100 signatures reached
To: The Secretary of State for Justice
(Not?) Innocent Enough...unlawful!
Amend the laws that refuse compensation to people whose convictions have been overturned, or who have been found not Guilty at retrial.
Reinstate the presumption of innocence that has been unlawfully undermined!
Why is this important?
Wrongly convicted, served time for someone else's crime, then exonerated.
So now we compensate them so they can re-start the lives that were stolen, don't we?
NO! The system which made such huge errors has thrown them on the scrapheap, hoping they will never resurface. Read their stories, below.
Please sign and share onwards, This is not lawful, nor is it moral.
*Martin Foran, served two prison terms, totalling 19 years. Both convictions quashed. He has terminal cancer, caused by poor medical help in prison!: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-29658936
*Victor Nealon, served 17 years, 7 years over his tariff because he would not say he was guilty. Now being told to pay legal costs because he had the affront to seek compensation: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/wrongly-convicted-men-launch-new-case-against-the-justice-secretary-9985773.html
*Barry George, a mentally disabled man, served 8 years for the murder of Jill Dando. Acquitted on appeal; retried and unanimously found NOT GUILTY. Told he has not PROVEN his innocence. He will not give up his fight for justice; for Jill and for himself: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2358815/Barry-George-loses-compensation-bid-wrongly-convicted-Jill-Dandos-murder.html
*James Boyle was falsely accused of committing sexual offences in his past. He was finally released in February 2010 after a lengthy battle to clear his name; his case is yet another example of a wholly innocent man who has had his life turned upside down by a corrupt system. He continues to be denied restorative justice, and continues to fight his cause to have his reputation restored. - See more at: http://www.miscarriagesofjustice.org/case-files/fighting-for-justice/jimmy-boyle#sthash.W4Kpmlfz.dpuf
These are the names and cases of some of those who were wrongly convicted, and who served long prison sentences for crimes committed by someone else. All of these people have recently been refused compensation under Section 133 of the Criminal Justice Act.
This act, amended in 2012, now excludes many wrongly convicted, released people, and is a travesty of our Justice system. It takes away our fundamental right to be presumed ‘innocent until proven guilty! This right is enshrined in our legal system, and by the European Court of Human Rights…Barrister Baroness Helena Kennedy called the change “an affront to our system of law” when the Bill was debated. “When people have wasted long periods of their life in jail for crimes they didn't commit, the least society can do is provide some compensation,” said Sadiq Khan, the shadow Justice Secretary. (The Independent)
The Presumption of Innocence.
This appalling decision has been further compounded by the, seemingly arbitrary change to another of our laws, the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill, by The Right Honourable Chris Grayling MP (Chris Grayling is not a member of the judiciary, neither does he have any legal expertise), further damaging the rights of people claiming compensation for wrongful imprisonment, by saying “you must ‘prove beyond reasonable doubt that you are innocent.’”
In the criminal justice system of Britain, there is no facility or framework to prove one’s innocence, one is presumed innocent at trial. Indeed the defendant is told by their legal representative that they have nothing to prove…it is for the prosecution to prove guilt, ’beyond reasonable doubt.’
The same situation applies at retrial, when testing the remaining evidence after the quashing of a conviction by the Court of Appeal. “YOU HAVE NOTHING TO PROVE!”
To tell an already victimised and marginalised person to ‘prove, beyond reasonable doubt, that you are innocent’, is unlawful, and unobtainable under our legal system. We must stand up for them.
These people have suffered enough for the mistakes of the justice system…they deserve justice. They need to be compensated for having had so much taken from them: Their right to a family life, their right to liberty, careers, homes and possessions, etc. Families are shattered by wrongful conviction, and these relationships often cannot be healed. Many people lose everything they have ever owned!
Money is needed to rebuild these lives, and it cannot be done on £46.00 (given when they are released). We cannot continue turn our backs on them; sweeping them under the carpet, like dirt. These are innocent people…we must help them.
Please tell the Secretary of State to reverse these perverse decisions, THEY DESERVE COMPENSATION - NOW!