Crime and Punishment ( Miscarriages of Justice and related matters)

Page 1 of 2 1, 2  Next

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Crime and Punishment ( Miscarriages of Justice and related matters)

Post  eddie on Tue Apr 19, 2011 5:06 pm



Anthology of the late Sir Ludovic Kennedy's writings on miscarriages of Justice. Most cases deal with errors in the UK judicial system since the end of WWII, with the exception of the execution of Richard Bruno Hauptmann in the US after he was framed by the police for the murder of the Lindbergh baby.


Last edited by eddie on Tue Jun 21, 2011 5:33 pm; edited 3 times in total

eddie
The Gap Minder

Posts : 7840
Join date : 2011-04-11
Age : 61
Location : Desert Island

Back to top Go down

Re: Crime and Punishment ( Miscarriages of Justice and related matters)

Post  eddie on Tue Apr 19, 2011 5:16 pm



Ludovic Kennedy's "Ten Rillington Place" recounts how necrophiliac strangler John Reginald Christie, resident at the eponymous address in Notting Hill, West London, framed his co-tenant Timothy Evans, an illiterate Welshman, for murder and sent him to the gallows.

The book was later fimed with Richard Attenborough as Christie and John Hurt as Evans.



Last edited by eddie on Tue Jun 21, 2011 5:54 pm; edited 3 times in total

eddie
The Gap Minder

Posts : 7840
Join date : 2011-04-11
Age : 61
Location : Desert Island

Back to top Go down

Re: Crime and Punishment ( Miscarriages of Justice and related matters)

Post  eddie on Tue Apr 19, 2011 5:23 pm



Ludovic Kennedy's book on the framing of Richard Bruno Hauptmann by the police for the kidnap and murder of the Lindbergh baby.


Last edited by eddie on Tue Jun 21, 2011 5:58 pm; edited 2 times in total

eddie
The Gap Minder

Posts : 7840
Join date : 2011-04-11
Age : 61
Location : Desert Island

Back to top Go down

Re: Crime and Punishment ( Miscarriages of Justice and related matters)

Post  eddie on Tue Apr 19, 2011 5:28 pm

Sir Ludovic Kennedy obituary

Writer and broadcaster who campaigned against many miscarriages of justice


David Steel guardian.co.uk, Monday 19 October 2009 19.15 BST


Sir Ludovic Kennedy campaigned against the death penalty. Photograph: Tony Harris/PA

The writer and broadcaster Ludovic Kennedy, who has died aged 89, was an establishment figure who was gloriously anti-establishment. He was born with, if not a silver spoon, then at least a silver-plated spoon in his mouth, being a scion on his father's side of the Kennedy earldom which used to own Culzean Castle in Scotland, and on his mother's side of a Scottish baronetcy. His great-grandfather was principal of Edinburgh University, with an elegant Adam house in the New Town where Ludo was born and which he loved as a boy. Robert Boothby – a Conservative MP and later a peer – was a cousin and friend, and he was a dancing partner of the Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret.

He was sent to Eton college, Berkshire, where he played in a jazz band with Humphrey Lyttelton, and one of his first escapades against authority was to take a small group of friends by plane to the French resort of Le Touquet and back before the six o'clock roll call. In the holidays he travelled to Edinburgh to stay with his grandparents. He never got on with his overbearing mother, Rosalind, but idealised his father Edward, who, as captain of the former passenger steamer Rawalpindi, had gone down with his ship and 263 men after the attack by the German battle cruiser Scharnhorst in November 1939. Ludo himself had just turned 20, and had enlisted as a midshipman. His widowed mother was awarded a lifetime grace-and-favour apartment at Hampton Court palace, south-west London.

His active war service in the navy, coupled with his father's record, left him with an abiding interest in naval history. He was on HMS Tartar, one of the ships that hunted the Bismarck in the Atlantic, and wrote four naval books, including Pursuit: The Chase and Sinking of the Bismarck (1974) and Menace: The Life and Death of the Tirpitz (1979), which was also the subject of the BBC documentary that he wrote in 1973. At the end of the war he served as assistant to the governor of Newfoundland (1943-44), after which he returned to Christ Church, Oxford, to read English under the considerable influence of David Cecil, and to edit the magazine Isis.

In 1950 he met and married the ballerina star of the film The Red Shoes, Moira Shearer, and accompanied her on a ballet tour of the US while beginning his career as a freelance journalist. On returning, his first attempts to break into broadcasting were limited to poetry readings. In 1953 he wrote a successful play, Murder Story, about the Craig-Bentley case: Derek Bentley, aged 18, was hanged for a murder committed in 1952 by his 16-year-old accomplice, Christopher Craig. This was followed in 1961 by his most successful book, 10 Rillington Place, about the erroneous hanging of Timothy Evans for the murder of his infant daughter, committed in 1949 by an older ex-policeman lodger, John Christie, at the same address. This led to a posthumous free pardon by the home secretary in 1966; in the film based on his book five years later, Evans was played by John Hurt and Christie, who acted as a prosecution witness, by Richard Attenborough.

It was Ludo's first and most celebrated campaign success. He was indefatigable. I can recall him introducing an emergency motion at a Liberal assembly with the opening words, "The fact that we are debating the fate of a long-deceased, illiterate Welsh van driver is proof, if proof were needed, that this is indeed a liberal assembly."

In 1956 came his first active involvement in politics. His father had been a Conservative agent and his cousin was a Tory MP. He himself was not much interested in party politics, but would have described himself as a small "L" liberal Tory. The fiasco of Suez finally ended what little allegiance he had in that direction. The election of Jo Grimond as the new Liberal leader persuaded him to adopt a capital "L". He became a great friend of Jo's.

His own face was becoming known on ITV, so when a byelection arose at Rochdale, north of Manchester, in 1958, and he expressed a willingness to stand, his selection was a shoo-in. His candidature was greeted with much press scoffing, but his six-week campaign was hard-working and effective. He came a creditable second with the biggest Liberal byelection vote since 1935. It was a sensation, and led two months later to Mark Bonham Carter's narrow win at the byelection in Torrington, Devon. It was the start of the long road back for the near extinct Liberal party, which in the previous two elections had scored less than 3% of the vote and was down to five MPs, of which two were in local pacts. In the 1959 election, Ludo came within 3,000 votes of winning the seat, but that was his last foray as a candidate.

Many years later, after I had got to know him as a constituent in the old manse of Makerstoun in the Borders, he told me that he had at various times been half-promised a peerage by both my predecessors as Liberal leader, Grimond and Jeremy Thorpe. I put a proposition to him that he should fight a clearly winnable seat in Scotland, which was then seeking a candidate. I was convinced he would win it, but that if he did not succeed, I would put him on top of my list for the next nomination to the Lords. After a little thought, he turned me down, partly on the grounds of advancing years, and partly because he had just left Scotland to live in the south. He was offered a knighthood in 1994.

His broadcasting career began seriously as a newsreader with Robin Day when ITN started in 1955. From there he went on to work on both ITV and the BBC, on such programmes as This Week (1958-59), Panorama (1960-63), 24 Hours (1969-72), Tonight (1976-78) and Did You See? (1980-88). He pursued his campaigns against capital punishment, against miscarriages of justice to Stephen Ward, Paddy Meehan and others, for Scottish home rule, and for legalising euthanasia, with zest and passion. His television interviews with Harold Macmillan, Enoch Powell, Lord Mountbatten and John F Kennedy remain memorable classics. He enjoyed travelling and writing up to his later years and especially appreciated being given a writer-in-residence post at Edinburgh University. His later works included an idiosyncratic book on Scotland called In Bed With an Elephant.

Much more successful was his engaging autobiography published in 1990, On My Way to the Club. It contained numerous examples of his self-deprecating humour. One favourite of mine was his account of canvassing in Rochdale. On being invited by an elderly lady to "tell me all about it", he enthused about abolition of schedule tax, site value rating and other topics of Liberal policy. When he paused for breath after 10 minutes or so she looked at him and said: "You are the new vicar, aren't you?"

In the event, he came to pursue a principled life without the support of faith, as detailed in All in the Mind: A Farewell to God. His final campaign was in support of voluntary euthanasia, on which platform he stood in the 2001 election.

Ludo added much to the stock of public life, education and gaiety, and leaves an army of friends. He was immensely proud of Moira, who died in 2006, and their four children, Ailsa, Rachel, Fiona, and Alistair, who survive him.


Duncan Campbell writes:

It is hard to overestimate the part that Ludovic Kennedy played in alerting the British public to the fact that innocent people could easily be convicted of – and even hanged for – crimes they had not committed. His book 10 Rillington Place exposed the many discrepancies in the case against Timothy Evans. Kennedy suggested that the real murderer was John Christie, exposed as a serial killer and himself hanged in 1953.

Significantly, the case helped to convince many doubters that capital punishment should not play a part in a civilised society. Kennedy himself was a passionate opponent of the death penalty and the Evans case gave him fresh ammunition in the campaign that succeeded in abolishing it in 1965. Kennedy lent his name to many other campaigns, as he recalled in his book, 36 Murders and 2 Immoral Earnings (2003), in which he also examined the cases of the wrongly convicted Birmingham Six and Derek Bentley, who, like Evans, was hanged.

Kennedy was always supportive of other, younger journalists working in the miscarriages of justice field and he frequently challenged the establishment notion that reopening such cases undermined faith in the judicial system. Nearly 20 years ago, he called for the setting up of a body to re-examine such cases and welcomed the eventual birth of the Criminal Cases Review Commission.

The theme of much of his work, as he put it in 36 Murders, was "police corruption and judicial complacency". One way to combat this, he believed, was to end the adversarial system in the courts, which he saw as "an invitation to the police to commit perjury" and to replace it with an "infinitely preferable" European inquisitorial system.


• Ludovic Henry Coverley Kennedy, writer and broadcaster, born 3 November 1919; died 18 October 2009

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2011


Last edited by eddie on Tue Jun 21, 2011 6:10 pm; edited 3 times in total

eddie
The Gap Minder

Posts : 7840
Join date : 2011-04-11
Age : 61
Location : Desert Island

Back to top Go down

Re: Crime and Punishment ( Miscarriages of Justice and related matters)

Post  eddie on Tue Apr 19, 2011 5:32 pm



Proved Innocent, the autobiography of Gerry Conlon, was later filmed as "In the Name of the Father".

Conlon was one of four people wrongly convicted and imprisoned for IRA pub bombings at Guildford and Woolwich.


Last edited by eddie on Tue Jun 21, 2011 6:25 pm; edited 3 times in total

eddie
The Gap Minder

Posts : 7840
Join date : 2011-04-11
Age : 61
Location : Desert Island

Back to top Go down

Re: Crime and Punishment ( Miscarriages of Justice and related matters)

Post  eddie on Tue Apr 19, 2011 5:36 pm

Another infamous bombing case:



Error Of Judgement by Chris Mullin MP

"The Truth About the Birmingham Bombings"

At just after 4 p.m., on Thursday, March 14, 1991, the British legal system disgorged its most celebrated victims. The six innocent men convicted of the Birmingham pub bombings emerged from the front entrance of the Central Criminal Court. The Old Bailey was lined with cheering well-wishers. Bewigged lawyers and court officials peered down, poker-faced, from the windows of the court. A vast assembly of photographers and television crews from around the world were penned behind metal crush-barriers, standing three high on chairs and ladders. They had come to bear witness to the humbling of one of the world's most arrogant legal systems.

Even as the crowds outside the Old Bailey were still celebrating, the Home Secretary, Kenneth Baker, was on his feet in the House of Commons. "All of us," he said, "must be disturbed by what has occurred." Mr. Baker announced that he was setting up a Royal Commission to review all stages of the criminal process. The review would examine the role of the police, prosecution, forensic scientists, the conduct of criminal trials, the functions of the Court of Appeal and of the Home Office itself. "The aim," he said, "will be to minimise so far as possible the likelihood of such events happening again."

The release of the Birmingham Six was a watershed for British justice. In the months that followed there was a string of further releases. At the time of writing, twenty-seven other people have either had convictions quashed or charges against them dropped after evidence from West Midlands detectives was discredited.

A number of other terrorist convictions also collapsed. In July, 1991, Mrs. Annie Maguire, five members of her family and a friend who had been convicted of making bombs had their convictions quashed. In June, 1992, the Appeal Court quashed the conviction of Judith Ward, then in the nineteenth year of a thirty-year sentence for the M62 coach bombing. The judgement was a damning indictment of the police officers, forensic scientists and Crown layers responsible for the conviction. Judith Ward's release brought to eighteen the number of innocent people wrongly convicted of terrorist offences committed in 1974. Of these, ten would certainly have been hanged had the death penalty still been in force. So, too, would at least one of the three people wrongly convicted of the murder of PC Blakelock during a riot on the Broadwater Farm Estate in north London. Their convictions were quashed in November, 1991, amid a great deal of official wailing and gnashing of teeth. The case made legal history. For the first time anyone could recall, a British judge apologised.

The air of humility which descended upon official pronouncements did not last long. Gradually it became apparent that the mighty vested interests at the heart of the British criminal justice system were making good use of the two-year respite bought by the Royal Commission. Evidence submitted by the Police Federation, the Home Office and the Attorney General was breath-taking in its complacency. The casual reader could be forgiven for thinking that the Commission had been set up as a result of public concern about the number of persons guilty of serious offences who have walked free. Gradually it became apparent that there were those who saw the Commission as an opportunity to diminish rather than strengthen the safeguards against wrongful conviction. The reform about which the police and the Home Office appeared to be most enthusiastic was the removal of a suspects right to remain silent in police custody. There was also anxiety that the obligation on the Crown to disclose to the defence all relevant information regarding the case against defendants was too onerous and should be reduced. Nowhere in the police evidence was there any recognition of the fact that the failure of the police and the Crown to disclose evidence was a central feature of the Birmingham, Guildford and Judith Ward cases.

By the time the Royal Commission reported in July, 1993, the agenda had been re-written beyond recognition. Understandable public concern over the inability of our criminal justice system to cope with the tidal wave of yobbery unleashed by the Thatcher decade had been skilfully mobilised to smother concern over miscarriages of justice. No one but a few alleged do-gooders, any longer cared whether innocent people languished in jail. What mattered was that the guilty were going unpunished. What was needed was not more safeguards, but fewer. At the same time the vast edifice of lies which appeared to have been demolished with the dramatic release of the Guildford and Birmingham defendants was being carefully reconstructed.

A whispering campaign started from the moment the first convictions were quashed. It could be heard wherever two or three lawyers or police officers were gathered. The Birmingham Six, the Guildford Four, Mrs. Maguire and her family are all guilty, it said. They were released on a technicality. Okay, maybe the forensic scientists souped up the evidence a little. Maybe the police cut a few corners, but everyone is guilty so there is nothing to worry about, nothing for which to apologise. It is a tribute to our capacity for self-delusion that there is scarcely a policeman or a judge in the country who does not believe this falsehood.

As the months passed the servants of the lie have grown in confidence. By April, 1993, with the start of the much-delayed trial of three former Surrey police officers charged with fabricating the confession of Patrick Armstrong (one of the Guildford Four), the lie was being spoken aloud. Indeed it formed the basis of the defence case. Like most policemen charged with perverting the course of justice, the three officers claimed their right to silence. Meanwhile their counsel, under cover of privilege, concentrated on attempting to re-convict the four persons whose convictions had been quashed, even though they were not on trial and not represented in court. The prosecution was fatally hobbled by the unwillingness of Crown counsel to argue that the confession was false. All he was willing to allege was that the notes were not contemporaneous. Unsurprisingly the jury acquitted. At Blackpool 2,000 delegates of the Police Federation, meeting for their annual conference, received the news with a standing ovation. An editorial in the Daily Telegraph caught the new mood.

"Until now the received view of the Guildford Four … is that they were all innocent victims of a scandalous miscarriage of justice who spent many years in jail for crimes they did not commit. The acquittal of the three ex-policemen, and some of the new evidence heard in the course of their Old Bailey trial, suggests that there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that two of the Guildford Four, Mr. Patrick Armstrong and Mr. Gerry Conlon, might have been guilty after all. This raises the disturbing possibility that the real miscarriage of justice in their case occurred when they walked free."

There was, of course, no new evidence. The Guildford Four were convicted on the basis of confessions in police custody and nothing of any significance has since emerged.

Given the fiasco the Surrey officers' trial, it was never very likely that the outcome of the Birmingham officers' trial would be any different. No student of this extraordinary affair was surprised when, on October 7, 1993, Mr. Justice Garland ordered that charges of perverting the course of justice against three of the West Midlands detectives involved in the pub bombings case should be dropped on the grounds that publicity surrounding the case precluded the possibility of a fair trial.

The judge's decision means that no one will be held responsible for the huge quantity of fraud and perjury that led to the conviction of innocent people for the Birmingham pub bombings. Or for the millions of pounds of public money squandered in a fruitless attempt to sustain the convictions. Or for the fact that the four persons responsible for the bombings got away.

At the time of writing, not a single person has been convicted for their part in any of the proven miscarriages of justice in the last five years and it is unlikely that anyone ever will. Some progress, however, has been made. A review body is being set up, on the recommendation of the Royal Commission, which will remove from the Home Office responsibility for deciding which cases should be referred to the appeal court. It remains to be seen how this will work. The omens are not auspicious. The Chairman is to be Sir Frederick Crawford, a senior freemason.

As a result of the 1984 Police and Criminal Evidence Act just about all interviews in police custody are now tape recorded. Detailed custody records must be maintained. It is extremely unlikely that suspects could ever again be mistreated in the same way as the Birmingham six. It is equally unlikely that any court today would accept confessions extracted in such circumstances. Unlikely, but not impossible. As the West Midlands police have demonstrated in the remarkable case involving three men charged with murdering PC Anthony Salt in 1989, it is possible to fabricate a recorded confession.

It is unlikely, too, that crucial evidence could be withheld from the defence in the way that it was in the Birmingham, Guildford and Judith Ward cases. Here, too, it is impossible to be certain, however. The Criminal Procedure and Investigations Bill, which is before Parliament at the time of writing, sets limits on what should be disclosed. It is a sign that the brief era of unprecedented openness which followed the Judith Ward judgement may be drawing to a close.

The litmus test, of course, will be the way that alleged miscarriages of justice are handled in future. Here the omens are not auspicious. There are signs that the doors are closing again. The three men convicted of the murder of newspaper boy Carl Bridgewater case are widely believed to be innocent. So far there have been eight police inquiries and still amateurs are turning up evidence that the authorities have overlooked. The foreman of the jury has even stated publicly that he believes the men are innocent. It is only a matter of time before the case collapses. Yet in the Home Office there appears to be a steely determination to resist to the bitter end. All the usual people are behaving in the usual manner. It is as though nothing has been learned from the disasters of the past. Perhaps the criminal cases review authority will be different. We shall see.

I hope Error of Judgement will continue to be read by all those who care about justice. I am glad to learn that it has already found its way onto the reading lists of some students of criminal law, but it ought to be of far wider interest. At one level it is the story of a nightmare that overtook six unfortunate men and their families. At another it is, too, a story of hope, an account of how it is possible, even in the face of great odds, for a just cause to triumph.

Chris Mullin MP


Last edited by eddie on Tue Jun 21, 2011 6:24 pm; edited 2 times in total

eddie
The Gap Minder

Posts : 7840
Join date : 2011-04-11
Age : 61
Location : Desert Island

Back to top Go down

Re: Crime and Punishment ( Miscarriages of Justice and related matters)

Post  eddie on Wed Apr 20, 2011 6:27 am

Another infamous miscarriage of Justice was the case of the Bridgewater Four who served many years in prison for a horrible crime they knew nothing about. Paul Foot wrote this book about the case:



Issue 169 of SOCIALIST REVIEW Published November 1993 Copyright © Socialist Review

REVIEWS
BOOKS
Blind injustice
Murder at the Farm
Paul Foot
Penguin £5.99 (£4.75 in Bookmarks club)

Anyone tempted to believe that Michael Howard's aim to 'make it easier for the courts to convict the guilty' has anything to do with dispensing justice should take a look at the Carl Bridgewater case.

Four men were convicted of the murder of newspaper boy Carl Bridgewater on the flimsiest of evidence and surrounded by a hail of publicity in 1979. Three of the men--Jimmy Robinson, Vincent Hickey and Michael Hickey--are still languishing in prison for a crime they did not commit. The fourth, Pat Molloy, died within two years of his conviction.

The men have protested their innocence relentlessly through 14 years of captivity. Before he died Pat Molloy worked furiously to establish his confession was false. Michael Hickey spent 89 gruelling days on the roof at Gartree prison, supported by fellow prisoners, in 1983-4. This year Jimmy Robinson demonstrated on the prison rooftop for 81 days.

Anyone who has followed the case is convinced of the men's innocence. But the government--panicked by the embarassing deluge of high profiled miscarriages of justice from the Guildford Four to the Taylor sisters--has refused to budge. Kenneth Clarke, then Home Secretary, refused to allow the case to the appeal courts last February.

This revised edition of Murder at the Farm is a timely exposure of the routine corruption at the heart of what passes for justice in Britain today.

Paul Foot tears apart the prosecution's case piece by piece. There was no forensic evidence that could link the men to Yew Tree Farm, the scene of the crime. None of the prosecution witnesses agreed on the make, size or colour of the vehicles they sighted near the farm. All the evidence presented at court was circumstantial, unproven and based on the testimonies of uncredible witnesses and their contradictory statements. Evidence which could have provided definite alibis for the men was deliberately kept from the defence.

The most damning part of the police case at the trial was provided by the forced confession of Pat Molloy--vigorously denied after the trial--in which he implicated the other three and which turned the jury in favour of the police story.

Paul Foot leaves no piece of evidence, no possible interpretation of events uncovered. His book makes absorbing reading, including an account of the murder at the farm next door to the scene of Carl's killing where Hubert Spencer--a suspect the police dismissed in the Bridgewater case--shot dead farmer Hubert Wilkes. Foot provides compelling evidence of Spencer's involvement in the affair and it is now widely believed that Spencer was Carl's killer.

In 1987 the case finally reached the appeal courts. New witnesses gave Robinson and Pat Molloy an alibi for the time of the murder; several witnesses admitted they lied in the original trial under police pressure; Hubert Spencer's original police statement linking him with Yew Tree Farm and the Bridgewater killing all came to light. The prosecution was left without a case. And yet the three judges ruled against all the men, including Michael Hickey who could not be proved to be connected in any single way to events at Yew Tree Farm except that he knew Vincent Hickey--introducing what Foot describes as 'an interesting new rule of evidence in British law: that a man is guilty if his cousin is.' Foot fumes against the 'mendacity' with which the appeal court judges dismissed all the new evidence:

'These judges had pretended to reach their decision through objective assessment of the evidence and rational argument. What they had done seemed to me a shocking mockery of rational or intellectual process. No lurking doubt when at least two key witnesses for the prosecution had gone back on their evidence, when the garage alibi had been resurrected, when almost every jot of new evidence produced to the court argued that the men in the dock had never been to Yew Tree Farm? No lurking doubt? If there was no lurking doubt, then words had lost their meaning.'

Murder at the Farm is investigative reporting at its best. It is also a tribute to the resilience and determination of Ann Whelan, mother of Michael Hickey and the driving force of the campaign to free the men, who fought on despite the bitter blow inflicted by the failed appeal. A catalogue of new evidence has since been uncovered.

Language experts--including Dr Eric Shepherd, a Home Office forensic psychologist--have publicly stated that Pat Molloy's damaging 'confession' could not have been written or dictated by Molloy himself. The television dramatisation of the case, Bad Company, brought forward a new wave of support for the men, including a statement from the foreman of the jury at the original trial renouncing his guilty verdict. In June, Private Eye published even more damning evidence in a statement by Mike Chamberlain about his friend DC John Perkins, whom he claimed boasted that he had beaten the confession out of Pat Molloy.

The system which has cynically condemned these men despite all the evidence was summed up by Jimmy Robinson immediately after the original trial: 'You see what's sickened me is that the thing you and I and thousands of others have always believed to be the best in the world and above corruption--British Justice--is just a sham. It only applies if the "establishment" isn't threatened. The two laws apply every time, the haves and the have nots.'

That system has never been held in such wide contempt. A new application for appeal is already with Michael Howard. Which way he will jump will depend on the pressure we can mount against his attempts to claw back the ground for his class. That task will be aided by the republication of this book.

Hazel Croft



Last edited by eddie on Tue Jun 21, 2011 6:32 pm; edited 2 times in total

eddie
The Gap Minder

Posts : 7840
Join date : 2011-04-11
Age : 61
Location : Desert Island

Back to top Go down

Re: Crime and Punishment ( Miscarriages of Justice and related matters)

Post  eddie on Wed Apr 20, 2011 6:42 am

Many consider that there are still questions to be answered about the apparent suicide of UK weapons inspector Dr David Kelly in the run-up to the second Iraq war. Lib-Dem MP Norman Baker wrote this book about the case:



Here's a sceptical review from The Guardian:

Alone in the woods

Richard Norton-Taylor is unconvinced by the conspiracy theories in The Strange Death of David Kelly by Norman Baker

The Guardian, Saturday 1 December 2007

The Strange Death of David Kelly
by Norman Baker
399pp, Methuen, £9.99

Norman Baker, Liberal Democrat MP for Lewes, is one of parliament's most persistent harassers of ministers and officials. Over the past year he has diverted his energy to the many theories, encouraged by some disturbing and unanswered questions, surrounding the death of David Kelly, the government's highly respected weapons expert whose body was found in a wood near his Oxfordshire home on July 18 2003. An unintentional whistleblower, his remarks to the BBC reporter Andrew Gilligan, about how the Blair government had exaggerated the threat posed by Saddam's weapons programme, provoked an intense and ugly row between Downing Street and the BBC, leading ultimately to Kelly's death.

With terrier-like persistence Baker searches and turns over all the conspiracy theories, which began to hatch even before Lord Hutton's inquiry ended. The inquiry into the circumstances surrounding Kelly's death, which also became a quasi-inquest, shed a bright light on the way Downing Street, with the help of intelligence chiefs who should have known better, conspired to draw up the disgraceful Iraqi weapons dossier. Hutton, as we all know, cleared the government and criticised the BBC. He also concluded that Kelly had indeed committed suicide, but skirted over some of the questions about what exactly caused his death.

When his body was found, his left wrist was cut open and an empty pack of coproxamol painkilling tablets was in his jacket pocket. Baker makes much of apparently conflicting evidence about Kelly's last movements, when precisely he died and when his body was discovered. It is extremely rare, he writes, for a death to follow injury to the ulnar artery. He examines the motives of all those he says had a possible interest in getting rid of Kelly, including US and British agents. In the end, Baker seems to come down in favour of an Iraqi exile group on the grounds that more revelations from Kelly would have further dented its credibility.

This reviewer believes that Kelly was the victim of the escalating fight between Alastair Campbell's Downing Street and the BBC, with the Ministry of Defence - Kelly's employers - outing him, then continuing to hound him on the government's behalf. Baker points to an incident during Kelly's appearance before the Commons foreign affairs committee shortly before he died. Kelly was unsettled, the author agrees, by a detailed question from the Liberal Democrat MP David Chidgey, about a conversation the weapons expert had with the Newsnight science editor, Susan Watts. Kelly evaded the question, thus misleading the committee.

Kelly "would be exposed as less than truthful, something that went strongly against his personal ethic", writes Baker. "He thus took a sudden decision to end it all." This, according to him, is the "most plausible" explanation for Kelly's suicide. Surprisingly, what he does not say is that Kelly was asked about Watts after Chidgey had been briefed by Gilligan. The question, which Kelly was to remark later had "totally thrown him", contained material that Gilligan had supplied in an email to Chidgey. The Hutton inquiry was told that such email priming by Gilligan of Chidgey was unprecedented and "highly inappropriate". Baker passes over this.

There is no evidence supporting the many theories that Kelly was murdered and plenty of evidence supporting the conclusion that he was driven to suicide. Baker may have done a service by reminding us of one of the nastiest episodes arising from the invasion of Iraq. Perhaps he should now concentrate his energy on current iniquities.

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2011


Last edited by eddie on Tue Jun 21, 2011 6:43 pm; edited 1 time in total

eddie
The Gap Minder

Posts : 7840
Join date : 2011-04-11
Age : 61
Location : Desert Island

Back to top Go down

Re: Crime and Punishment ( Miscarriages of Justice and related matters)

Post  eddie on Thu Apr 21, 2011 10:26 pm

Iphigenia in Forest Hills: Anatomy of a Murder Trial by Janet Malcolm – review

Janet Malcolm's pitiless examination of a murder trial creates a nagging sense of unease

Rachel Cooke The Observer, Sunday 17 April 2011


Uzbek immigrants play dominoes in Queens, New York, in the playground where Daniel Malakov was murdered. Photograph: AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews

There are only two writers whose work I can say I have read in its entirety. The first is Jane Austen. The second is Janet Malcolm, who is a staff writer at the New Yorker, and whose subjects have included, over the years, psychoanalysis ("the impossible profession"), Sylvia Plath, Anton Chekhov and Gertrude Stein. Malcolm's masterpiece, though, is The Journalist and the Murderer, a brilliant and pitiless examination of journalistic ethics built around the lawsuit filed by Jeffrey MacDonald, a convicted killer, against Joe McGinniss, author of a book about his crimes. "Every journalist who is not too stupid or too full of himself to notice what is going on knows that what he does is morally indefensible," wrote Malcolm in an opening sentence that caused a sensation in the tiny, self-referential world of posh American journalism. Yet a full two decades on, she is still at it. The truth might be elusive. It might even – like psychoanalysis – be "impossible". But this doesn't make the idea of pursuing it any easier to resist; some of us are just born beady. As she puts it with characteristic understatement in a rare interview in the latest Paris Review: "Journalism, with its mandate to notice small things, was always congenial to me."


Iphigenia in Forest Hills: Anatomy of a Murder Trial by Janet Malcolm

Malcolm's new book, Iphigenia in Forest Hills, tells the story of the 2009 joint murder trial of Mazoltuv Borukhova, a 34-year-old doctor, and Mikhail Mallayev, her 50-year-old cousin by marriage whom she hired to shoot her estranged husband, Daniel Malakov, in 2007. (The trial took place in Queens, where Malcolm followed its every twist for the New Yorker.) Trials, of course, are about finality: the truth is established, a gavel is banged, everyone goes home happy. But Malcolm is not so easily pleased. It's not particularly that she doubts the guilt of those in the dock. It's more that, in this courtroom, motives are so confusingly muddy. Even the judge, Robert Hanophy, behaves badly, making his bias in favour of the prosecution too clear, it is suggested, because he has a Caribbean holiday booked, and is determined to make his flight (as the trial draws to a close, Hanophy forces Borukhova's lawyer to prepare his summation overnight; the prosecutor has the whole weekend to wrestle with his).

From her reporter's seat, Malcolm observes that a trial is merely "a contest between competing narratives". The most consistent story wins, not the truth: "In life, no story is told exactly the same way twice. As the damp clay of actuality passes from hand to hand, it assumes different artful shapes. We expect it to. Only in trials is making it pretty equated with making it up." On a landing at the Queens supreme courthouse, she notices a wondrous mosaic: a complex allegory over which hovers a tipped scale of justice. Staring at it, she sees that the pan that is low on the ground is empty, while the pan that is high in the air holds a book. "Is this a comment on the weightlessness of the law? Or is it just [the artist] exercising his gravity-defying artist's imagination...?" It's in this manner, eyebrows only slightly raised, that she sets about sowing her insistent little seeds of doubt.

Malcolm has written a fascinating story, if not exactly a gripping one; indeed, she eschews dramatic tension at every turn, even when the verdict is returned (which makes me think that it was on the encouragement of Malcolm that her publisher produced such a frustratingly ascetic book; not a single photograph of the beautiful and baffling Borukhova is included). Malakov was gunned down in broad daylight in a children's playground where he stood with his four year-old-daughter, Michelle, but the bloody logistics of this interest Malcolm far less than the backstory to the case, not to mention the many smaller questions that are raised by the trial, only to hang over it, unsolved (for instance: Borukohova secretly taped even the most anodyne conversations with Mallayev, and never explained why).

The backstory has mostly to do with "otherness". Borukhova is a Bukharan Jew from Uzbekistan, and thus is a member of a particularly inward-looking sect, one viewed with suspicion even by other Jewish immigrants. Seemingly pious, she grows thinner and thinner during the trial (the correct kosher meals are not, she insists, available in prison).

Malcolm, unlike just about everyone else involved in the case, has a measure of sympathy for her. But she recognises, too, her contrary nature, her stubbornness, her unreadability (which a jury will take to be coldness). It's also her contention – or her instinct – that the die was cast when Borukhova and Malokov separated and began a custody fight for Michelle. The child's court-appointed guardian, David Schnall, took a dislike to Borukhova, with the result that she lost this battle, even though she had accused her husband of molesting Michelle. (The prosecution disbelieved these accusations, and argued that her motive for the murder was simply to get Michelle back). This startling ruling leads Malcolm uncertainly into the relatively new field of children's rights. Her tentative conclusion? The concept is a smokescreen, "a mantra invoked by adults to help them in their own fights with other adults".

Michelle, then, is the Iphigenia of the title (in the Greek myth, Iphigenia was sacrificed by her father, Agamemnon, so that his fleet might sail to the Trojan war; she is avenged by her mother, Clytemnestra, who stabs and kills her husband on his return). In the book's most unnerving scene, Malcolm passes Michelle in the street. She is with a group of her paternal relatives. Her face is "distorted by mirthless laughter".

What does all this add up to? Something of a curiosity, I think. This is not Malcolm's best book. Her story is in essence parochial, and its preoccupations are with the quotidian aspects of justice as much as the human. She has chosen to write about the trial of someone who is guilty, not to investigate some terrible miscarriage of justice (though Borukhova, represented by the celebrity lawyer Alan Dershowitz, is currently appealing against her sentence). Nevertheless, it does its work. The unease grows, like a shadow, with the result that her essay's after-effect is entirely disproportionate to its brevity. The disquiet stays with you. It's there in the pit of your stomach.

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2011

eddie
The Gap Minder

Posts : 7840
Join date : 2011-04-11
Age : 61
Location : Desert Island

Back to top Go down

Re: Crime and Punishment ( Miscarriages of Justice and related matters)

Post  eddie on Sat Jun 11, 2011 7:50 pm

^

A couple of posts from "The Inquisitorial vs Adversarial systems of Justice" thread above. I've omitted all the workplace Health & Safety dispute material because it's now old hat:

**********************************************************************

Eddie wrote:

I've been re-reading the late and much-lamented Ludovic Kennedy's anthology of miscarriages of Justice "Thirty-Six Murders and Two Immoral Earnings", in which he reviews some of the Western world's most outrageous mis-trials in recent decades (Timothy Evans, Richard Bruno Hauptmann, The Birmingham Six etc. etc.).

Kennedy spent a good part of an exemplary life trying to remedy some of these judicial errors, many of which were due to:

1. Corrupt policing.
2. The inability of authority to admit that mistakes have been made.

In the last chapter of his book he asks why they keep happening, and comes to the conclusion that the fault lies with the adversarial sysyem of Justice which Britain exported to the world in the days of Empire. Such a system might make for good Theatre, but it makes for lousy Justice.

He proposes as an alternative the French system of appointing a Juge d'Instruction whose task it is to examine all aspects of a particular case. Such a system, Kennedy opines, eliminates juvenile courtroom theatrics and point-scoring, as well as obscurantist points of precedent and procedure; it's only function is to arrive at the Truth.

Is he right?


One of my heroes: Sir Ludovic Kennedy.



Last edited by eddie on Sat Jun 11, 2011 7:55 pm; edited 1 time in total

eddie
The Gap Minder

Posts : 7840
Join date : 2011-04-11
Age : 61
Location : Desert Island

Back to top Go down

Re: Crime and Punishment ( Miscarriages of Justice and related matters)

Post  eddie on Sat Jun 11, 2011 7:52 pm

Eddie wrote:

(B)roadening this discussion out...should the UK adopt the European Inquisitorial Judicial system?

In the course of researching the last chapter of "Thirty-Six Murders..." Ludovic Kennedy wrote to members of the judiciary in those continental counties who practise this system, inquiring about the frequency of miscarriages of Justice.

The replies were friendly, helpful, but bemused. What did he mean? Miscarriages of Justice were so rare in these countries as to be virtually unknown.


Last edited by eddie on Sat Jun 11, 2011 7:55 pm; edited 1 time in total

eddie
The Gap Minder

Posts : 7840
Join date : 2011-04-11
Age : 61
Location : Desert Island

Back to top Go down

Re: Crime and Punishment ( Miscarriages of Justice and related matters)

Post  eddie on Sat Jun 11, 2011 7:54 pm

John McLaughlin wrote:

See "inability of authorities to admit error."

eddie
The Gap Minder

Posts : 7840
Join date : 2011-04-11
Age : 61
Location : Desert Island

Back to top Go down

Re: Crime and Punishment ( Miscarriages of Justice and related matters)

Post  eddie on Sat Jun 11, 2011 7:56 pm

Eddie wrote:

John McLaughlin wrote:
See "inability of authorities to admit error."


The Birmingham Six spent something like 16 years in prison before they were pardoned. Timothy Evans had to wait till he was dead. Richard Bruno Hauptmann is still waiting.

eddie
The Gap Minder

Posts : 7840
Join date : 2011-04-11
Age : 61
Location : Desert Island

Back to top Go down

Re: Crime and Punishment ( Miscarriages of Justice and related matters)

Post  eddie on Sat Jun 11, 2011 8:02 pm

^

"Yorkshire Ripper Appeal" thread replicated below in the event of further link expiries:

******************************************************************

Ripper to wait for appeal decision
30 November 2010


Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe will have to wait to see if he is successful in challenging his whole life prison term

Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe faces a wait to see if he has successfully appealed against a ruling that he must never be released.

Three judges in the Court of Appeal reserved their decision after hearing legal argument in a plea by Sutcliffe, now 64, for his "whole life" tariff to be overturned.

His counsel, Edward Fitzgerald QC, argued that his "mental disorder" justified the imposition of a minimum term - the least a prisoner must serve before becoming eligible to apply for parole - of a "finite" number of years instead.

Mr Fitzgerald said: "We accept that the applicant was convicted of the brutal murder of 13 women and the attempted murder of seven others and, on the face of it, we accept that the number and the nature of the murders is such that would call for a whole life tariff.

"The sole submission in this case is that the disorder suffered, and still suffered by the applicant, is a sufficient mitigating circumstance to justify a long, finite term of years instead of a whole life tariff."

Sutcliffe, now known as Peter Coonan, is challenging a ruling by Mr Justice Mitting on July 16.

The former lorry driver, from Bradford, West Yorkshire, was convicted at the Old Bailey in 1981 and received 20 life terms for the murder of 13 women and the attempted murder of others in Yorkshire and Greater Manchester. He is being held in Broadmoor top-security psychiatric hospital after being transferred from prison in 1984 suffering from paranoid schizophrenia.

Peter Wright QC, opposing the appeal on behalf of the Crown, submitted that there was "no mitigation capable of displacing the starting point of whole life" for what he described as a "terrible catalogue of crimes".

But Mr Fitzgerald invited the judges to find that there was "at least a reasonable possibility that he suffered from mental disorder and that it did diminish his responsibility".

Reserving judgment, the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge, sitting in London with Mr Justice Calvert-Smith and Mr Justice Griffith Williams, said there was "a great deal of material for us to work our way through" and the court would give its decision in writing "in due course". No date was given for the announcement.



eddie
The Gap Minder

Posts : 7840
Join date : 2011-04-11
Age : 61
Location : Desert Island

Back to top Go down

Re: Crime and Punishment ( Miscarriages of Justice and related matters)

Post  eddie on Sat Jun 11, 2011 8:07 pm

Eddie wrote:

I've never been clear about the legal status of Sutcliffe's alleged insanity.

At the start of his original trial, both Prosecution and Defence were prepared to accept a plea of Insanity but were over-ruled by the judge who insisted that a jury should decide the "Mad or Bad?" issue after hearing all the evidence.

The suggestion was that Sutcliffe knew how to fake the symptoms of schizophrenia because his wife Sonia had suffered from the illness some years previously. In addition, prison warders had overheard him telling his wife whilst on remand waiting trial that he intended to fake insanity in order to get a light sentence in a mental hospital.

In effect, it was the psychiatrists asserting Sutcliffe's mental disorder who were on trial. The jury didn't believe them and found Sutcliffe guilty (i.e. bad, not mad) and he was sent to prison where in due course he was assaulted by fellow inmates.

Then, mysteriously, a couple of years later he was sent to Broadmoor (a secure mental hospital for dangerous patients), said to be suffering from paranoid schizophrenia- but for years he refused all medication.

The suspicion must be that the move from prison to mental hospital was necessary simply because the Home Office couldn't fulfill its legal obligation to guarentee his safety in a conventional prison.


eddie
The Gap Minder

Posts : 7840
Join date : 2011-04-11
Age : 61
Location : Desert Island

Back to top Go down

Re: Crime and Punishment ( Miscarriages of Justice and related matters)

Post  eddie on Sat Jun 11, 2011 8:08 pm

Eddie wrote:

At his trial, Sutcliffe asserted that he had killed his victims because he was on a divine mission from God.

The psychiatrists called to give evidence agreed with the Prosecution's suggestion that if it could be proved that the crimes had a sexual motive the "Mission from God" was baloney and Sutcliffe knew exactly what he was doing- i.e. he was sane, responsible for his actions.

The jury found him guilty (and sane) without even hearing a crucial piece of evidence: in the media hoopla after his arrest, the interviewing officers taking his statement simply didn't have time to issue him with prison clothes. When they finally did ask him to undress, they discovered that he was wearing a pair of "leggings" made from a pullover, carefully padded at the 'knees' and open at the crotch in order that he could masturbate while kneeling next to the bodies of his victims as he mutilated them.

Obvious premeditation.
Obvious sexual motive.

This man should never be released.

eddie
The Gap Minder

Posts : 7840
Join date : 2011-04-11
Age : 61
Location : Desert Island

Back to top Go down

Re: Crime and Punishment ( Miscarriages of Justice and related matters)

Post  eddie on Sat Jun 11, 2011 8:09 pm

Eddie wrote:

I could be wrong about this, but I seem to remember that it was the discovery of hacksaw blades in his room at Broadmoor that finally persuaded Sutcliffe to start taking his meds, like a good psychiatric patient should.

eddie
The Gap Minder

Posts : 7840
Join date : 2011-04-11
Age : 61
Location : Desert Island

Back to top Go down

Re: Crime and Punishment ( Miscarriages of Justice and related matters)

Post  eddie on Sat Jun 11, 2011 8:12 pm

Eddie wrote:

This is the best book I know on the case:


Wicked Beyond Belief- Michael Bilton.

....but The New Statesman's reviewer David Peace (24 March 2003) is not impressed:

Should the Yorkshire Ripper really be in Broadmoor? Or was he not mad at all, but a coldly calculating killer? David Peace on a case that remains full of strange anomalies.

Carol Wilkinson was murdered in Bradford in October 1977 on the same day that the body of Jean Jordan was discovered in Manchester. Wilkinson's injuries initially caused police to think that she was the sixth victim of the Yorkshire Ripper. But George Oldfield, then head of the Ripper Squad, changed his mind and, deprived of manpower by the hunt for the murderer, the Wilkinson inquiry was delegated to two inexperienced detectives. Jean Jordan became, instead, the sixth victim of the Yorkshire Ripper. Eighteen months later, 22-year-old Anthony Steel confessed to Wilkinson's murder. Steel was mentally handicapped and had been interrogated for two days before making his confession. The chief superintendent with overall responsibility for the charge against Steel was James Hobson. By this time, Hobson had also taken command of the Ripper Squad and would remain there until January 1981. On 28 February this year, the appeal court quashed the 1979 conviction of Anthony Steel for the murder of Wilkinson. Her case remains unsolved. More questions. No answers. No end.

The hunt for the man who would become the Yorkshire Ripper began in Leeds on 30 October 1975 with the murder of Wilma McCann. His first four victims were described by the police and press as "good-time girls" - prostitutes. But then, in June 1977, the Ripper killed a 16-year-old shop assistant. This murder caused public outrage, bringing intense pressure on West Yorkshire Police, pressure that was to increase with each murder and assault. In April 1979, the Ripper killed another "innocent girl" in Halifax. It was in the aftermath of this tenth death that the police decided to release excerpts from a cassette tape and letters that they believed had been sent to them by the Ripper.

No one who heard the tape will ever forget the Geordie voice that taunted the police and threatened to kill again. Nor will anyone ever forget the siege of fear it laid to the entire north of England. The tape convinced senior Yorkshire detectives that the Ripper was from Wearside. They believed that the tape and letters contained information that only he, the killer, could have known. They also believed the Ripper had left behind clues that would eventually help catch him, and so launched a million-pound publicity campaign to "flush out the Ripper". One clue was the reference in the first two letters to the murder of a woman called Joan Harrison in Preston, Lancashire, in 1975. This murder was now regarded by West Yorkshire Police as the work of the Ripper.

Three murders later, two uniformed policemen approached a parked car in Sheffield's red-light district on 2 January 1981. Inside it were a prostitute and her punter. The punter was Peter William Sutcliffe, a 34-year-old, married lorry driver from Bradford. He was not a Geordie. But, two days later, he confessed to being the Yorkshire Ripper.

Twenty-two years after the arrest of Sutcliffe for 13 murders and seven assaults, there is no end in sight for the communities he terrorised. Uncertainty remains as to how Sutcliffe could have done what he says he did and why, and how the police could have let him and why. Sutcliffe's trial at the Old Bailey and the subsequent review of the police investigation by Sir Lawrence Byford, the chief inspector of constabulary for England and Wales, should have answered the public's questions. Neither did.

Before he was arraigned, the crown prosecution and defence counsel had agreed that Sutcliffe was suffering from a paranoid schizophrenia that led him to believe he was on a mission from God. These divine instructions came from voices Sutcliffe had first heard when working as a gravedigger. Sir Michael Havers, the attorney general, was prepared to drop the murder charges if Sutcliffe pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility. But Mr Justice Boreham, the trial judge, believed both prosecution and defence had accepted psychiatric evaluations based solely on the word of Sutcliffe himself, and that he had contradicted his original confession to police, when he had made no mention of either voices or missions. Justice Boreham ordered that it was for a jury to decide if Sutcliffe was himself a victim of his own uncontrollable madness, rather than simply a premeditated murderer. The jury found Peter William Sutcliffe guilty on 13 counts of murder and the judge sentenced him to life imprisonment. But given the initial plea-bargaining, it was an unconvincing trial, made only more so by Sutcliffe's eventual transfer to Broadmoor mental hospital.

Further public doubts about the West Yorkshire Police and their investigation into the Ripper case were not assuaged, either, by Home Office insistence that the Byford report remain an unpublished and classified document. The Home Office brought no pressure to bear for the arrest of the person responsible for the hoax letters and tape that had so misled the police. Nor did there seem to be any particular impetus to solve the murder of Joan Harrison, which police had included in the Ripper inquiry but was the one crime that Sutcliffe consistently denied.

There have now been 11 books devoted to the case of the Yorkshire Ripper, every one of which has managed at some stage to introduce evidence of contradiction or error. However, some books have been more useful than others. Deliver Us From Evil by David Yallop, published in 1981, listed a number of murders and assaults (including that of Carol Wilkinson) that the author felt Sutcliffe should be questioned about. In the years since his trial, Sutcliffe has indeed confessed to two of these assaults. Somebody's Husband, Somebody's Son by Gordon Burn and The Streetcleaner by Nicole Ward Jouve both made intelli- gent attempts to understand Sutcliffe and the time and place in which he lived.

It has been more than ten years since the last major book on the case. But policemen retire. Friendships fade. Pensions depreciate. Tongues loosen. Perhaps, then, it is not surprising that this year brings two new books. The Shadow of the Ripper is the result of its author's obsession with Wearside Jack, as the author of the hoax letters and tape is known. Patrick Lavelle has already published one book and a number of articles in the Sunderland Echo on his search for the hoaxer, and this latest book continues his dedicated research. Shadow of the Ripper contains much interesting information about the original investigation on Wear- side and offers a compassionate account of the life and death of Joan Harrison. Lavelle now believes Sutcliffe did kill Harrison, and did so in the company of Wearside Jack. Lavelle also believes Wearside Jack later murdered a woman called Julie Perigo in Sunderland in 1986. But much of this is not new.

Two days after Sutcliffe was found guilty, the Sunday Times published a three-page article, headlined "Did the Ripper have an accomplice?". The sources behind this suggestion appear to have been "senior police officers". The article was the first to link Sutcliffe to the Harrison murder via an accomplice who then produced the hoax letters and tape. These arguments were largely discredited by a later report in the same publication. However, both articles agreed on a possible connection between Harrison's murderer and the person responsible for the letters and tape.

Lavelle highlights many of the loose ends and unanswered questions surrounding the entire Yorkshire Ripper inquiry. However, the arguments are not well marshalled, and assume the reader to be already very familiar with the intricacies of the whole case. He is too concerned with the people who were originally suspected of being behind the hoax letters and tape, and the book would have been more persuasive if the evidence from the initial investigation and trial of Peter Sutcliffe had been set out first, in detail. The undoubted contradictions and anomalies in the case could then have been better exposed and tested against Lavelle's own theories. The book would also have benefited from an index and detailed list of sources.

Wicked Beyond Belief has 100 pages of sources, notes, references, appendices, a bibliography and an index, plus the obligatory "sensational" revelation. Michael Bilton was part of the Sunday Times Insight team responsible for the initial accomplice piece. He shares with Lavelle the same guide on the mountain: former detective superintendent Dick Holland, a senior member of the Ripper Squad from 1977 to January 1981, who also believes that Sutcliffe was linked to Joan Harrison, Wearside Jack and the hoax. Despite his continued friendship with Holland, Bilton has no place for the theories of his main source. His motive for writing this book is, rather, to "put flesh and bone" on the much-maligned detectives who tried to catch the Ripper. In his extensive research, Bilton had the "good fortune" to be given "privileged" access to the "secret" Byford report into the police investigation. However, as it is presented here, the report seems remarkably tame when set against the very human cost of the police failure to catch Peter Sutcliffe.

There are few new facts about the investigation itself in Wicked Beyond Belief that have not already been published in previous books or newspaper articles. Bilton does, I concede, reveal that one victim was not the virgin her parents believed her to be, and that she had also promised to have sex with her new boyfriend (source Dick Holland). True, he reveals that another victim had had an argument with her mother the night she died (source confidential). And true, he also reveals that an unmarried victim had had a number of lovers, but not many (source West Yorkshire Police).

That Bilton is so candid about the victims and their secrets stands in sharp contrast to his silence in regard to the police and theirs. In the 482 pages of this book, there is no mention of the wrongful conviction of Judith Ward for the murder of 12 people in the M62 coach bombing of 1974. Ward spent 18 years in prison before her conviction was quashed in 1992. The appeal court was told that Ward had changed her confession several times. The police and prosecution had then edited different parts together to construct a single, plausible statement. The prosecution also concealed other important facts from the defence. There is no mention in Wicked Beyond Belief of the role of George Oldfield in Ward's arrest and trial. Nor is there any mention of the wrongful conviction of Stefan Kiszko for the murder of 11-year-old Lesley Molseed near Ripponden, West Yorkshire, in October 1975.

Twenty-four-year-old Kiszko, who had physical and mental problems, was told that if he signed a confession he could go home to his mother. He would spend 16 years in prison before his conviction was quashed in 1992. Evidence that Kiszko could not have produced the semen found on Lesley Molseed's clothing was withheld during his original trial. There is no mention anywhere in Bilton's book of the part played by Dick Holland in Kiszko's arrest and trial. Yet both these cases helped propel the careers of Oldfield and Holland to the top of the Ripper Squad. These cases are of relevance to any understanding of the time and place of the Ripper's Yorkshire and that of the men who hunted him.

But as befits any book worthy of seria-lisation in the Sunday Times, Wicked Beyond Belief does have its "sensational" revelation. The retired detective chief inspector Desmond O'Boyle reveals to Bilton that Sutcliffe was wearing a "killing kit" at the time of his arrest. This included an inverted V-neck sweater, worn in place of underpants, with the legs placed inside the sleeves and the genitals exposed. For further comfort, Sutcliffe had also sewn in reinforced knee-pads. The killing kit was discovered only after Sutcliffe had completed his 15-hour confession to John Boyle, Peter Smith and Desmond O'Boyle at Dewsbury police station. Bilton claims the detectives bagged this killing kit for forensic examination but made no mention of it to any "senior investigating officer". Nor was any written record of it ever made. Really?

In his text notes and references, Bilton attributes this disclosure to a third and final telephone interview with O'Boyle on 13 March 2002. That, according to his own notes, would make it the last interview Bilton conducted with any member of the Ripper Squad. It is a great shame, to say the least, that Bilton did not see fit to reinterview his other sources in the light of this revelation.

The degree of premeditation involved in fashioning a "killing kit" makes a further and complete mockery of the psychiatric arguments that surrounded Sutcliffe's trial and his initial plea-bargain of diminished responsibility. Furthermore, the implications for all involved are grave. If O'Boyle's statements to Bilton are to be believed, a vital piece of evidence in the largest criminal investigation in British history was not disclosed. More questions. No answers. Half-truths drip-fed to us as sensation and scoop by media conglomerates while organisations such as Tough Justice - which campaigns against miscarriages of justice - work for nothing to free innocent victims such as Anthony Steel.

There are old men out there who know the answers to all the questions about the Ripper case. These men failed us once and, through their silence, they fail us again and again. These men can still right some of the wrongs done to the victims and their communities. There is still time, but it is running out. And yet, to the dead, we owe the whole truth and nothing but that truth.

Shadow of the Ripper, Patrick Lavelle, John Blake, 318pp, £16.99

Wicked Beyond Belief, Michael Bilton HarperCollins, 482pp, £18.99



eddie
The Gap Minder

Posts : 7840
Join date : 2011-04-11
Age : 61
Location : Desert Island

Back to top Go down

Re: Crime and Punishment ( Miscarriages of Justice and related matters)

Post  eddie on Sat Jun 11, 2011 8:13 pm

Eddie wrote:

I see from a trip to the newsagent's this morning in the freezing cold that the Mail/ Express' front pages are characteristically foam-flecked at the possibility of Peter Sutcliffe's release under European Human Rights legislation.

For once, a certain degree of hyperventilation doesn't seem to be altogether misplaced.


eddie
The Gap Minder

Posts : 7840
Join date : 2011-04-11
Age : 61
Location : Desert Island

Back to top Go down

Re: Crime and Punishment ( Miscarriages of Justice and related matters)

Post  eddie on Sat Jun 11, 2011 8:15 pm

Eddie wrote:

Evidence of premeditation and sexual motive:



The Sun's lurid prose is best ignored. Murdoch's rag also mis-reports Sutcliffe's pullover/sweater as a shirt.

The important point is the photograph.

eddie
The Gap Minder

Posts : 7840
Join date : 2011-04-11
Age : 61
Location : Desert Island

Back to top Go down

Re: Crime and Punishment ( Miscarriages of Justice and related matters)

Post  eddie on Sat Jun 11, 2011 8:24 pm

^

In the last news report I read- about 2 weeks ago- on the case of Ian Tomlinson, the newpaper vendor killed by a riot squad police officer in the course of the G20 protest in the City of London, it was suggested that the officer in question WILL, after all, be charged and tried. About time, say Tomlinson's family. Here's the old ATU thread on his murder:

********************************************************************

Eddie wrote:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rdFBHxNjfD4
The moment Ian Tomlinson-on his way home from work, his hands in his pockets- was attacked by a police officer.

eddie
The Gap Minder

Posts : 7840
Join date : 2011-04-11
Age : 61
Location : Desert Island

Back to top Go down

Re: Crime and Punishment ( Miscarriages of Justice and related matters)

Post  eddie on Sat Jun 11, 2011 8:27 pm

Eddie wrote:

GUARDIAN front-page story 23rd July:

ADVICE TO CHARGE POLICE OFFICER OVER IAN TOMLINSON DEATH IGNORED
Police watchdog and pathologist favoured tougher line than CPS [Crown Prosecution Service] as Tomlinson's family accuse authorities of coverup

An official decision to bring no charges against the policeman who struck Ian Tomlinson minutes before he died at the G20 protests is under intense scrutiny as it emerged that the Independent Police Complaints Commission had backed a prosecution for manslaughter.

Keir Starmer, the director of public prosecutions, acknowledged there was evidence that the officer, named as PC Simon Harwood, assaulted Tomlinson, 47, minutes before he died. But he said there was no realistic prospect of conviction because of "sharp disagreements" between pathologists.

The decision was met with fury by Tomlinson's family, who accused the authorities of a 16-month cover-up over the death of the seller on 1 April last year, when he was seen on video being struck by an officer and then shoved to the ground, despite behaving peacefully.

The Crown Prosecution Service's view clashes with that of an investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission. The Guardian has learned the IPCC concluded there was sufficient evidence to charge the officer with manslaughter, and told Tomlinson's family so.

The first postmortem by Dr Freddy Patel endorsed the police's version of events, ruling that he died from a heart attack.

But a direct challenge to the CPS also emerged last night from Dr Nat Cary, the second forensic pathologist who examined Tomlinson's body. He told the Guardian prosecutors made a factual error in dismissing a charge of actual bodily harm.

He said his report contained clear evidence that Tomlinson suffered injuries sufficient to support an ABHcharge. The CPS dismissed the injuries as "relatively minor" and thus not enough to support a charge of ABH in its written reasons given to the family.

Cary, speaking for the first time about the case, said: "I'm quite happy to challenge that. The injuries were not relatively minor. He sustained quite a large area of bruising. Such injuries are consistent with a baton strike, which could amount to ABH. It's extraordinary. If that's not ABH I would like to know what is."

The CPS said Patel's findings would provide a jury with enough reasonable doubt that the officer's strike contributed to the death, and as a result they would acquit. By coincidence Patel yesterday faced a disciplinary hearing at the General Medical Council for allegedly conducting four other autopsies incompetently. He could be struck off and the Home Office has suspended him from its approved list.

Starmer said the CPS could not bring a charge of common assault because it failed to do so within a legal time limit .
Tomlinson's family accused the authorities of a "big cover-up" and there were heated exchanges as they met with prosecutors after being told the news.

Tomlinson's stepson Paul King said: "It's outrageous. We feel like it was not a full investigation from the beginning. It's a big cover-up.

"He has just admitted on TV that a copper assaulted our dad. But he hasn't done anything. He's the man in charge … why hasn't he charged him.?

The Tomlinsons' solicitor, Jules Carey, said the decision was disgraceful and said an inquiry must examine if it was due to a "lack of will or incompetence".

The solicitor said Cary's view that the CPS made factual errors would be examined to see if it could form part of a legal challenge: "The family were surprised about how the extent of the injuries were minimised by the CPS."

The family's expectation that the officer would be charged was built on the video evidence and because of what the IPCC told them about its investigation.

The IPCC concluded its investigation into the death and handed its file to the CPS in August 2009. Shortly after, senior investigators held a meeting with the family to discuss their findings. While they made clear the CPS was responsible for charging decisions, IPCC officials told the family they believed there was sufficient evidence to charge the officer with manslaughter.

Last night the IPCC said: "The officer was interviewed for the offence of manslaughter under caution." An inquest will now be held into the death, where the family will hope a jury hear the case. The officer remains suspended and is expected to face a disciplinary hearing.

Deborah Coles of the Inquest charity said: "The eyes of the world will be looking on with incredulity as yet again a police officer is not facing any criminal charges after what is one of the most clear-cut and graphic examples of police violence that has led to death. This decision is a shameful indictment of the way police criminality is investigated."

The CPS lawyer who made the decision was the same one who decided no officer should face charges for the shooting dead of Jean Charles de Menezes by police who mistook him for a terrorist. That shooting happened five years ago yesterday.

The Met commissioner, Sir Paul Stephenson, said he regretted Tomlinson's death and offered his sympathy to his family. He said he was concerned by the video footage but that it was not appropriate for him to comment on the outcome of the IPCC inquiry or the CPS decision.

eddie
The Gap Minder

Posts : 7840
Join date : 2011-04-11
Age : 61
Location : Desert Island

Back to top Go down

Re: Crime and Punishment ( Miscarriages of Justice and related matters)

Post  eddie on Sat Jun 11, 2011 8:29 pm

Eddie wrote:

Here's a link to a number of videos sent to the Guardian newspaper in the fortnight after the G20 protests showing how the police handled these events:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/apr/15/g20-protest-police-videos-catalogue

eddie
The Gap Minder

Posts : 7840
Join date : 2011-04-11
Age : 61
Location : Desert Island

Back to top Go down

Re: Crime and Punishment ( Miscarriages of Justice and related matters)

Post  eddie on Sat Jun 11, 2011 8:30 pm

Eddie wrote:

Home Office Pathologist Freddy Patel who conducted the autopsy on Ian Tomlinson has been suspended by the General Medical Council for incompetence.

Which, of course, leaves the Crown Prosecution Service- who decided not the prosecute the police officer responsible for Tomlinson's death- in something of a dilemma:

The Guardian:

The Home Office pathologist criticised for suggesting the newspaper seller Ian Tomlinson died of a heart attack during the G20 protests in 2009 has been suspended from practice for three months.

The disciplinary ruling imposed by the General Medical Council on Dr Freddy Patel came after he was found guilty of misconduct or "deficient professional performance" in three earlier autopsy cases.

The Crown Prosecution Service subsequently announced that its lawyer reviewing evidence in the Tomlinson case would now "consider the GMC's findings".

The 63-year-old had already been suspended from the Home Office register of forensic pathologists after questions were asked about the examination carried out on the body of Ian Tomlinson, who died in April last year.

Tomlinson died after being struck and shoved to the ground by riot police during protests in the City of London in April 2009. Patel was the first pathologist to examine his body.

Patel said Tomlinson died of a heart attack, implying that his death was due to natural causes. A second examination contradicted that finding, suggesting instead that the newspaper vendor had died from internal bleeding.

In July Keir Starmer QC, the director of public prosecutions, announced that no charges would be brought against any police officers. The latest CPS move stops short of suggesting it will reopen the whole file into Tomlinson's death.

The Green Party London Assembly member Jenny Jones has written to Starmer calling on the CPS to restore public trust and demonstrate that "the police are not above the law" by "reconsidering this disastrous decision" not to prosecute.

"The fact that there is disagreement among the medical witnesses is an insufficient reason not to pursue a conviction, given the information now known about Mr Patel," she said in her letter. "Let the evidence and the accounts of the various witnesses be heard in an open court, and a decision reached by a jury on where the truth lies."

In its highly critical judgment today, the GMC panel said Patel's response to criticism had "not been marked by frank and rounded insight".

Patel, it added, "offered no expression of regret in relation to those instances where [the panel] found shortcomings of misconduct and/or deficient professional performance.

"Indeed, the panel considers that you did not show the range and depth of insight that could reasonably be expected of an experienced forensic pathologist. In particular you have not addressed the very serious aspect of your misconduct as it relates to the finding that certain of your acts and omissions in Mrs D's case [where Patel altered his findings to satisfy relatives] were misleading."

The GMC also imposed restrictions on his future work, including effectively banning him from carrying out postmortem examinations in suspicious death cases and subjecting a sample of his casework to medical peer review.

Patel had been censured by a GMC disciplinary panel in 2002 for breaching patient confidentiality.

Lawyers for the pathologist said: "It would be inappropriate for Dr Patel to comment at this stage given the possibility that he may be asked to give evidence by the coroner at the inquest into Ian Tomlinson's death. Dr Patel needs time to consider the GMC's decision with his advisers."

Responding to the GMC ruling, Tomlinson's widow, Julia, said: "[The] decision confirms that the GMC do not think Patel is fit to practise and has been an obstacle to the truth in a number of cases. It is heartbreaking to us that he was involved in Ian's case and the real question for our family is why with his track record he was appointed in the first place. We look ahead to the inquest now and hope that we will finally get some answers."

During the GMC hearing, into three earlier postmortem examinations carried out by Patel, the panel criticised his failure to identify visible injuries on a child's body. It said he had performed "only a cursory external examination of the body" and adopted an "incurious approach".

In the case of Miss C, an eight-week-old baby thought to have suffered a cot death, Dr Patel was blamed for failing to carry out a full skeletal X-ray to establish whether there had been any injuries. Not to have done so was professionally irresponsible, the GMC said.


eddie
The Gap Minder

Posts : 7840
Join date : 2011-04-11
Age : 61
Location : Desert Island

Back to top Go down

Re: Crime and Punishment ( Miscarriages of Justice and related matters)

Post  eddie on Sat Jun 11, 2011 8:32 pm

Catherine wrote:

It's a shame that these people are so often not monitored especially when their 'judgements' are so important

I hope Ian Tomlinson's family get some justice......

it's totally pathetic when it was obviously murder of an innocent person......

like the Brazilian guy at Stockwell station

eddie
The Gap Minder

Posts : 7840
Join date : 2011-04-11
Age : 61
Location : Desert Island

Back to top Go down

Re: Crime and Punishment ( Miscarriages of Justice and related matters)

Post  Sponsored content Today at 10:09 am


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Page 1 of 2 1, 2  Next

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum