Support for Bain drops sharply

Reports of jury misbehaviour and of evidence suppressed and not presented in court appears to have eroded support amongst New Zealanders who believe David Bain is not guilty of murdering his family.

A survey by UMR Research found the number of New Zealanders who believed David Bain was not guilty had dropped sharply in the fortnight since his retrial.

In the poll conducted from June 4-7, around the date of his acquittal on June 5, 62 percent of respondents thought Bain was not guilty, with 23 percent believing he was guilty and 15 percent unsure.

In the most recent survey, taken June 18-22, 47 percent of respondents believed he was not guilty -- a drop of 15 percent -- while 29 percent thought he was guilty (up six percent) and 24 percent were unsure (up nine percent).

UMR Research attributed the drop in the number of respondents who believed Bain was not guilty to media stories highlighting the attendance of some jurors at a Bain victory party and publicity about previously suppressed evidence.

Of the 47 percent of respondents who believed Bain was not guilty, 79 percent thought he should receive about $1.5 million compensation for 13 years in jail, 15 percent said he shouldn't receive that amount of compensation and six percent were unsure.

UMR had asked survey respondents about the Bain case in 2002, 2004, 2006, 2007 and twice in June 2009.

After little change in respondents' opinions in 2002 and 2004, in 2006, the number who thought Bain was not guilty rose to 48 percent while the number who thought he was guilty dropped to 20 percent, with 32 percent unsure.

In May 2007, the same month Bain's 1995 murder conviction was quashed at the Privy Council, 66 percent of survey respondents thought he was not guilty, while 14 percent thought he was guilty and 20 percent were unsure.

The latest survey questioned 750 people and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.6 percent.


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