Umm, no

Sion Jenkins, the former deputy head teacher cleared of murdering his foster daughter Billie-Jo, has been refused compensation for the time he spent in jail before he was released.

This may be how the system does work but it most certainly isn\’t how it should work.

Mr Jenkins was eventually cleared of killing Billie-Jo in 2006 after hung juries at two re-trials.

At the time of the application in 2008, Mr Jenkins said: \”I fulfil all the criteria.\”

However, the Ministry of Justice is understood to have rejected his request.

A spokesman refused to comment on the case but said: \”For the purposes of paying compensation, the applicant must be shown to be \’clearly innocent\’.\”

The definition of guilt should be exactly the one that we use in the courts themselves. Either guilty or not guilty.

To have any other measurement is to put the bureaucracy in the place of the law and courts.

Think it through for a moment….take, say, the Guildford or Birmingham bombers. Set up, as we know they were, they served long sentences, some dying in jail. Eventually they are freed and cleared. I\’ve actually had someone (someone who went on to become an MP) turn to me and say that, well, they really were still guilty, they only got off on a technicality.

So if they, the powers that be, are allowed to argue with the decisions of the courts, that not guilty does not mean clearly innocent, then we can see how the system will slip and slide can\’t we? It\’ll go from one schoolteacher through to any and everyone that \”they\” think the courts have \”let go\”.

And that\’s the damn point of having the courts in the first place. To make absolutely damn certain that \”they\” don\’t get to decide who is guilty or who is \”clearly innocent\”.

A question for legally minded peeps. Scotland has a third verdict of \”not proven\”. If upon retrial a prisoner has that third verdict, not proven, and is thus released, do they get compo?

3 thoughts on “Umm, no”

  1. As every judge in Scotland tells every jury at the start of their charge the ‘not proven’ verdict is, in every repect, identical to the ‘not guilty’ verdict. Whatever people may tell you, and whatever inferences the public may draw, in law the two are exactly the same: wholly exculpatory. There is no doubt that many members of the public (and, therefore, many jurors) see it is a ‘soft’ verdict, a quasi-incriminitory ‘not guilty’ but that is not a legally justified position. It is, essentially, a historical quirk.

  2. And there’s another thing that disturbs me about court procedure. You swear on oath to tell the truth, (as far as you understand the circumstances), then your testimony is illogically regraded according to the perceived relationship you have with others in the case. Either you’re telling the truth or your committing perjury, so a witness like Carol White in the current ‘blood diamonds’ trial should not be accused of lying because of an outside business dispute with Campbell.

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