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Saturday, February 20, 2016

JOINT Enterprise: No voice or justice for victims?

ONE has to seriously question and rigorously examine the apparent change to the legal concept of joint enterprise which was announced this week by senior legal types. They've admitted establishing and applying the Law wrongly for 30 years... three decades. It beggars belief.

Without doubt, the voice of victims, their families and friends has not been heard so far. Observing the media this weekend though, you can see and hear them starting to speak out, having to summon strength and composure to face whatever the Law (supposed to help them) has decided to do to them at the start of 2016.

When most workers get something wrong for a few weeks, they can be fired. Can the legal profession avoid responsibility getting something wrong for 30 years? How can these legal types be held accountable for such a huge mistake? They could help fund anti-violence education across the country, i reckon, for such a disastrous mess up... at the very least, as a start.

Faced with a mistake of such massive magnitude, do we hear profusive apologies to victims' family and friends - and not forgetting the Taxpayer - who have been put through tortuous court proceedings over 30 years? **Tumbleweed** ... no, not a peep.

Which one of these allegedly intelligent (out of touch, mainly old, well-heeled?) legal types will put their hands up and admit they've messed up? **Tumbleweed** ... deafened by the silence.

I was just reading Brooke Kinsella's message on Facebook about the news that could sum up the type of emotional impact bound to be felt by families and friends of the murdered who thought justice had been achieved:
"Am trying not to panic about yesterday's decision - yes it's wrong if a law has been 'used wrongly' for 30 years but it's also wrong that my family and so many more like ours may be right back to square one with nobody even bothering to explain what this means for us and our Justice. And Ben's Justice. My heart goes out to all who are as confused and scared as us right now and hoping we will get the answers we need... "
And Ben Kinsella's father, George, can be heard speaking on the issue here on BBC Radio London's Vanssa Feltz radio show. His interview comes just after 2 hours in (2:05:30).

Other reactions

Campaigner and activist at Advocate for Criminal Justice, Moya Griffiths, lost her son Jourdan in a joint attack. She said: "Could I please ask all those who have received a conviction through Joint Enterprise to contact the MOJ (Ministry of Justice) this afternoon....asking why this ruling, which CANNOT be challenged, has been passed so surreptiously and without any consultation or involvement from Victims families!"

Janet Wilson, mother of one of the teenage boys convicted of murdering Garry Newlove, was reported in the Guardian saying that she hopes the supreme court ruling against the joint enterprise law will bolster the case for her son’s conviction to be thrown out.

Jordan Cunliffe was 15 when he was convicted of the 2007 murder of Newlove, which on Thursday the supreme court ruled had been misinterpreted since 1984.
She said: “You think the person who has done it has been caught and they’re going to be punished and that’s the last of it and you grieve and get on with your life. To have people like me and campaigners popping up all the time; it must be like rubbing salt in the wounds.

“But it was the law that took the wrong turn and the law has put that right now. It’s not our fault. We shouldn’t have to feel guilty but we certainly do feel concerned for the victims because it’s all been unnecessary.”

Stop Press: Please join with me trying to help give young people in London better choices by helping fund education run by The Ben Kinsella Trust - donate to the Three Peaks challenge this summer in Ben's memory (Ben was stabbed to death in 2008). You also have time to take part in the challenge, raise money yourselves, by contacting the trust.

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