The Last Man Hanged (1992)

TV Movie   |    |  Crime, Drama

The Last Man Hanged (1992) Poster

Documentary about the hanging of Ronald Ryan in Australia in 1967.


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29 February 2012 | dlisson
| Who really fired the fatal shot?
To this day, there is still fiery debate on the Ronald Ryan capital case and hanging.

There was no scientific ballistic forensic evidence to prove guilt, dire ambiguities in the capital case, serious inconsistencies of all fourteen witnesses for the prosecution, mysterious missing pieces of vital evidence that could have cleared Ryan, testimony by another prison officer that he fired one single shot (heard by hundreds of witnesses - no person heard two shots fired) and the autopsy report/ballistic expert evidence that the one single fatal bullet was fired from a distance at an elevated position in a downward trajectory angle - impossible for Ryan to have fired at such an angle.

Ryan was convicted of murder based solely on unsigned unrecorded unproven allegations of verbals/confessions said to have been made by Ryan to police. Later, seven members of the jury went to the media claiming they would never have convicted Ryan had they known he would be executed. The seven jurors signed separate petitions urging authorities not to hang Ryan. But Ryan strongly denied ever making such verbals/confessions to anybody.

Despite the biggest public protests ever seen in the history of Australia and public petitions, including pleas from seven jurors not to execute Ryan, Victoria Premier Henry Bolte was determined Ryan would hang - this would boost his votes in the upcoming state elections. Ryan was hanged seven days before his unfunded final appeal (Bolte withdrew all public funds) to The Privy Council had made its decision on the execution. Ryan maintained his innocence to the end.


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