Even today, miscarriages of justice take place on a regular basis, and appear in the headlines more often than we’d like. It goes so much further than just wrongful imprisonment stretching further towards flaws in the system, sometimes causing families to be torn apart and lives lost.
Some the these occurrences over the last decade have drifted in and out of the media, but today we will look at a roundup of them to see the main ones which have taken place in the UK.
One of the most notable miscarriages of justice over the last ten years is Darryl Hunt. African-American Darryl was accused and later convicted of the rape and murder of a young newspaper editor Deborah Sykes. He was not only convicted, but sentenced to life behind bars. Mr Hunt is thought to have committed suicide aged 51.
In his case, it had been noted that the witness had falsely noticed him at or near the scene and that thing was enough for declaring him guilty.
Sally Clark was sentenced to life in prison after being convicted of murder, for the deaths of one young son in 1996, and a young baby two years later. After serving just 3 years of her sentence, it became apparent that one of her witnesses had become discredited. He claimed in court that there is a one in 73 million chance of two cot deaths in a wealthy family, but the Royal Statistical Society said there was no basis for this claim. Clark never recovered from her imprisonment and became an alcoholic. She died of alcoholism in 2007.
“People think that miscarriages of justice are rare and exceptional,” says Dr Michael Naughton, founder of the UK Innocence Project. “But every single day, people are overturning convictions for criminal offences. Miscarriages of justice are routine, even mundane features of the criminal justice system. They are systemic.”
Victor Nealon spent a total of 17 years behind bars for sexual assault, despite the fact the authorities never carried out relevant DNA tests on the victim’s clothing. At his trial in 1997, the court was told that no DNA evidence was available, though privately funded DNA tests discovered that the victim’s clothes had been kept sealed and untested. Not only did those clothes turn out to contain DNA of another male who was not Victor, the Criminal Cases Review Commission refused twice to re-assess the case. He was finally released in 2013 and given just £46 discharge money. It was later declared he would not even be entitled to compensation.
Involvement in crime
If you or a loved one have found yourselves involved in criminal proceedings, the need for a criminal defence solicitor becomes apparent. Take a look at CM Solicitors, in Manchester, UK, to see if they can help with your case.