News Round-Up Week Ending 4th April 2014
By Charlotte Rowles on 02/04/14Share:
Hundreds found guilty under Joint Enterprise laws may be unfairly jailed for murder.
The film is due to be screen on BBC One this spring.
Crime writer attends fund raiser for US Innocence projects
Grisham, who draws on his former job as a trial lawyer, for many of his legal thrillers, serves on the board of the original Innocence Project in New York. In a speech to the audience, the novelist said he’s heard estimates that between 2 percent and 10 percent of people in prison are innocent, but they have little recourse to get their situations corrected.
“There’s no money for innocence work,” Grisham said. “Our system is not designed to get innocent people out of prison.”
A website for lawyers in New Zealand highlights the petition to call for a Criminal Case Review Commission.
They are joined in their bid for change from New Zealand leading professionals, The Forensics Group who are calling for the development of investigatory body modelled on our own Criminal Cases Review Commission.
Critics of the existing routes to justice; the Royal Prerogative of Mercy and appeal to the Privy Council say both legal procedures are costly and lengthy with low rates of pardons.
NZ CCR NOW spokesperson Lynne Dempsey says New Zealand research indicates that up to 20 innocent people are likely to be in New Zeeland prisons at any given time and raises concerns about racial discrimination within the criminal justice system.
Veteran campaigner highlights fears for justice with time limits on cold cases.
In March’s Birmingham Mail, veteran journalist Don Hale reflected on the case of Stephen Downing, who was cleared of the murder of Wendy Sewell after spending 27 years in prison. While Hale’s extraordinary battle for the truth, led to the release of Downing, the real killer has not been found.
Hale, former editor of the Matlock Mercury fought a 6 year-long campaign to find justice in the case.
Recent inquiries by including former detective Chris Clark have uncovered the original pathology report on Mrs Sewell’s murder. Clark raises the spectre of the Yorkshire Ripper involvement, with the injuries having striking similarities to Sutcliffe’s crimes.
Calls for an independent inquiry of the Sewell’s case could come across a problem accessing legal and case papers.