UK NEWS: STEPHEN LAWRENCE MURDER SUSPECTS TO STAND TRIAL

Via The Guardian

Two men are to stand trial accused of being part of a racist white gang that “targeted and killed” the black teenager Stephen Lawrence because of the colour of his skin, the appeal court has said.

The killing in 1993 in Eltham, south-east London, is one of the most high-profile unsolved murders in Britain.

The men charged are David Norris, who has never before been charged over the stabbing, and Gary Dobson, who stood trial previously and was found not guilty.

Dobson was acquitted of killing Lawrence, 18, after a private murder prosecution brought in 1996 by the parents of the talented youngster who dreamed of being an architect.

A new law established in 2003 abolished the longstanding ban on people being retried for the same crime after being found not guilty, if “compelling” new evidence came to light.

The appeal court agreed on Wednesday that new evidence was compelling enough to allow Dobson’s acquittal to be quashed.

Continue Reading….

[Thanks Studio Pixie]

YES!!! I have nothing but respect for Doreen and Neville  Lawrence who refused to give up. I hope they finally get justice for Stephen.

Rest In Peace Stephen Lawrence.

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14 replies »

  1. This is so wrong. Mr. Dobson is being denied a basic right which is stipulated in Magna Carta. If the police feel that he is in fact guilty then he should be charged with perjury or perverting the cause of justice…and yes, make the sentence for committing these crimes a lot more severe.

  2. The point is, justice has spoken…and maybe it made a mistake on this occasion.

    The concept of ‘double jeopardy’ exists for a reason – if a verdict can so easily be ignored because it is embarrassing or inconvenient for a new political regime, how can we have faith in the jury system any more? Here lies the first step towards dictatorship.

  3. Lee – The key point here is that “compelling NEW evidence” has come to light. This is not a do-over of the last trial. The ‘law’ can make mistakes, but the true meaning of ‘justice’ cannot.

  4. Yes, I’m aware of that fact. Nonetheless I believe that double jeopardy should still apply. Other legal measures will have to used against Mr. Dobson.

    Have you not considered the potential serious and undemocratic consequences that theoretically might happen if double jeopardy is abolished? This leaves the whole legal and judicial system open to political interference…or even coercion.

  5. Well, double jeopardy has not been abolished, so your question is moot. However, the rule HAS changed. The new laws say that, only in the face of COMPELLING NEW evidence, double jeopardy dos not apply.

  6. So…in certain cases it has been abolished. The press is reporting that in this case double jeopardy has been abolished, and since English law relies on precedence any future government which doesn’t approve of someone’s politics or behaviour will persecute them by continually putting them on trial for a crime for which they have already been found not guilty, until a jury delivers the correct guilty verdict.

    Are you not concerned about this abolition of our basic liberties?

  7. SO LEE…. THE FACT THAT WE ARE NOW AWARE THAT THE LAW ( CORRUPT POLICE OFFICER FRIENDS OF ONE OF THE BOYS FATHER) ACCURATELY DELAYED JUSTICE FROM EVER HAPPENING MEANS ……
    THAT we should just be content with them getting away with it?…… what exactly are you saying
    skip double jeopardy for a few seconds…..
    (a) do you believe they are guilty of having something to do with stephen lawrences death yes/no?
    (b) do you think they should get way with it just because police cocked up the investigation ? yes/no and further comments please

  8. To tymusic:

    I don’t know if the two men are guilty or not, I was only twenty and only interested in football at the time. Reading press reports it seems that they probably are guilty, but I’m concerned about the precedence set and the loss of a basic human right. If these men are the scumbags that many believe they they are I’m sure they could be charged with something else and given the maximum sentence.

  9. No it’s not just about double jeopardy…it’s about far more – the integrity of the entire judicial system as we know it; and in particular the concept of trial by jury.

    I can’t comment on the case; I’m aware of it of course…but I have nothing to contribute. My main interests on this occasion are the broad issues of justice, human rights and the judicial system.

  10. I think you’ll find that HIS PARENTS are concerned about justice and human rights.

  11. so your concerned about the precedent set………… okay .. and you were too young to appreciate the effect that this case had on the black community.. as a whole
    this case changed the relationship between the black community and the police singlehandedly
    and i ‘m telling you that not as a person who reads press reports…
    or watches the news ( edited/biased/and often fragmented to suit the status quo) but as someone that has relatives / friends/ cousins who were HIS FRIENDS….
    i think its interesting that your concern is with the precedent set and not with the lack of respect for humanity that this country judicial system ( on all levels) has shown his family!!!
    what about that precedent?
    as you are someone who wants to understand this case a little better
    i ifrmly suggest you read duanes brooks account of the whole thing….. because it might help you to understand just how LITTLE double jeopardy is in the scheme of them being able to thwart justice….. what about the precedent of them the accused getting around the law ?
    will you be commenting on that level of bad precedent? or sticking to this notion that law is gonna break down and crumble if things are shifted to finally grab some people THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN ARRESTED…. THE FIRST TIME ROUND!!
    WHY IGNORE THAT PRECEDENT!! THATS WAY MORE IMPORTANT… THE FIRST PRINCIPLE OF JUSTICE IS … First: each person is to have an equal right to the most extensive basic liberty compatible with a similar liberty for others.[1]
    SOURCE… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Theory_of_Justice
    AND THAT NEVER HAPPENED…. YOU ARE RUNNNING INTO THE PARTY AFTER THE FACT AND AFTER THE DEEJAYS HAVE STOPPED PLAYING AND CLAIMING THAT MR DOBSON IS BEING DENIED HIS BASIC RIGHTS…..
    YOUR EARLIER THOUGHTS… This is so wrong. Mr. Dobson is being denied a basic right which is stipulated in Magna Carta. If the police feel that he is in fact guilty then he should be charged with perjury or perverting the cause of justice…and yes, make the sentence for committing these crimes a lot more severe.
    WHAT ABOUT STEPHEN LAWRENCES BASIC RIGHTS…. FOLLOW THE CASE AND LEARN THAT YOU ARE ONLY DEFENDING THE KILLERS BASICS RIGHTS… and your have ( hopefullly only out of ignorance of the facts ) chosen to ignore stephen and duanes right!!!… please remember there is a living witness duane brooks!!!peace!!

  12. It is wrong, absolutely wrong; double jeopardy exists not just to protect one from repeated persecution by a malicious prosecuting authority but also to ensure the state gets its act together first time round. If the state knows they will get multiple chances to prosecute people what incentive is there to get their ducks in a row first time round?

    The fact is the prosecuting entity, in this case the Lawrence family (Dobson was tried following a private prosecution which they initiated), did not satisfactorily prove the suspect’s guilt. A jury of his peers acquitted him, end of. Whatever their reason for doing so, they did and that is all that matters.

    To address the trial itself, perhaps a jury acquitted Dobson in spite of believing he was factually guilty, perhaps they were all NF members and they all despised Black folk; whatever their reason for finding him Not Guilty they did it and that is the end of it.

    As others have noted, there are other legal avenues to pursue; obstruction of justice charges, perjury charges, but not murder charges. Any charges resulting from that set of facts (Stephen Lawrence’s death) should be laid to rest, at least in Dobson’s case.

    Jury’s nullify laws in some cases, and thank God they can. To quote Horace Rumpole, jury nullification is ‘the light which lets us know the lamp of freedom is still burning’.

    My sympathies go to Stephen Lawrence’s family, but in spite of the horrendous way their son died exceptions should never be made to something as crucial as the principal of double jeopardy.

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