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Politics/Current Affairs

It’s One-Nil To Overturned Law

Monday, September 11th, 2006 at 21:06 by Rhys Wilcox

A man has confessed to the murder of a young woman fifteen years after he was cleared of the charge.

Watch out, all you criminals running Scott-free, an eight hundred-year-old law has been overturned and old cases are now able to be retried. The old law was the notorious ‘double jeopardy’ law which stated that a person could not be tried for the same crime more than once. That’s not to say if you were found innocent of murder then you couldn’t be tried if you murdered someone else. Rather, if you were found innocent of murdering someone then you could not be hauled up for the same charges even if new evidence absolutely proved you had done it.

Yes, it may have been a silly law but of course it did mean that the police had to ensure an airtight case before it went to court instead of wasting loads of time and money having another trial every time a new bit of evidence is uncovered.

So, first back up in the dock was Billy Dunlop who, as it turns out, got away with the murder of 22-year-old Julie Hogg in 1991 as two juries were unable to come to a decision. Because of this, when it came to pass that the courts found out he had lied during his testimonies all they could do was bang him up for perjury for 6 years.

Now; new law; back in court; you’re stitched, mate and Dunlop had admitted to the crime.

Be prepared to see a spate of old cases being dredged up because of new and compelling evidence and previously acquitted crims ‘going dahn’. Also be aware that because the pressure to get it right first time has been taken away from the law, there could now be an increase in cases based on the most spurious of evidence as the prosecutors will have nothing to lose.

How long will it be before the first real ‘innocent’ is tried again? And how will we know?

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