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News Round-Up Week Ending 5.9.14

Geir Madland

By Geir Madland on 04/09/14

News Round-Up Week Ending 5.9.14

Hand It Over!

In the US, two death row inmates have been released from prison after more than 30 years. Leon Brown and Henry McCollum, 15 and 19 at the time of their arrest in 1983, were cleared of rape and murder after new DNA anlaysis of old exhibits absolved them. A positive match was instead found with a known sex offender from the same small town, living just feet away from where 11-year-old Sabrina Buie’s body was found.

Here in the UK, four men: Kevin Nunn, Roger Kearney, Stephen Keogh and Kieron Smith, all serving life sentences, all having consistently protested their innocence and all Inside Justice cases, are being denied access to exhibits by the original investigating police forces, preventing new DNA work, which could potentially exonerate them.

Cameron Impotent

David Cameron has acknowledged that removing passports from jihadists would contravene both international and UK common law. His plan to stop British citizens re-entering the UK, and render them stateless, is a non-starter. 

“It is abhorrent that people who declare their allegiance elsewhere can return to the United Kingdom and pose a threat to our national security,” the powerless PM told MPs. “It absolutely sticks in the craw.” 

Heavy-Handed Healthcare

Lawyers have criticised British authorities for their treatment of Ashya King’s parents, after Brett and Naghmeh King took the five-year-old from a Southampton hospital to Spain.

Anthony Barnfather, of law firm Slater & Gordon, said: "It might not have been the right action [to investigate criminal proceedings]. The way it was reported it was that he [Ashya] was going to run out of food and his batteries. I can see that satisfying [the requirement for] neglect but what seems to have transpired now is that there is difference of opinion [between the hospital and the parents]. I can imagine on these limited facts it would be very hard to prove neglect but the authorities didn't know that at the time."

Cuts Hurt Kids

Following Legal Aid cuts, the increase in estranged couples representing themselves in family courts is affecting children, according to former judge, Crispin Masterman.

In Wales, the number of individuals representing themselves nearly doubled from 2,574 in 2012/13 to 4,920 in 2013/14.

The Ministry of Justice helpfully recommends mediation as “quicker, cheaper and less stressful” than going to court.