That arch traitor Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke should have turned down Mr. Siôn Jenkins’s claim for compensation for his time in prison should come as no surprise whatsoever to British Gazette readers. Before continuing, let us allow a brief reprise of the events:
Teenager, Billie-Jo Jenkins was found battered to death with a metal tent peg on the patio of her foster family’s home in February 1997. In the days after her death, Mr. Jenkins was arrested for her murder. After six years in gaol – during which time he was seriously assaulted by another prisoner – he won an appeal and was released on bail pending a new trial. The jury failed to reach a verdict and he was retried again. When that jury failed to reach a verdict, he was formally acquitted in February 2006 – nine years after the murder.
Now let us look at the relevant legislation:
Criminal Justice Act, 1988: Section 133: (1) Subject to subsection (2) below, when a person has been convicted of a criminal offence and when, subsequently, his conviction has been reversed or he has been pardoned on the ground that a new, or newly discovered, fact shows beyond reasonable doubt that there has been a miscarriage of justice, the Secretary of State shall pay compensation for the miscarriage of justice to the person who has suffered punishment as a result of such conviction or, if he is dead, to his personal representatives, unless the non-disclosure of the unknown fact was wholly or partly attributable to the person convicted.
(2) No payment of compensation under this section shall be made unless an application for such compensation has been made to the Secretary of State.
There is no general entitlement under the act to recompense for wrongful conviction. Compensation will not be awarded in cases where at the trial or on appeal the prosecution is unable to sustain the burden of proof against the accused person.
This of course would appear to attack one of the fundamental principals of English Law: Innocent until proven Guilty. It is of course the case that before 1988 a person could be convicted of a crime, imprisoned and subsequently released following the conviction being quashed on appeal or being acquitted following a subsequent retrial, and to have no form of compensation paid whatsoever. Clearly, such a situation could cause such a person to be free but to have their life ruined – financially and otherwise. Therefore it could be said that Section 133 of the Criminal Justice Act was a long overdue reform. However, in its wording it failed to accept the fundamental precept of English criminal law: Innocent until proven Guilty. Why? Very simple really. English Law and Jurisprudence from the days of Magna Carta has established two states vis-à-vis criminality. Guilty and Innocent. Unlike the case in Scotland (Unproven) there is no in between. Furthermore, when charged with a crime the defendant is presumed Innocent until proven Guilty at trial. Thus, when Mr. Jenkins was freed on bail, the law at that point assumed him Innocent but with a prime facia case to answer for the charge of murder. Thus, when two juries failed to find him guilty, in English Law Mr. Jenkins was innocent. The Orwellian named “Ministry of Justice” has lamely stated that compensation will only paid to those applicants who are “clearly innocent.” This “ministry” has therefore introduced an in-between state which is at variance with a fundamental principal of English criminal law. Should the readers of the British Gazette be surprised? Of course not! Why? Because the Home Secretary at the time (1988) was non other than the arch traitor, Douglas Hurd. Readers will know all about the great love Clarke and Hurd have of English legal tradition. They love it so much they are happy to subjugate it to “Corpus Juris” the body of law of the European Union which is based on Roman Law – an alien legal concept in these islands since 400AD when the last Roman legions left these shores.