'Miscarriages of Justice Happen to Ordinary People'

'Miscarriages of Justice Happen to Ordinary People'

John Taft

Series Name Scarman Lecture Series
Speaker John Taft
Type Lectures & Talks
When 25 Mar 2015, 05:15PM - 07:15PM
Venue Frank and Katherine May Lecture Theatre, Henry Wellcome Building
Open To Public
Ticket Price Free
For Bookings Contact Book your place online https://www2.le.ac.uk/departments/criminology/news-and-events/scarmanlecture/booking-forms/scarman-lectures-2014-15 or email Amy Costello arj13@le.ac.uk

John would describe himself as just an ordinary man who’s had some extraordinary experiences with the Criminal Justice System. Convicted in 1999 of committing a murder that took place in 1983 (a conviction that still stands), John has always maintained his innocence.

Based on his experiences, he adopts what he considers to be a real life view of the Criminal Justice System rather than an academic or professional view. John has presented talks on the subject of miscarriages of justice at Sheffield University, Liverpool John Moores University as well as the University of Leicester. He has also addressed meetings of the Manchester Prison Lawyers Association, INUK meetings and various support groups.

John is fundamentally a realist and, combined with his first hand experiences, this allows him to bring a ‘down to earth’ and realistic perspective to a debate that goes to the heart of the individual’s liberty.

About the lecture

This discussion will look at a problem that could potentially impact on anyone in our society. Miscarriages of justice still blight our Criminal Justice System and yet receive scant attention by the media. The aim of the talk will be to take a ‘common sense’ overview of our appeal system and look at reasons why it is so resistant to righting a wrongful conviction. The approach to the problem will be from a lay person’s perspective and examine the potential scale of, and some contributing factors to, wrongful convictions in the 21st century.

A section of the talk will look at the truth behind what many consider to be some types of incontrovertible evidence that can influence the outcome of a trial and look at why we should all be more aware of the pitfalls of the ‘expert witness’ in the courtroom.

Concluding, the role of the jury and in particular Parliamentary and Judicial influence on trial by jury will be examined and in particular the lack of transparency in a process that can deprive each and every one of us our liberty.

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