“The law not only needs to be done, it must be seen to be believed”
I just suddenly noticed lots of news stories doing the rounds where miscarriage of justice is the nub of the issue. So I thought I’d write about them, in reverse order of seriousness…
5. Graffiti removal laws in Ireland
Personal anecdote: when talking to the Dublin City Council about removing graffiti, it was mentioned to me that the Council has the power to “issue enforcement orders” for people to “clean their own property and if they fail to do this then we can prosecute them.” Given that people with graffiti sprawled on their own walls are victims, it seems doubly gratuitous to then prosecute them. In fairness, it was explained to me that this was extremely rarely done. But, still, the law seems harsh and absurd. On a scale of 1 to 10, this is a 1 only.
4. Betty Perry, Utah.
Poor old Betty. 70 year old great-grandmother and internationally-renowned criminal! Not only was she hounded by an incompetent police officer, but the state of Utah is pursuing her sorry ass for resisting arrest and failing to maintain her lawn. Ridiculous.
3. McCanns fight back over allegations
This is not quite a miscarriage yet, because they haven’t been charged, but it it quite clearly the case of the law (in this case, Portugal’s) getting the wrong end of the stick completely. Add to that the tabloid scum harassment, and you have a couple who have tragically lost their young daughter being hounded mercilessly and insanely.
2. The Jena Case
Despite having his conviction overturned by the Florida State Appeals court, Mychal Bell still remains incarcerated and under threat of further prosecution.
1. Tunisian Heroes
Tunisian fishermen face 15 years’ jail in Italy for saving migrants from rough seas. This is by far the most egregious application of a law in pursuit of the innocent. Indeed, I would go so far as to call these fishermen heroes. Yet, Italy is trying to prosecute them to encourage – let’s call it the way it is – murder on the high seas. Disgusting.