[I wish a happy and peaceful 2012 to all readers of this blog. What follows is an item first posted here on 1 January 2008:]
In The Scotsman today, Iain McKie (former police officer and father of Shirley) has an op-ed piece expressing grave concern about criminal justice in the United Kingdom, with particular reference to forensic scientific evidence. He writes:
“The Omagh bombing, the World's End Murders, the Templeton Woods murder and the SCRO fingerprint case have all shown that previously infallible evidence is indeed fallible and finally the prosecution system is being forced to review its whole forensic strategy.
While this is bad enough, Lockerbie and other cases have also revealed evidence of police and Crown Office incompetence, political intrigue and a court and legal system struggling to cope.
A system where justice takes forever and at a prohibitive cost. Slowly the realisation is dawning that we are faced with a justice system no longer fit for purpose. A system where there is very real danger of the innocent being found guilty and the guilty escaping punishment. Instead of the usual face saving 'first aid' aimed at preserving the power and privilege of those within the system, the time is long overdue for broad ranging public and political debate aimed at creating an open, accountable and accessible system.”