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Decisions of the Nineteenth Century Tasmanian Superior Courts

R. v. Salmon [1829]

murder - trial by jury, disagreement

Supreme Court of Van Diemen's Land
Pedder C.J., March 1829
Source: Colonial Times, 6 March 1829

In the Supreme Court last week, John Salmon and David Brown were arraigned for murder, at Macquarie Harbour. - It appears, that two material points of law in these men's cases, occasioned a scism in the opinions of the Jurymen, composed of the following Military officers on full and half-pay: -- Major Seholto Douglas, Surgeon William Behab, Lieutenant Nathaniel Lowe, Lieutenant Thomas Mathison, Lieutenant Richard Lane, Lieutenant Francis Aubin, Lietuenant Augustus Slade. - The want of unanimity in the decision, procured them the agreeable amusement of incarcerators for three days and nights, before they could finally adjust their ideas as to the propriety of finding the verdict since so speedily acted upon. The single Juryman, Lieutenant Mathison, who contended his opinion against the other six, grounded his opinion upon the two points of law in question. The right of so doing was exemplified upon the last appearance before the Judge. Being called upon to state his point of objection, he quoted the cases in point, and upon reference, His Honor Chief Justice PEDDER decided the point on which he considered the prisoners guilty, awarded them death, and sentenced them to be executed on Monday last, which was carried into effect. The two men confessed the participation in the murder. It appears, the unfortunate object of their sanguinary vengeance was not the one intended as expiatery of their premeditated blood-thirsty intent.

Published by the Division of Law, Macquarie University and the School of History and Classics, University of Tasmania