Tuesday 23 January 2018

Richard Humphreys: Miscarriage of justice as guilty get off on technicality

The exclusionary rule has created a massive imbalance in our justice system

Richard Humphreys

TO most citizens, a criminal trial should be a way to find out if the accused is actually, in fact, guilty or not guilty of the offence charged.

But to a criminal lawyer, this description is barely recognisable. A trial is a highly specialised type of ritual, with much in common with a complex game. It is full of technical pitfalls for the prosecution which can and often do result in relevant evidence being withheld from the jury.

In Ireland, we have a very vocal human rights industry that is rightly vigilant against any miscarriage of justice that involves the conviction of someone who is, in fact, innocent of the crime concerned.

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