Even before entering courtroom it was evident how nervous every single student in the group I was in was, from the way everyone slowly crept forward, reluctant to be the first one through the door. I had to steel my nerves before pushing the door to District Courtroom 11 open. The trial I experienced was the murder of a pair of infant twins due to a lack of sustenance and nutrition in June 2008 (Dick & Kellet, 2008) The accused parties, (LWS009 Study Guide, 2013, p. 15), Kylie Maree Mathews and Mark Ryan Jackman, were the mother and father of the twins.
The opposing crown prosecutor’s case (LWS009 Study Guide, 2013, p. 14) was brought on behalf of the State of Queensland. When I first walked into the courtroom, one of the last people who had had contact with the accused parties before the twins died was being cross-examined by the defending Barrister (M. Backstrom, “LWS009 Lectorial 1”. 2013). It was mentioned that Kylie Mathews isolated the twins from the rest of her family and friends in early 2008. Kylie Mathews also stopped answering calls, messages and rarely left the house.
There was limited opportunity for other adults to see the twins, however, there was no active repelling of people who wanted to see the twins. The atmosphere was tense as a second witness was called in. The witness took affirmation as per protocol (Queensland Government, n. a. ), before being cross-examined by the defending Barrister. This second witness I saw was Kylie Mathew’s consulting psychiatrist, before and after the twins passed away, from 2008 to 2009. From what I could gather throughout the time I was in the courtroom, Kylie Mathews’s state of mind was an important issue to be discussed.
Applying the process of ISAAC to solving legal problems (M. Backstrom, “LWS009 Lectorial 2” 2013) in this context, a lot of attention was placed on the issue of Kylie Mathew’s psychological state and the operation of “magical thinking” on many levels in the period of time leading up to the loss of the twins. It was mentioned that Kylie Mathews had had anger issues and had seen the psychiatrist often. The day we went to the Queen Elizabeth II Courts Of Law, there were a number of considerably conspicuous trials going on, many involving deaths.
Even though many of us were happy that we had the chance to watch these trials, thinking back on it now, it was slightly disheartening to realize exactly how many of such cases happen that are complicated enough to have to bring to court. The murder of the twins happened in 2008, but it is only in 2013 that this case is fully addressed, plus the trial was only on day 11 of 15. It is only after watching part of a trial first-hand that I realize just how much time and effort is put into the resolution of such cases and how essential a stable, predictable court system is.