In 2008, 21 year-old Somali man Farah Jama stood trial in Victoria for the rape of a middle-aged white woman as she lay unconscious in a Doncaster nightclub. With only DNA evidence to connect him to a scene half a city - and an entire world - away from his home, Jama was convicted and sentenced to six years’ jail.
Nearly 18 months later, Jama’s conviction was overturned, thanks to a prosecutor’s tenacious pursuit of truth and justice and a defence barrister’s belief in his client. A shocking revelation - faulty DNA evidence - had freed Jama and exposed one of the worst miscarriages of justice in Australian legal history.
The MFU welcomes lawyer-turned-journalist, JULIE SZEGO, to a discussion with journalist-turned-lawyer, DEAN EDWARDS, about her book on the Jama trial, and the critical issues of race, prejudice, cultural taboos and the limits of our modern justice system.
What does Jama’s ordeal mean for how we understand the pitfalls of criminal procedure in Victoria? And what does it tell us more generally about society, racism, fear and migration in Australia?
This session also marks the MFU’s 5th birthday, so please do come along!