Monday, 10 January 2011

Massacre of the innocents? Flaws in US justice

[This is the heading over a recent article on the AskWhy! Blogger website, principally about the Innocence Project which campaigns to overturn miscarriages of justice in the United States (the UK equivalent is the Innocence Network). The article reads in part:]

Much US justice, especially in emotion loaded cases, is concerned with having a victim, not catching the real criminal. People want to feel exonerated that someone, anyone, has been punished for what they think is a heinous crime. A conviction will convince them the punishment is just, though they have no idea of the strength of the evidence presented.

That is so in the Lockerbie case, the destruction of an airliner for which Abdul Baset Al Megrahi was convicted. The case against him is extremely thin, and looks to have been brought because it suited the US authorities to pin the outrage on to Libya. The conviction does not look just, and unless justice is seen to be done, no one should pretend it is just.

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