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Thread: Euthanasia or Murder????

  1. #21
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    A WOMAN standing trial for helping murder a former Qantas pilot has told a jury she travelled to Mexico to buy a euthanasia drug to help him die and to help end her own life.

    Graeme Wylie, 71, died at his Sydney home in March 2006 from an overdose of barbiturate Nembutal, a widely-advocated euthanasia drug.

    His partner of 18 years, Shirley Justins, is standing trial for his murder in the NSW Supreme Court, with family friend Caren Jenning being tried as an accessary before the fact.

    Ms Jenning has admitted travelling to Mexico to buy the Nembutal, and today told the jury she had planned to purchase one bottle for Mr Wylie and another for herself.

    The 75-year-old is terminally ill with breast cancer which has spread to her bones, and told the jury she started working with the NSW Voluntary Euthanasia Society in 1999.

    Ms Jenning said she watched her mother die a "painful" death from cancer, begging to be euthanased, and it influenced her own thinking.

    She joined national mercy killing group Exit International in 2003, and learned about Nembutal at workshops run in Sydney's north by the group's founder, Dr Philip Nitschke.

    After Mr Wylie twice failed to kill himself and was rejected for a legally assisted death in Switzerland, Ms Jenning said she volunteered to get the drug in February 2006.

    "Practically every time I called him ... he would say: 'What will I do? What can I do? I can't stand this'," Ms Jenning said, taking the stand for the first time in her own defence.

    "He already knew about the Nembutal and what he said to me is: 'Are you going to be getting the stuff?'"

    Ms Jenning said her nephew crushed his pelvis in a motorcycle accident in the United States in late January and she decided to "do two things at once" by flying to America.

    "I (would) visit my sister and (nephew) Mark on the one hand and go over to Mexico to get some Nembutal on the other hand," she said.

    "(The drug) for Graeme and for myself, I was getting worried on my own behalf."

    Ms Jenning took a bus trip to Tijuana and bought the drug from a veterinary pharmacy.

    She told the jury she ultimately decided to only buy one bottle because she was frightened of being caught as she crossed back into America.

    Ms Jenning said she hid the bottle in her pocket during a bag search at the US border and managed to bring it back into Australia on March 17.

    Ms Justins earlier admitted she knew her husband did not have the mental capacity to decide he wanted to die, and agreed she had ultimate responsibility for the decision.

    But the 59-year-old said Mr Wylie was "determined" to be euthanased and knew what he wanted.

    The trial continues before Justice Roderick Howie.



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  2. #22
    Senior Member ally's Avatar
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    SHIRLEY JUSTINS, the partner of Alzheimer's sufferer Graeme Wylie, says she and Mr Wylie's friend Caren Jenning were prepared to fabricate evidence and lie in court to help Justins get his estate after his death.

    She told the Supreme Court that Jenning had asked a friend to dig out news items "she could have discussed" with Mr Wylie before his death to beef up their case that he was capable of changing his will a week before he died.

    This evidence was to be provided for a court case about a will Mr Wylie had signed a week before his death. His daughters, who gained only $100,000 each from his $2.4 million estate under it, challenged the will, arguing he no longer had the mental capacity to make a will at that time.

    "And you knew that what Caren was going to say in court if necessary about those discussions with Graeme around the time of the will, was false?" the Crown Prosecutor, Mark Tedeschi, QC, asked Justins.

    "Yes," she replied.

    After a brief adjournment Justice Roderick Howie explained to the jury Justins was not entitled to be protected from incriminating herself while giving evidence in her defence. She is standing trial for Mr Wylie's murder - if he did not have the mental capacity to decide to commit suicide - or assisting his suicide if the jury found he did.

    Jenning is charged as an accessory to murder and with assisting his suicide. She has admitted she imported the illegal drug Nembutal, recommended by euthanasia organisations and which killed him.

    But Jenning rejected the suggestion that she fabricated evidence about conversations she had had with him. She said that in the last weeks of his life he was "desperate to escape".

    "He said: 'What can I do? How can I finish it? I've got to get out. I've got to finish it'," she told the court. She denied she was planning to fabricate evidence when she asked a friend about news events six months after Mr Wylie's death on topics she "would have" discussed with him. "It sounds like that [but] I honestly did not," Jenning said, explaining she just wanted to help her memory.

    Justins denied being aware that Mr Wylie did not have the capacity to weigh up his options in deciding if he wanted to commit suicide. She said she had been feeling guilt after Mr Wylie's death and "knew that I had done something wrong", but was reassured by Jenning almost every week about maintaining their pleas of not guilty.

    She also said she was prepared to lie in the court case about the will to get the major share of the state under the new will.

    Mr Tedeschi asked: "You were prepared to go along with Caren's fabrication of evidence to support your ... application about the will because you knew Graeme was not capable of having those conversations about the news items?"

    "Yes," Justins said. She rejected suggestions she would pay Jenning a share of the estate once the contested will was approved.

    Mr Tedeschi asked: "Caren was prepared to lie for you without the slightest benefit whatsoever?"

    "Yes," Justins replied.

    The trial continues.


  3. #23
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    This is such a sticky subject ally, I feel people with terminal illnesses suffering from constant pain should be able to take their own life. They should have assistance also if they need it.

    The two things that truly bother me about this case are the woman in question changed his will right before he died, and she stands to inherit such a large sum of money from it. She might indeed have done it to end his suffering, but her actions make it seem like it was all for the money.

    What is your opinion concerning this case ally? Do you think she is guilty, or innocent?

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  4. #24
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    SHIRLEY JUSTINS, the partner of Alzheimer's sufferer Graeme Wylie, says she and Mr Wylie's friend Caren Jenning were prepared to fabricate evidence and lie in court to help Justins get his estate after his death.

    She told the Supreme Court that Jenning had asked a friend to dig out news items "she could have discussed" with Mr Wylie before his death to beef up their case that he was capable of changing his will a week before he died.

    This evidence was to be provided for a court case about a will Mr Wylie had signed a week before his death. His daughters, who gained only $100,000 each from his $2.4 million estate under it, challenged the will, arguing he no longer had the mental capacity to make a will at that time.

    "And you knew that what Caren was going to say in court if necessary about those discussions with Graeme around the time of the will, was false?" the Crown Prosecutor, Mark Tedeschi, QC, asked Justins.

    "Yes," she replied.

    After a brief adjournment Justice Roderick Howie explained to the jury Justins was not entitled to be protected from incriminating herself while giving evidence in her defence. She is standing trial for Mr Wylie's murder - if he did not have the mental capacity to decide to commit suicide - or assisting his suicide if the jury found he did.

    Jenning is charged as an accessory to murder and with assisting his suicide. She has admitted she imported the illegal drug Nembutal, recommended by euthanasia organisations and which killed him.

    But Jenning rejected the suggestion that she fabricated evidence about conversations she had had with him. She said that in the last weeks of his life he was "desperate to escape".

    "He said: 'What can I do? How can I finish it? I've got to get out. I've got to finish it'," she told the court. She denied she was planning to fabricate evidence when she asked a friend about news events six months after Mr Wylie's death on topics she "would have" discussed with him. "It sounds like that [but] I honestly did not," Jenning said, explaining she just wanted to help her memory.

    Justins denied being aware that Mr Wylie did not have the capacity to weigh up his options in deciding if he wanted to commit suicide. She said she had been feeling guilt after Mr Wylie's death and "knew that I had done something wrong", but was reassured by Jenning almost every week about maintaining their pleas of not guilty.

    She also said she was prepared to lie in the court case about the will to get the major share of the state under the new will.

    Mr Tedeschi asked: "You were prepared to go along with Caren's fabrication of evidence to support your ... application about the will because you knew Graeme was not capable of having those conversations about the news items?"

    "Yes," Justins said. She rejected suggestions she would pay Jenning a share of the estate once the contested will was approved.

    Mr Tedeschi asked: "Caren was prepared to lie for you without the slightest benefit whatsoever?"

    "Yes," Justins replied.


  5. #25
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    A woman accused of assisting the murder of an elderly friend with Alzheimer's has admitted lying to police and her lawyers to protect herself.

    Caren Jenning, 75, today told the NSW Supreme Court she was "intimately involved" in planning the death of Graeme Wylie and had covered up her involvement and that of his de facto wife.

    Mr Wylie died from a lethal dose of the widely advocated euthanasia drug Nembutal at his northern Sydney home in March 2006.

    The former Qantas pilot had Alzheimer's disease, and the Crown claims he was unable to make an independent informed choice to die.

    Mr Wylie's partner of 18 years, Shirley Justins, is standing trial for his murder.

    Jenning, a friend of Mr Wylie for more than 30 years, is being tried as an accessory before the fact.

    The retired English teacher has admitted bringing the Nembutal back into Australia for Mr Wylie, but denies aiding and abetting his suicide or that he was murdered.

    "He had walked this track for a long time now and he simply continued walking," she said.

    "He wanted to do it, I knew that."

    Crown prosecutor Mark Tedeschi, QC, accused Jenning of being a "very convincing liar", who had deceived the police and her own legal team in her own self interest.

    She admitted telling "utter lies" but insisted she had since decided to come clean, telling the court: "Today I'm under oath and I'm not lying."

    "You would not hesitate to tell a lie if you thought it would serve to protect you, is that right?" Mr Tedeschi asked.

    "Under these circumstances, no longer, no. I have conceded the truth," she replied.

    Jenning admitted concocting a story to avoid police investigation into Mr Wylie's death by finding a newspaper article which linked his Alzheimer's drug to heart attacks.

    She agreed she knew she was breaking American and Australian law by bringing Nembutal from Mexico.

    Mr Tedeschi grilled Jenning about correspondence she had with a friend later in 2006 asking for a list of news items that occurred around the time Mr Wylie died.

    He accused her of seeking the items to "fabricate" evidence of conversations she'd had with Mr Wylie about current affairs, in order to prove his mental capacity in Supreme Court proceedings over his will.

    The will was changed one week before he died to leave $2.2 million to Justins and $100,000 each to his two daughters, who went on to contest the document.

    One of the topics Jenning said she spoke to Mr Wylie about was riots in Paris on March 20 - one day after the last time she saw Mr Wylie alive, Mr Tedeschi said.

    Jenning said she had the dates in her email request "confused" and insisted she had spoken to Mr Wylie about the rioting earlier in March, before she went to Mexico.

    Her evidence continues before Justice Roderick Howie


  6. #26
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    A judge has allowed the additional crime of manslaughter to be put before the jury in the trial of two Sydney women accused over the euthanasia drug death of a former Qantas pilot.

    Graeme Wylie, 71, died from an overdose of Nembutal, a drug recommended for euthanasia, in his northern Sydney home in March 2006.

    Mr Wylie had Alzheimer's disease and was rejected for a legally assisted death in Switzerland in November the previous year on cognitive grounds.

    His partner of 18 years, Shirley Justins, is standing trial in the NSW Supreme Court charged with his murder. She has denied the charge.

    Long-standing friend Caren Jenning, 75, is being tried as an accessary before the murder. She has denied the charge.

    However, Justins, 59, has pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting Mr Wylie's suicide, while Jenning has admitted importing the barbiturate Nembutal.

    After some legal discussion at the conclusion of evidence, Justice Roderick Howie on Tuesday ruled the jury could consider the offence of manslaughter in both cases.

    "In some cases, no basis for manslaughter arises, while in (others) manslaughter is a verdict that is available on the evidence," Justice Howie said.

    "I have determined that manslaughter is available on the evidence in this case.

    "That does not mean that you should convict the accused of manslaughter, it simply means that the crown can put the charge before you."

    Justice Howie said the manslaughter charge was put on the basis that Justins "feloniously slayed" Mr Wylie by failing to adequately check whether he was mentally capable of suicide.

    This amounted to a failure in the duty of care she should have reasonably extended to Mr Wylie, who was vulnerable as a result of his mental condition, he said.

    The jury will now consider charges of murder, manslaughter and aiding and abetting suicide against Justins.

    Against Jenning, they will consider aiding and abetting suicide, and being an accessary to both murder and manslaughter.

    Closing addresses are expected to begin later Tuesday.


  7. #27
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    A JUDGE has allowed the additional crime of manslaughter to be put before the jury in the trial of two women accused over the euthanasia drug death of an Alzheimer's sufferer.

    Graeme Wylie, 71, died from an overdose of Nembutal in his Sydney home in March 2006.

    Mr Wylie had Alzheimer's disease and was rejected for a legally assisted death in Switzerland in November the previous year on cognitive grounds.

    His partner of 18 years, Shirley Justins, is standing trial in the NSW Supreme Court charged with his murder. She has denied the charge.

    Her friend Caren Jenning, 75, is being tried as an accessary before the murder. She has denied the charge.

    Ms Justins, 59, has pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting Mr Wylie's suicide, while Ms Jenning has admitted importing the barbiturate Nembutal.

    After some legal discussion at the conclusion of evidence, Justice Roderick Howie today ruled the jury could consider the offence of manslaughter in both cases.

    Closing addresses are expected to begin later today.


  8. #28
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    SHIRLEY JUSTINS, the partner of Alzheimer's sufferer Graeme Wylie, says she and Mr Wylie's friend Caren Jenning were prepared to fabricate evidence and lie in court to help Justins get his estate after his death.

    She told the Supreme Court that Jenning had asked a friend to dig out news items "she could have discussed" with Mr Wylie before his death to beef up their case that he was capable of changing his will a week before he died.

    This evidence was to be provided for a court case about a will Mr Wylie had signed a week before his death. His daughters, who gained only $100,000 each from his $2.4 million estate under it, challenged the will, arguing he no longer had the mental capacity to make a will at that time.

    "And you knew that what Caren was going to say in court if necessary about those discussions with Graeme around the time of the will, was false?" the Crown Prosecutor, Mark Tedeschi, QC, asked Justins.

    "Yes," she replied.

    After a brief adjournment Justice Roderick Howie explained to the jury Justins was not entitled to be protected from incriminating herself while giving evidence in her defence. She is standing trial for Mr Wylie's murder - if he did not have the mental capacity to decide to commit suicide - or assisting his suicide if the jury found he did.

    Jenning is charged as an accessory to murder and with assisting his suicide. She has admitted she imported the illegal drug Nembutal, recommended by euthanasia organisations and which killed him.

    But Jenning rejected the suggestion that she fabricated evidence about conversations she had had with him. She said that in the last weeks of his life he was "desperate to escape".

    "He said: 'What can I do? How can I finish it? I've got to get out. I've got to finish it'," she told the court. She denied she was planning to fabricate evidence when she asked a friend about news events six months after Mr Wylie's death on topics she "would have" discussed with him. "It sounds like that [but] I honestly did not," Jenning said, explaining she just wanted to help her memory.

    Justins denied being aware that Mr Wylie did not have the capacity to weigh up his options in deciding if he wanted to commit suicide. She said she had been feeling guilt after Mr Wylie's death and "knew that I had done something wrong", but was reassured by Jenning almost every week about maintaining their pleas of not guilty.

    She also said she was prepared to lie in the court case about the will to get the major share of the state under the new will.

    Mr Tedeschi asked: "You were prepared to go along with Caren's fabrication of evidence to support your ... application about the will because you knew Graeme was not capable of having those conversations about the news items?"

    "Yes," Justins said. She rejected suggestions she would pay Jenning a share of the estate once the contested will was approved.

    Mr Tedeschi asked: "Caren was prepared to lie for you without the slightest benefit whatsoever?"

    "Yes," Justins replied.


  9. #29
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    I think that they are both guilty of his death and he was not of sound mind to have given them permission to euthanasias him.
    They admitted to lying to the police because they thought they would be charged with murder.
    I think that is exactly what they should be charged with.

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  10. #30
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    A jury has retired to consider its verdict at the trial of two women accused over the euthanasia drug death of a former Qantas pilot.

    Graeme Wylie, 71, died from an overdose of Nembutal, a widely advocated Euthanasia drug at his Northern Sydney home in March 2006.

    Mr Wylie had Alzheimer's disease and unsuccessfully applied for a legally assisted death in Switzerland in November 2005.

    His partner of 18 years, Shirley Justins, 59, is standing trial in the NSW Supreme Court, charged with murder.

    Long-time family friend Caren Jenning, 75, is charged with being an accessary to the alleged killing.

    Justins earlier pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of aiding and abetting suicide while Jenning admitted bringing Nembutal into Australia.

    Crown prosecutor Mark Tedeschi, QC, pressed ahead with the murder allegations.

    A jury of twelve retired at lunchtime on Monday to consider its verdict after five weeks of evidence


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