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Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Why you should no longer rely on being thought Innocent till proven Guilty.

We can all rely on a basic tenet of English law, that one is innocent until proven guilty. Right?
Wrong ! There are increasing situations where it is clearly not the case in UK, and elsewhere, today.

Terrorism, for one. But that's easy, isn't it ?
The Govt. has to ensure the safety of all by depriving suspects of a chance to deploy bombs or other weapons of terrorism. Even if it means locking up or depriving a few suspect people of their liberty because they *may* be intending to deploy bombs or other weapons of destruction at some unknown point in the future.
Unless, of course, the suspect can *prove* they have no such intentions now, or in the future.

If you ever become a suspect, how do *you* prove you are not going to commit a certain act in the future ? It's a bit like a double negative, only has greater consequences to personal liberty.

Cot Deaths.
How does a grieving parent, *prove* they did not kill their child ?
We have now seen three mothers released from prison, their cases overturned on appeal, up to six years later, for infanticide charges now found to be untrue or the verdicts unsafe.
Another 28 such cases are still under review, pending High Court appeals.
you can read about the latest one here ...

All because, an *expert* medical witness (I could link to reports about Prof. Sir Roy Meadow, but why bother) believed that one cot death case was tragic, two cases were suspicious and three cot deaths in one family just *had* to be murder. He even gave flawed odds of 73 million to one - for two children from one family succumbing to cot death. This *expert* opinion became known as Meadow's Law.

It took outraged medical statisticians, a TV documentary and assorted family lawyers to demonstrate that inherited genes could sadly pre-dispose some children to succumb to cot death.

Not tragic, but slightly worrying....
You can now be stopped at the roadside, by the police, on suspicion of almost anything, and forced to submit to fingerprinting, to determine your identity.
you can read about this here ...
At the moment, this is a police trial in Northampton, but could be launched nationwide in 18 months.

So, don't think it couldn't happen to you, because increasingly, our basic freedoms are slowly being eroded, drip..... by..... drip......

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