An excellent article which goes to the heart of some of the problems we face in the UK “Justice” system.
Without any criticism of what is written, I would like to add firstly that the initial investigation was flawed because, as so often, there seems to have been little attempt to establish the truth, only to meet criteria for conviction. In other words, this man was charged not because the truth had been established, but because a combination of the police and the CPS decided there was a better than evens chance of gaining conviction. It is this culture of amorality, laziness and greed which must change!
Secondly, it is apparent that the jury was manipulated by the prosecution. We may word it however we want, but, again, the prosecution was seen as “successful” because they achieved the conviction of an innocent man. This adversarial system whereby there is no requirement for the prosecution to establish the truth and no accountability for their actions if they do not try, also needs to change. The prosecution gained approval from their peers because they “won a case” at the expense of the innocent. They should be reprimanded not applauded – and there is a strong argument that they should be required to refund some of their fees: not because they lost the case but because they did not make all reasonable attempts to establish the truth.
Thirdly, the idea that one has the opportunity to appeal one’s conviction is nonsense. This case is an exception that proves the rule. Once convicted and incarcerated it is almost impossible to make an appeal. Most lawyers would advise against making any appeal, not because of what they believe to be the truth, but because they know that they will not have the resources to pursue one successfully. Their client, once in prison, has no access to the tools he might need to make any case, and once ground down by the prison system has little energy left to fight.
The general public reading this article, and many of the legal profession, could be complacent and satisfied that, ‘overall’ our system works well but there are some cases that slip through the net. There is no evidence for this assumption. If we are concerned about justice then we should propose changes that will encourage the system to establish the truth first time before conclusions are jumped to, before lives are ruined and before taxpayers’ money is thrown out of the court room window.
We should not confuse law with justice, neither should we confuse justice with revenge.
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