Crowe’s talk notes and speech on the Parenzee case at his November 2009 RA conference in Oakland, California

1. Talk notes

A Survey of Legal Cases

David Crowe
RA 2009
November 8, 2009
Waterfront Plaza Hotel, Oakland

[...]

Parenzee Case (2006-7)

Black South African living in Australia.
Perth Group were witnesses for the defence and argued that the virus was not proven to exist.
They were not accepted as experts leaving the defence defenceless.
Lawyer Kevin Borick was strongly committed to the case.
Strategy dispute between Borick and the Perth Group: should other witnesses be brought in? Should other issues be addressed?
Parenzee abandoned appeals and is serving a 9 year sentence.

[...]

What’s Needed?

Development of a database of cases.
Legal strategy development.
Money (lots of).
Right lawyers.
Right clients.
Right case.

[...]

2. Speech

Listen here (mp3: 2 minutes: 2 MB)

Another case I was involved with for quite a long time was the Andre Chad Parenzee case in Australia around 2006&7.

In this case we were lucky because we had a lawyer who got it.

He didn’t get it until Andre Chad Parenzee had actually been convicted but before sentencing.

And so normally the time between conviction and sentencing is relatively short, but in this case it went on for a couple of years because there were all these fights over new evidence and the right to have an appeal.

Some of the issues in that case were the status of expert witnesses.

The Perth Group were expert witnesses

The court decided predictably they did not have elevated enough status.

If they had been virologists, if they had a PhD, it might have been different, but the courts were able to dismiss them because they didn’t have the right status.

The courts don’t care what you know, they care about your degrees, your positions, things like that.

Also the court case was an experiment because it had a singular focus on the existence of HIV, not on transmission, not on the dangers of the drugs, and other things like that.

And the case unfortunately failed and Parenzee was sent to jail for many years.

Another aspect that occurred after was that there was talk about having an appeal. There was another level of appeal and Parenzee declined to appeal because he’d basically been told in jail that if you’re not a well-behaved prisoner, then you won’t get parole, and if you are appealing then you’re not a well-behaved prisoner. Now they’re not supposed to say that, but they intimidated him to the point where he said, ‘I’m not going to appeal.’

3. The Perth Group respond

Coming up