How does the Max Sstuart case reflect on South Australia'society in the early 1960s, and in particular on the justice system of the time?
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During the time of Max Stuart's case the Aboriginal population in Australia had no rights. The case was typical of how justice was carried out for these native people. The law overlooked witnesses that could have testified to Stuart's whereabouts at the time of the murder. When testimonies were attempted to be brought in during the appeals, the court staff reacted by saying they were tired of the case and refused important admissions.
Like the American justice system had been for blacks, the Aboriginal population continued to suffer the lack of acceptance and rights as a human being. The justice system was quick to convict an Aborigine on here-say and even forced signatures of guilt.
Max Stuart understood and spoke English poorly, but his confession statement was written in high English. It was signed with a simple mark because Stuart could not write or read. It is highly likely that he had no idea what he was signing.
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