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Devise a fair justice system which convicts the guilty and acquits the innocent

Comment 15th August 2010

 

The people who suffer most at the hands of the UK Criminal Justice System are the innocent law-abiding citizens who have been falsely accused and wrongly convicted.

We all pay a price for these miscarriages of justice as ultimately it is the tax payer who has to foot the bill for wrongful convictions at a cost of more than 30,000 GB Pounds per prisoner.

The Justice System in the UK is convicting too many innocent people. This needs to change; prisons exist to reform and punish the guilty and are not intended to house the innocent because a faulty justice system keeps getting it wrong.

An accused person can be left in a police cell for three hours without food and water and interrogated even though they are innocent. Whatever they say in their defence can be twisted. It is far better to remain silent. The police don't concern themselves with either truth or innocence. Their job is to gather as much evidence as possible in order to secure a conviction. They will collect as many lies as they can and will treat the accused as guilty from day one with their "No smoke without fire" attitude.

Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty?

"Don't worry," you will tell yourself, if ever you have the misfortune to be falsely accused. "I'm innocent… I'll be O.K… my innocence will be my best defence."

WRONG!

Every citizen should have a right to a fair trial. This means that a jury should be able to question any unfairness by both prosecution and defence barristers. The accused should not be denied a proper defence due to inadequate legal funding or representation or on grounds of lack of time and resources. They should not be fobbed off with excuses every step of the way and be led like a lamb to the slaughter.

Justice is supposed to be all about balance; the jury must be permitted to assess the situation by weighing everything in the balance. But how can it be weighed in the balance correctly when the jury are only presented with one side of the story? A conviction is only supposed to happen when the jury are convinced "Beyond all reasonable doubt" that the defendant is guilty but if they are only presented with lies what hope is there for the innocent? Surely a verdict of "Not proven" would be far more sensible in cases of accusation alone?

A trial I attended recently devoted three days to the prosecution and less than two hours to the defence. It was a complete farce and a travesty of justice. There was no justice in the courtroom that day. Needless to say there was a conviction solely on the grounds of hearsay and collaboration of liars. The defendant, who was as innocent as Jesus, was convicted on words alone. There was no DNA evidence in the case of a rape or a body as in the case of a murder; the Verdict was based entirely on what the accusers had said the accused had done… because the jury believed without question every lie they uttered. The defendant was not allowed a proper defence. All the people who could have vouched for his innocence were not permitted to be present. The whole episode was engineered by the Police and the Crown Prosecution Services in order to secure a conviction. The defendant's accusers were even seen smirking from their position in the public gallery after appearing for the prosecution and making a mockery of the real truth.

Both accusers and accused should be willing to take lie detector tests and the ones found to be liars should be imprisoned. This would make liars think twice about making false allegations in order to gain monetary compensation and cause the life of an innocent person to be utterly ruined.

Every citizen should be able to demand the right to defend another citizen if they know the accused has been a victim of false allegations. The innocent should be protected by the law and not hounded by a system which makes them feel in a perpetual state of torment from the very day they are arrested.

Innocent citizens should not be forced into signing innocence away and accepting guilt and responsibility for crimes that never happened in order to get parole or a shorter sentence.

"Plead guilty and you will get a lighter sentence!" Innocent people are given this advice by their legal representatives every day. What madness is that? Admit to something you didn't do and you might get your sentence reduced to four years instead of six?

In prison it gets even worse… "Admit guilt and we will treat you well, but protest your innocence and you might never get out of here."

Little has changed since the witch hunts of the Middle Ages in some respects. Do you remember the "Ducking stools" from your History books? The guilty were supposed to survive the procedure but the innocent drowned!

The Spanish inquisition is still alive and well and dwells at the very heart of the UK Criminal Justice System. Its methods of securing a conviction are outdated and fallible and it allows itself to be corrupted by unscrupulous people whose sole aim is to deceive. Every law abiding citizen should demand a radical overhaul in order to protect the innocent and provide a better justice system for all.

Why does this matter?

This idea would help all the falsely accused  people who find themselves caught up in a justice system which is designed to convict rather than find the truth. Innocent people are convicted more often than the general public realise. Unless a wrongful conviction happens  to you or someone you care about , most  people are quite unaware of this issue.

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