What NZers Think of the Scott Guy Murder Trial
12 July 2012
What New Zealanders Think of the Scott Guy Murder Trial
Just 20% of New Zealanders believe Ewen Macdonald did not murder Scott Guy, according to a UMR Research poll released today.
UMR’s fortnightly Omnibus Survey shows 48% of people believe Ewen Macdonald is guilty, 20% say he is not guilty, and 28% said they were unsure. 4% of respondents refused to answer the question.
The results also show the blanket media coverage of the trial and its aftermath captured the attention of New Zealanders. 64% of those surveyed said that they followed the trial closely. Just 16% said they had not.
The survey also showed support for major changes to the justice system that would give juries more options in trials and remove a defendant’s right to silence.
75% of those surveyed said juries should be able return a verdict of “not proven” along with “not guilty” and “guilty”.
61% of people also want a defendant’s right to silence axed and for them to be forced to give evidence. 31% want the right to silence kept.
Among those who want defendants to lose the right to silence, 56% think Ewen Macdonald is guilty.
Despite concerns with jury trials, 46% of people want the jury system kept while 39% want juries replaced by a panel of judges.
Note: The UMR Research Nationwide Omnibus Survey was conducted 5-9 July. It has a nationally representative sample of 750 New Zealanders 18 years and over. The margin of error for a 50% figure at the ‘95% confidence level’ is +/- 3.6%.