14 November 2005
British ways to ensure more convictions
First it was the Tories who removed the right to silence of an accused and then introduced majority verdicts at their trials. (*) Then, about a year ago, Labour introduced the notion that a person who has been aquitted once of a crime can then be tried a second time.
I don't believe that any of these "reforms" have anything to do with anything that can be called justice. Mainly they are about appeasing the denizens of Britain's nastier suburbs. I can understand the Tories doing this - after all they are the party of If you want a nigger for a neighbour, vote Labour, but what's the Labour Party's excuse for following them down this path?
In the short term it may bring in a few nasty votes from a few nasty people, but the Tories can always out do Labour in the authoritarian stakes when they put their minds to it. Trying to compete with a party that is as nasty as it is stupid is, well, not what Labour is about.
(*) Actually, it was the Tories who abolished peremptory challenges to prospective jurors and then scrapped the right to silence. Majority verdicts came in much earlier. My thanks to "Vol-in-Law" in the comments box who pointed this out.