive in which the divers entered the water at the bow diver access point and were to be carried by the current to the exit point at the stern of the wreck.6 Gabe and Tina descended just before a group led by Singleton.7 Less than eight minutes after descending,8 Gabe surfaced without Tina and called for help.9 He was prevented from descending again by a staff member of the boat.10 Singleton found Tina unconscious on the bottom with her regulator in her mouth.11 He brought her to the surface, but efforts to resuscitate her failed.12 Tina's equipment was found to be functioning properly and she had an ample supply of air.13 The autopsy found she had drowned.14 In his statements to the police, Gabe told the police that shortly after they left the diver access point line, Tina gestured that she wanted to go back. V CONCLUSION The phenomenon of a miscarriage of justice following trial has been increasingly recognised in recent decades, but the Watson case demonstrates how plea bargaining, statements made by state agents, and subsequent media speculation can create two separate forms of injustice: conviction and sentencing based on a plea bargain not well grounded in law or fact; and extra-territorial injustice, when investigative errors are perpetuated in public forums outside of the court process.

Publication Date


  • 2015

Citation


  • V. Colvin, 'Plea Bargaining and Miscarriage of Justice: A Case Study of the Prosecution of Gabe Watson, the So-Called ‘Honeymoon Killer’' (2015) 34 (1) University of Queensland Law Journal 71-98.

Number Of Pages


  • 27

Start Page


  • 71

End Page


  • 98

Volume


  • 34

Issue


  • 1

Place Of Publication


  • Australia