Friday, 25 January 2013

Easy To Be Guilty, Hard To Be Innocent

3:27pm UK, Friday 25 January 2013

Barry George Loses Jill Dando Compensation Case

"Barry George wrongly spent eight years in jail for the murder of Jill Dando

Barry George, who was wrongly jailed for murdering Jill Dando, has lost his High Court bid for compensation.

Two judges rejected his claim that the Justice Secretary unfairly and unlawfully decided he was "not innocent enough to be compensated"."

R (on the application of) Ismail Ali, Barry George, Kevin Dennis and others -v- Justice Secretary


133 Compensation for miscarriages of justice.

(1)Subject to subsection (2) below, when a person has been convicted of a criminal offence and when subsequently his conviction has been reversed or he has been pardoned on the ground that a new or newly discovered fact shows beyond reasonable doubt that there has been a miscarriage of justice, the Secretary of State shall pay compensation for the miscarriage of justice to the person who has suffered punishment as a result of such conviction or, if he is dead, to his personal representatives, unless the non-disclosure of the unknown fact was wholly or partly attributable to the person convicted.

(2)No payment of compensation under this section shall be made unless an application for such compensation has been made to the Secretary of State."

Criminal Justice Act 1988

Supreme Court (previously House of Lords) considered this in the Adams case ...

"The mere quashing of a conviction did not prove innocence and could not be the trigger for compensation.

The circumstances in which a conviction could be quashed on the basis of fresh evidence could be divided into four categories:

(i) where the fresh evidence clearly showed that the defendant was innocent;
(ii) where the fresh evidence was such that, had it been available at the time of the trial, no reasonable jury could properly have convicted;
(iii) where the fresh evidence rendered the conviction unsafe because, had it been available at the time of the trial, a reasonable jury might or might not have convicted;
(iv) where something had gone seriously wrong in the investigation of the offence or the conduct of the trial, resulting in the conviction of somebody who should not have been convicted."

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