Guilt and Innocence II

A poem inspired by a visit to the House of Commons organised by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Miscarriages of Justices. I wrote many rants like this in prison when I thought I was one of the few to have suffered a miscarriage of justice. I now realise that I am one of many and that the miscarriage which I suffered was minor compared to some that I have since heard about. Unfortunately, but understandably, most attention is given to those miscarriages linked to sexual or violent offences where an innocent person’s life is absolutely destroyed by years of imprisonment, abuse and suspicion. My aim is to get people to look at those miscarriages that have less general appeal because the “crimes” are seen as lesser or more complex. One miscarriage is one too many, of course, and what is needed is a cultural change whereby the search for truth becomes more important than the search for conviction. That is not the case today in the “justice” system.

Guilt and Innocence II

Show me a man who is innocent

And I’ll find something for which he is to blame

Show me a man who is guilty

And I’ll show you why he needs feel no shame

For there is no-one amongst us that cannot be accused

No-one that will have nothing to hide

No-one that has never been abused

And no-one that critics can totally deride


There are people for whom all is black and white

Who can only live with absolute clarity

Who will navigate through winds and waves

To identify a single disparity

In a statement made with the best of intent

That reveals the complexity of verity

Unaware of the preposterous extent

That an accuser will go to show insincerity


Show me the man that has the courage to say

That our prisons are not full of the criminal

Nor full of the absolute pure

And that certainty in justice is minimal

For we pretend a jury is always just

And that judges may make no error

And to maintain these myths society must

Defend an appalling reign of terror

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