Sunday, April 03, 2005

Britain scraps double jeopardy

I am really interested to find out what this new law actually provides, because it seems Britain is getting rid of the prohibition (is that what you call it?) against being tried twice for the same offence.

Usually, 800 year old rules are good rules and don't need to be changed. I am not being conservative, I just think that rules that have worked for that long generally work and are based on fundamentally sound principles.

This seems like a funny thing to do, it would need HUGE safeguards against abuse. The whole point of double jeopardy is to provide closure. Once a person is acquitted, they don't have to live the entire rest of their life looking over their shoulder on the off chance a new piece of evidence (false or not) would come to light and get them convicted.

Apart from anything else, how on earth can Scotland Yard have a go at people who have published books confessing to their murders? I mean, they are dickheads for writing a book, but to review anybody's case as this story says they plan to do is surely retrospective lawmaking. Surely if any change is made to a law, it cannot be made applicable to persons who have acted under the expectation of the law in force at the time being the law that applies to their actions.

I don't know, maybe I am missing something. Maybe the story is inaccurate. But bloody hell, if it is true, heaven help anybody accused of any crime any time, guilty or not. No matter what the outcome, they will not be able to escape the possibility that a conviction may occur, or at least be attempted, 50 years after an original trial, just because technology is better. Sounds frightening to me.


Blogger Tom Paine said...

It's true. I can't believe it myself, but it's true. You can read more at

Britain is steadily building the apparatus of a police state (ID Cards, centralised databases, no habeas corpus - see Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005 - no double jeopardy, no trial by one's peers, it goes on and on). We will need the US Marines to reimpose democracy before we are finished.

1:57 am  

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