Australian Screen

Australia’s audiovisual heritage online



Beyond Reasonable Doubt – The Case of Ronald Ryan (1977)

  1. Ronald Ryan’s conviction, death sentenced and subsequent execution was based solely on unsigned and unrecorded alleged verbals/confessions said to have been made by Ryan to police. For unknown reasons, no scientfic ballistic forensic examinations for evidence were ever performed. Ryan had intentionally kept his firearm to prove his innocence in the event of recapture, as he knew forensic examinations on the rifle including ballistic forensic microscopic markings on the spent bullet, would prove his rifle had never fired a shot. Scientific ballistic forensic tests would have proven without doubt, whose rifle fired the fatal shot.

    • For unknown reasons, ballistic forensic experts never scientifically examined Ryan’s rifle.
    • There was no forensic proof and no conclusive evidence that Ryan's rifle had fired a shot at all.
    • It was never proven by forensics that the fatal bullet came from the rifle in Ryan's possession.
    • Despite extensive search by police, the fatal bullet mysteriously went missing, was never found and could not be tested by forensics for evidence.
    • Despite extensive search by police, the spent cartridge mysteriously went missing, was never found and could not be tested by forensics for evidence.
    • If Ryan had fired a shot, a spent cartridge would have spilled out of the rifle. No spent cartridge was ever found.
    • All fourteen eyewitnesses' testified different accounts of what they saw - there were widespread inconsistencies.
    • Only four of the fourteen eyewitnesses testified of seeing Ryan fire a shot.
    • All fourteen eyewitnesses' testified of hearing one single shot. No person heard two shots.
    • Prison officer Paterson, admitted and testified he fired one single shot, from a distance.
    • If Ryan had also fired a shot, at least one person among the dozens of people surrounding the scene of the crime, would have heard two shots.
    • Forensic experts never scientifically examined any of the prison officers’rifles, if they had fired a shot.
    • Ballistic evidence indicated the measurement of the entry and exit fatal wound on the deceased prison officer was fired from a distance, at an elevated position in a downward trajectory angle.
    • Eyewitnesses' testified seeing prison officers aiming their rifles.
    • Ryan (a shorter man) could not have fired at the prison officer (a taller man) in such a downward trajectory angle, as both were on level ground.
    • Ryan could not have fired from from a distance at an elevated position because Ryan was adjacent to the prison officer who was running after, and adjacent to, fellow escapee Walker. All three men were close-by, on level ground.
    • Some eyewitnesses testified seeing Ryan recoil his rifle and smoke coming from the barrel of his rifle. But ballistic experts testified that type of rifle had no recoil and it contained smokeless cartridges.

  2. #1 from ACADP – 4 years, 4 months ago.
To comment on this title, you need to be logged in.

RSS RSS – Subscribe to an RSS feed of comments on this title. (learn about RSS)