TV3's 20/20 is the best of the week's current affairs programmes.
Louise Wallace is a superb presenter, achieving a pleasing balance of authority and style in a manner which readily captures viewer attention.
The first item was set in this country and examined
the case of Debbie Gillespie, the
Her willingness to appear on this programme was an acknowledgement of her concern for her fellow workers as well as a brave attempt to confront injustice.
Debbie Gillespie's arrest and the subsequent deposition hearings have been surrounded by an enormous media hype leading to tales of secret passages and underground torture chambers.
To her credit she did not attempt to answer any of these outrageous statements, but recalled in a simple, straightforward manner the circumstances of her arrest.
She was in bed when the police arrived and went through everything in her house. The detective in charge said, "I don't know how people like you can live with what you've done" and then expressed the hope that the media would be out in force to publicise the accused when they were charged on the following day.
From that moment it was trial by the media and as
the media and the public have got bored with one of the longest deposition
Debbie Gillespie's lawyer was highly critical of the evidence which was presented and of the manner in which the children were questioned.
This programme drew an alarming picture of the justice system in this country.
Are we going to see a return to the days of Oliver Cromwell and the people's courts which condemned innocent women to be hanged as witches? Many of these courts relied on the feeling that could be whipped up in the courtroom to achieve a conviction, a conviction which depended on folklore, superstition and mob reaction.
The women who have been charged in the
Life for Debbie Gillespie will never be the same. In fact, her life has been devastated and she is destined, as she herself has stated, to spend the rest of her life saying, "I am innocent".