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News Round-Up Week Ending 27.3.15

(Posted on 27/03/15)


CCRC “Timid” and Underfunded.

The House of Commons Justice Committee has said the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) needs to be bolder in its approach.

The committee's report, published this week, also said that the commission is "struggling to cope" with an increased workload after funding cuts of 30%.

On BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Wednesday, Richard Foster, chair of the CCRC was asked about the report’s conclusions that the CCRC is too timid, should be prepared to fail and should be referring more cases. Foster countered:

“If we look at a case and we determine that we don’t think that there is a real possibility [that the Court of Appeal would quash the conviction], then there is no point in our referring that case.”

[Sarah Montague:] So are there cases that come before you where you think ‘there’s something that’s gone a bit wrong here but I don’t think, because of the rules of the Court of Appeal, that it will get overturned and therefore there’s no point referring it on’?

“No, there’s not been a case where we have felt that there might be a miscarriage of justice where we have not found a route for referral.”

$1Million for 39 Years

Ricky Jackson of Cleveland, Ohio was released last year after serving 39 years for a murder he did not commit. This week he learnt he is to receive $1 million in compensation.

“Wow, I didn’t know that,” declared Mr Jackson after a reporter broke the news.  â€œWow, wow, wow, that’s fantastic, man.  I don’t even know what to say. This is going to mean so much.”

As Henry Blaxland QC recently emphasised, financial compensation is symbolic of the State saying sorry for wrongful conviction and incarceration.

Knox and Sollecito Innocent

After ten hours' deliberation, the Italian Court of Cassation has annulled the convictions of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito for the 2007 murder of Meredith Kirchner, Reuters has reported.