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BS: Good Thing OJ Doesn't Live in UK

JedMarum 18 Jul 02 - 08:25 AM
JedMarum 18 Jul 02 - 08:26 AM
JedMarum 18 Jul 02 - 08:28 AM
greg stephens 18 Jul 02 - 08:39 AM
GUEST,Bagpuss 18 Jul 02 - 08:42 AM
HuwG 18 Jul 02 - 08:47 AM
Rick Fielding 18 Jul 02 - 09:26 AM
Big Mick 18 Jul 02 - 09:42 AM
McGrath of Harlow 18 Jul 02 - 11:05 AM
SharonA 18 Jul 02 - 11:17 AM
Bill D 18 Jul 02 - 11:22 AM
SharonA 18 Jul 02 - 11:33 AM
McGrath of Harlow 18 Jul 02 - 11:37 AM
GUEST,JTT 18 Jul 02 - 11:51 AM
SharonA 18 Jul 02 - 12:09 PM
Bill D 18 Jul 02 - 12:17 PM
Ebbie 18 Jul 02 - 01:12 PM
SharonA 18 Jul 02 - 02:34 PM
RichM 18 Jul 02 - 03:05 PM
McGrath of Harlow 18 Jul 02 - 03:16 PM
SharonA 18 Jul 02 - 03:17 PM
GUEST,Kim C no cookie 18 Jul 02 - 03:50 PM
Rick Fielding 18 Jul 02 - 04:07 PM
McGrath of Harlow 18 Jul 02 - 05:26 PM
GUEST,PopeBambi 18 Jul 02 - 08:32 PM
Socorro 18 Jul 02 - 08:41 PM
greg stephens 18 Jul 02 - 08:45 PM
McGrath of Harlow 18 Jul 02 - 08:47 PM
GUEST 18 Jul 02 - 08:56 PM
SharonA 19 Jul 02 - 08:32 AM
SharonA 19 Jul 02 - 08:38 AM
The Walrus at work 19 Jul 02 - 09:02 AM
SharonA 19 Jul 02 - 09:11 AM
McGrath of Harlow 19 Jul 02 - 09:13 AM
Ringer 19 Jul 02 - 12:06 PM
McGrath of Harlow 19 Jul 02 - 02:05 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 19 Jul 02 - 04:15 PM
Gareth 19 Jul 02 - 04:24 PM

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Subject: Good Thing OJ Doesn't Live in UK
From: JedMarum
Date: 18 Jul 02 - 08:25 AM

Looks like the UK is dropping the principle of "Double jeopardy" - seems if the prosecution can't get ou the first time, he can keep trying 'til he does!


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Subject: RE: Good Thing OJ Doesn't Live in UK
From: JedMarum
Date: 18 Jul 02 - 08:26 AM

The article below is from AP Ltd

"Double jeopardy" rule to be axed

Second trials in cases like the Stephen Lawrence and Damilola Taylor murders could go ahead under trial system reforms announced by the Home Secretary.

David Blunkett wants to dilute the 800-year-old principle of double jeopardy - which prevents anyone being tried twice for the same crime.

The change will be retrospective, so that suspects who have already been acquitted could find themselves back in the dock if there is "compelling new evidence".

And it will apply to a far wider range of crimes than previously thought - not only murder but for armed robbery, rape and manslaughter.

It is part of a sweeping criminal justice White Paper which also said jurors should be allowed to be hear defendants' previous convictions, previous acquittals and "hearsay" evidence.

Some dangerous or violent offenders will be kept in prison indefinitely, even if they have not been sentenced to life, it added.

And under another change proposed, Robert Thompson and Jon Venables, the young killers of toddler James Bulger, would not have been tried in an adult court.

Hundreds of young offenders charged with serious crimes each year will now be tried at youth court rather than Crown court.

Mr Blunkett said: "We will try to sort out the system from end to end with what I call straight common sense. We are trying to provide a blueprint for the next decade."

Unveiling his double jeopardy plan, Mr Blunkett said: "With the development of DNA and forensic science it would be entirely wrong to rule out compelling new evidence that actually does show the person committed the crime."


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Subject: RE: Good Thing OJ Doesn't Live in UK
From: JedMarum
Date: 18 Jul 02 - 08:28 AM

Link

What do out UK Mudcatters think of this change?


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Subject: RE: Good Thing OJ Doesn't Live in UK
From: greg stephens
Date: 18 Jul 02 - 08:39 AM

I think the old double jeopardy rule was pretty sound. Granted it's very galling and arouses perfectly reasobale anger in people(including me) to see people "getting away with murder"....but I don't think emotional reactions (however justified)to high profile individual cases has a good history as a generator of sensible law changes: quite the reverse.I think we should have a long hard think about it. Very long.


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Subject: RE: Good Thing OJ Doesn't Live in UK
From: GUEST,Bagpuss
Date: 18 Jul 02 - 08:42 AM

Is there any compelling *new* evidence that OJ is guilty? I don't think compelling evidence that was presented at the original trial counts....

Bagpuss


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Subject: RE: Good Thing OJ Doesn't Live in UK
From: HuwG
Date: 18 Jul 02 - 08:47 AM

"Double Jeopardy" has been an accepted rule in Britain (England anyway) since "time immemorial" i.e. the accession of Richard I (Lionheart). However, the binding legal precedent which finally established this wasn't made until 1830-something, if I recall; also, the same ruling did away with the right of a hulking defendant to challenge his accuser (the frail father of a raped and murdered daughter) to mortal combat.

I'll try and look up the name of the case.


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Subject: RE: Good Thing OJ Doesn't Live in UK
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 18 Jul 02 - 09:26 AM

Now let's not be hasty about OJ Jed. He DID say that he was personally gonna track down the REAL killer(s) no matter how long it took. I guess he simply feels that they are probably to be found on California or Florida Golf courses. Enron execs (plus many other bigwigs) have apparently been keeping OJ in Bruno Mali shoes by forking out large sums of money to go 18 holes with a celebrity.

Personally I think "double Jeopardy" was a very strange concept. (but a great movie)

P.S. Despite the fact that ALL the evidence in the OJ trial was compelling, I thought the funniest bit was him saying that the "He'd NEVER wear tacky (sic) Bruno Mali shoes".......and then, a few months after the trial, several photos emerged of him at football games, indeed wearing the "murderer's" exact footwear.

Rick


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Subject: RE: BS: Good Thing OJ Doesn't Live in UK
From: Big Mick
Date: 18 Jul 02 - 09:42 AM

Let's back up and look at this from another angle. Why? Because the only double jeopardy applications that are noteworthy are the ones like OJ. What you don't hear about are the ones where a overly zealous Prosecutor wants a conviction at any cost. I find it humorous and sad that the British official quoted in the article above uses DNA to bolster his argument. If the authorities used DNA at the outset instead of after they already prosecuted, double jeopardy would be a non issue. It seems to me that there has to be a reason to take away protections that have been cornerstones of our judicial system. This doesn't benefit the citizenry, it just makes the Prosecutors job easier. History will tell you that making it easier to jail or execute someone will invariably lead to abuse. I would rather the occasional OJ get away with it, than to have large number of poor folks convicted incorrectly, or as a result of someone with an agenda. Folks get all het up with regard to whether or not the words "under God" are in a pledge, but when something like this that truly attacks our rights comes along, they say, "Yeah, makes sense".

All the best,

Mick

PS. I understand that we are not talking about the US, but I am taking the case and applying it to my country, as our judicial system is based on the British system.


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Subject: RE: BS: Good Thing OJ Doesn't Live in UK
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 18 Jul 02 - 11:05 AM

I'm sure there are guilty people walk free from court - but I know that there are innocent people who are convicted.

The same day that David Blunkett announced his plans for changing the law to make it easier to get convictions, two men who had served 25 years in jail for murder were acquitted on appeal.

They'd maintained their innocence throughout, and had served a lot longer in jail because of refusing to say they had done it, because that's how parole works. The guilty, or the innocent who lie and say they were guilty get out quicker than those who are innocent and insist that they are innocent.

And there've been plenty more like that. And that is just counting the ones who finally got a court to overturn the verdict.

It's almost certain that whatever restrictions there may be on the cases where people can be retried for the same evidence, these will in practice be extended. It won't just be cases where absolutely cast iron new evidence has come up, it'll be cases where the authorities are determined on getting a conviction, and where there is some kind of evidence that can be argued to prove guilt.

Effectively the judge who decides thta a retrial is in order will have determined that the once-acquitted person is guilty, because the very decision to allow a retrial will signal to the jury that the evidence is irrefutable.

It's a very risky business taking away rights that have been there a long time. We've already got majority verdicts in the UK, "Twelve Angry Men" wouldn't be possible here.

As for OJ Simpson, a jury who heard a lot more about the case, and spent a lot more time thinking about it than many of us have, decided that they didn't think the case had been proved beyond a reasonable doubt. When a jury decides that, and acquits, it's doing what it's there for.


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Subject: RE: BS: Good Thing OJ Doesn't Live in UK
From: SharonA
Date: 18 Jul 02 - 11:17 AM

Bagpuss: Well, apparently OJ brags frequently to his current girlfriend that he killed his wife and got away with it – at least, that's what I keep reading from time to time, when it makes the papers. Of course, there was also compelling evidence at the time of the trial that was not presented at that trial: OJ's confession to Rosie Greer, overheard by the prison guard.

Anyway, if the UK does away with double jeopardy, what will it do to safeguard the rights of innocent persons who are put on trial repeatedly? What limits will they impose on repeat trials? How can an innocent person be expected to keep paying and paying for representation for multiple trials? This will be interesting to watch as it develops.


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Subject: RE: BS: Good Thing OJ Doesn't Live in UK
From: Bill D
Date: 18 Jul 02 - 11:22 AM

it's like a lot of things in life...if we do it the right way, we get injustice, if we do it the way the powers-that-be want, we get...........injustice, just a different flavor.

If police officers MUST read Miranda rights and follow strict procedures in arrests, we get criminals having too many loopholes....if we let police do it any way they wish, we get gratuitous beatings and innocent people getting harassed because some cops are just plain mean.

(...remember, several of OJ's jurors admitted that they knew from the beginning that they were NOT going to vote for conviction, no matter what the evidence said...this is what the system can lead to)


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Subject: RE: BS: Good Thing OJ Doesn't Live in UK
From: SharonA
Date: 18 Jul 02 - 11:33 AM

Oh, yes, BillD, I'd forgotten that about OJ's jurors. Maybe the system should change so that a mistrial can be declared even after a verdict is returned and the jurors dismissed, when testimony like that comes out afterward. Or is there already a law like that on the books that simply hasn't been applied in OJ's case because of the publicity of the first trial and the improbability of finding an impartial jury the second time around??

For that matter, wouldn't that be a stumbling block for any repeat trial of a high-profile case – finding an impartial jury?


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Subject: RE: BS: Good Thing OJ Doesn't Live in UK
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 18 Jul 02 - 11:37 AM

"there was also compelling evidence at the time of the trial that was not presented at that trial" - if it wasn't presented at the trial that would have been because it was not admissable evidence.

That means that, if it had been admitted, it would have been a mistrial - and if there had been a guilty verdict that would have been overturned by any fair appeal process.


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Subject: RE: BS: Good Thing OJ Doesn't Live in UK
From: GUEST,JTT
Date: 18 Jul 02 - 11:51 AM

THe authorities want to get rid of nasty inconveniences like jury trials and anything else that protects accused people from being decently and neatly convicted and filed away in gaol.


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Subject: RE: BS: Good Thing OJ Doesn't Live in UK
From: SharonA
Date: 18 Jul 02 - 12:09 PM

Kevin (McGrath): Yeah, the evidence was inadmissible because Greer claimed he was visiting OJ at the prison as a minister and not as OJ's longtime football buddy, so OJ was confessing his sin and Greer wouldn't reveal what was said. The guard who overheard the confession wasn't allowed to reveal it, either, because of its supposedly private nature between OJ and his God. Arrgh.


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Subject: RE: BS: Good Thing OJ Doesn't Live in UK
From: Bill D
Date: 18 Jul 02 - 12:17 PM

I can hear OJ thinking to himself..."gee, she deserved it, I did what I had to, and there's no one else I want to do in...so I'm no danger to anyone...why shouldn't I get off?"

and I can hear those jurors thinking about the same thing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Good Thing OJ Doesn't Live in UK
From: Ebbie
Date: 18 Jul 02 - 01:12 PM

We're in a transition period here, and the whole judicial system will have to be rethought and redrafted, imo. With the availability of DNA- which eventually will be applied routinely, I hope- we are able to firmly establish the presence at the crime scene of certain people, and to forever exonerate an individual accused of rape, for instance. It's a natural - if huge - step from fingerprints.

In future, I hope that the use of DNA will be applied even before the person is formally charged, or at least right after.

That way, if the person checks out negative, they can let him/her go free and keep looking for the perpetrator. It'll ruin a lot fewer lives.


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Subject: RE: BS: Good Thing OJ Doesn't Live in UK
From: SharonA
Date: 18 Jul 02 - 02:34 PM

...except for the life of the perp's identical twin... *G*


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Subject: RE: BS: Good Thing OJ Doesn't Live in UK
From: RichM
Date: 18 Jul 02 - 03:05 PM

A lot of talk about rights: what about responsibilities? The responsibility of society to provide security for citizens? I have no problem with retrying court cases, if it's based on some solid evidence, like DNA.


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Subject: RE: BS: Good Thing OJ Doesn't Live in UK
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 18 Jul 02 - 03:16 PM

You really think it'll stop at DNA? It won't be stretched to include other cases where the judge making the decision thinks there is new evidence of guilt that looks strong?

Remember noone ever got convicted unless the people who found them guilty had decided that they were guilty beyond any reasonable doubt.

And that includes all the innocent people who have been jailed or executed, only for courts later to decide that it was all a mistake.


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Subject: RE: BS: Good Thing OJ Doesn't Live in UK
From: SharonA
Date: 18 Jul 02 - 03:17 PM

I thought the responsibility factor consisted of the collection of the best available evidence by the prosecution before the accused is put on trial at all!!

I'm envisioning more slipshod evidence-gathering under a no-double-jeopardy system, using the logic that "we'll just bring him to trial again when we find some more evidence" (and in the meantime, the public foots the tax bill for each additional trial). Job security for lawyers and judges, decimated income for the middle class – unless a lot of safeguards are put in place (and how likely is that??).


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Subject: RE: BS: Good Thing OJ Doesn't Live in UK
From: GUEST,Kim C no cookie
Date: 18 Jul 02 - 03:50 PM

Well, that's all very interesting.

Mick said what I was going to say - if they presented all the best evidence upfront, there wouldn't be any need for a double jeopardy rule.

I would imagine, though, that with people who are criminally-minded, once they perhaps get off for one crime, they will probably go do it again, and may not get off so easy the next time. Habitual criminals eventually get caught - usually.

As for OJ... well, he wasn't found "innocent," he was found "not guilty." They way I understand it, there's a difference between the two. (someone please do correct me if I'm not getting this right) "Innocent" means you didn't do it, and "not guilty" means there wasn't enough to prove one way or the other. Now..... it's been so long since this all happened, I may not be remembering it correctly, so I apologize if that's the case.

If I had been Nicole, I probably would have shot him when he tried to break into my house.

Anyway, if he really did do it, he'll get his eventually. What I don't understand is why women still want to date him. Sure, he's good looking, sure he's rich (or used to be) - but he might have murdered two people. I think that would always be rankling in the back of my mind.


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Subject: RE: BS: Good Thing OJ Doesn't Live in UK
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 18 Jul 02 - 04:07 PM

Hi Sharon....Gee I had despaired that anyone else but me was such a detail nerd that they'd actually notice (and remember) OJ's confession to Rosey Grier. I've mentioned that a dozen times over the years to folks who simply look blank and say "who's Rosey"?

I guess all we (I mean "I") can hope for is that somehow his exile from the mainstream spotlite is some kind of punishment for that horrific crime.

Rick


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Subject: RE: BS: Good Thing OJ Doesn't Live in UK
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 18 Jul 02 - 05:26 PM

Nobody is ever "found innocent" - it is found that there isn't sufficient evidence to find them guilty, and that means that the presumption that they are innocent is operative, as it is for all of us who have not been found guilty.

I know the Scots have this "non proven" verdict which is a way of saying we think probably did it, but there's still a reasonable doubt, so we can't find you guilty". Which is a bit having it both ways, but I imagine it probably prevents a few people being found guilty where the evidence isn't actually strong enough. But even so, the presumption of innocence still applies in these cases too.

The job of a court is not to determine whether a person committed a crime, it is to decide whether the evidence presented to them is strong enough to convict beyond a reasonable doubt. If they go further than that they go too far.

It's also worth remembering that there have been cases of people being convicted on the evidence of people who have sworn they heard them confessing, when later it has been found that they shouldn't have been found guilty at all, and, for example, that someone else was responsible for what they were accused of.

(Incidentally, like most people in England, I suspect, the first I ever heard of Simpson was when he went on trial. Not exactly a household name or face here, at that stage anyway.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Good Thing OJ Doesn't Live in UK
From: GUEST,PopeBambi
Date: 18 Jul 02 - 08:32 PM

Although OJ was found "not guilty" in the CRIMINAL trial, he WAS found "guilty" in the CIVIL suit that his inlaws brought against him (since there is a lesser burden of "reasonable doubt", in civil cases).

They were awarded enormous damages (natch) and OJ is basically refusing all and any sponsorship, since they have a lien on his earnings, and is happily "getting by" on his enormous football-pension and various undeclared "cash-in-hand" payments "for services rendered".

A travesty. A real travesty, since he was clearly guilty of the crime of which he was accused, and the prosecution fluffed it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Good Thing OJ Doesn't Live in UK
From: Socorro
Date: 18 Jul 02 - 08:41 PM

Personally, I find the "funniest" thing about the OJ drama was when, in his "getaway" note, he wrote (I guess in a bid for sympathy),

"At times, I have felt like a battered husband".

Someone who had NOT killed his ex-wife, no matter how angry he was at her, would never say that. If he had NOT killed her, he would be eulogizing her, no matter his real feelings... he's nothing if not PR savvy.

That was when i knew for sure he had done it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Good Thing OJ Doesn't Live in UK
From: greg stephens
Date: 18 Jul 02 - 08:45 PM

Travesty or not, (I haven't studied the case): even if I was a hundred per cent sure he was guilty(or the Lawrence murderer suspects) I still wouldn't support this change in our UK laws, just so that we could have a second crack at the lucky guilty parties who slip through. The spin-off consequences are too frightening.


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Subject: RE: BS: Good Thing OJ Doesn't Live in UK
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 18 Jul 02 - 08:47 PM

The fact that a civil court, where a lower level of proof is required, came to the conclusion that Simpson had killed his wife is totally irrelevant so far as the criminal trial is concerned.

The jury that acquitted him might well have thought that the chances were that he did kill his wife. That still would not have justified a verdict of guilty, if they didn't believe that his guilt had been demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt. The two results are perfectly consistent with each other.

Not all guilty people are convicted - but there is no way to ensure that this never happens which doesn't also incur an increased risk of more innocent people being convicted. And that happens all too often already.


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Subject: RE: BS: Good Thing OJ Doesn't Live in UK
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Jul 02 - 08:56 PM

The Independent Newspaper Editorial on the subject is, to my mind, well worth reading


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Subject: RE: BS: Good Thing OJ Doesn't Live in UK
From: SharonA
Date: 19 Jul 02 - 08:32 AM

Rick Fielding: LOL at myself! Yeah, I'm enough of a detail nerd to remember OJ's confession to Rosey Grier, but obviously not enough of a detail nerd to have spelled Grier's name correctly!! *BG* Thanks for setting me straight.

(BTW, "Rosey" is short for "Roosevelt". Here's a little bio about him that includes the OJ-confession incident, for anyone who's interested in reading about it: http://www.africanpubs.com/Apps/bios/0490GrierRoosevelt.asp?pic=none)


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Subject: RE: BS: Good Thing OJ Doesn't Live in UK
From: SharonA
Date: 19 Jul 02 - 08:38 AM

P.S. – According to the Rosey Grier bio I just linked to, I was mistaken in more than the spelling of his name. The bio says that Grier and OJ had not met before OJ was accused of murder (whereas I had thought they had been old friends from their US pro-football days). Grier was of an earlier generation of football players than OJ was.


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Subject: RE: BS: Good Thing OJ Doesn't Live in UK
From: The Walrus at work
Date: 19 Jul 02 - 09:02 AM

Before the removal of the "No Double Jeopardy" rule, the only way to deal with an accused who is found "not guilty" and then admits to committing the offence (and there are some who find the need to brag about beating the system) or if some compelling new evidence comes to light, was to try them for perjury, which carries (often) a shorter sentence than the crime for which they were originally tried.
Surely it would have been easier (and less contraversial), instead of removing an age old protection, to expand the purjury sentencing rules such that an offence of perjury carries the same maximum sentence as the original trial could have awarded (ie: A possible "life" maximum in the case of a murder charge).

Walrus


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Subject: RE: BS: Good Thing OJ Doesn't Live in UK
From: SharonA
Date: 19 Jul 02 - 09:11 AM

Walrus: Now that makes sense. (But since when do governments do the sensible thing?)


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Subject: RE: BS: Good Thing OJ Doesn't Live in UK
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 Jul 02 - 09:13 AM

That would in itself involve "removing an age old protection" just as much as allowing a retrial of someone who has been found "not guilty".

Whether doing it that way is more or less controversial shouldn't make any difference. If people think is right to make a change like this, they should wish to make the change in the most open and unambiguous way.

That isn't what perjury is supposed to cover, otherwise everybody who has ever pleaded not guilty and been found guilty would be be liable to be done for it as well.


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Subject: RE: BS: Good Thing OJ Doesn't Live in UK
From: Ringer
Date: 19 Jul 02 - 12:06 PM

Um... (pedantry alert) isn't "double jeopardy" a concept that's being embraced by Mr Blunkett's White Paper, rather than being dropped, as Jed said in his initial post?

I notice that the European Union (hobby-horse alert) has no such effete reservations: both Ireland and Denmark are re-holding referendums whose outcomes didn't suit the European Elite. And, no doubt, they will continue to do so until their citizens vote the "correct" way.


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Subject: RE: BS: Good Thing OJ Doesn't Live in UK
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 Jul 02 - 02:05 PM

That's not quite the same. In a sense that's what happens every time we have a general election, we are asked if we haven't changed our minds since the last one. With the difference that in this case they stop having the elections when they've got the result they want.


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Subject: RE: BS: Good Thing OJ Doesn't Live in UK
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 19 Jul 02 - 04:15 PM

The fundamental weakness in the UK and US systems is that the courts are required to determine guilt rather than what happened. Courts that are run on the inquisitorial principle have vastly wider scope to call for and examine all the evidence rather than merely that which relates to the potential guilt of those charged.

The inquisitorial system benefits from being less personalised on the defendant(s) and does not reult in the absurdity of certifying innocent parties "not guilty." It lends itself much more readily to the re-examining of cases where there is an obvious public interest. And when a case is re-opened, there will usually be much more evidence availabe for re-examination than is the case in the wake of a trial under the adversarial system.

I am fascinated by the unqestioning faith in DNA. There can be very few jurors who have even a hazy grasp of the science. Instead they must depend on experts, and experts have been found to be fallible and even corrupt.

At the least they will sometimes be predisposed under the adversarial system to help justice along, by going too far in helping convict whoever the police have convinced them is guilty.

There is also a much greater risk of cross-contamination with DNA than with much other forensic evidence.


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Subject: RE: BS: Good Thing OJ Doesn't Live in UK
From: Gareth
Date: 19 Jul 02 - 04:24 PM

One of the problems of the Anglo-Saxon criminal system is that any trial is based on an advesarial system, not a system of enquiry. With both sides, for want of a better description, presenting evidence within defined rules for a jury to adjudge.

It is not neccesarily an attempt to enquire into the truth. And that is the problem.

Gareth


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