Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Restorative Justice?

Restorative Justice? 

London, 23rd February 2015. 

MOJO ( Project Manager, Cathy Molloy and MOJO client, Jimmy Boyle, travelled to London to participate in demonstrations designed to highlight the continuing denial of restorative justice to victims of miscarriages of justice and against the destruction of legal protections resulting from cuts to the legal aid budget and the introduction of laws that result in increased prosecutions and injustice. 

Cathy and Jimmy met up with Victor Nealon, Martin Foran and Barry George, each of whom has been abused with miscarriages of justice and proved innocent; Martin twice convicted of crimes he did not commit and twice these convictions have been quashed. Other victims joined the protest at this continuing injustice, including Paul Blackburn, who was abused with twenty-five years of wrongful imprisonment for a crime he did not commit before being released an innocent man and representatives of JENGba, ( campaigning for justice for the victims of the appalling joint enterprise laws. 

The protest convened at Westminster Hall opposite the venue for the UK Government’s Law Summit marking the eight hundredth anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta. The contrast between the plentiful monies expended on this lavish beano and, for example, the £46 comprising the ‘compensation’ Victor Nealon received when he was thrown onto the streets without a roof over his head having established his innocence of a crime he had no hand in, having refused to play the criminal by acquiescing in the miscarriage of justice perpetrated upon him, was stark; a mark of that inhumanity and disregard for justice that results in the violence of miscarriage of justice and unlawful imprisonment and of Governments’ refusals to deliver restorative justice to these, their unwelcome victims. 

In Westminster, farce is ever present, and the delegates to the Law Summit, having surveyed the protest from the warmth of their conference centre, sent tea and coffee to warm the protesters. Victor was wary of accepting this offer for fear of what the cups might contain, others dryly remarked here was compensation of sorts. 

Having brought the plight of the innocent to the delegates’ attention the party moved to the Parliament buildings to join with the Justice Alliance’s ( protest against cuts to legal aid budgets that inevitably result in the denial of justice and the proliferation of miscarriages of justice – by design. 

A horribly lifelike image of Chris Grayling, a supposed Justice Secretary, was brought to the party in stocks, accompanied by a trio of medieval musicians. Speaker after speaker denounced Governments’ determined denial of the means of justice to those who cannot afford to purchase it. All victims of miscarriages of justice were recognised when the Miscarriages of Justice Organisation hoisted the Gerry Conlon banner to loud and prolonged cheering from the gathering, including passers-by acknowledging the horror of this sadistic injustice. 

Making our way home we became aware of news reports suggesting two men who have held high Offices of State, Jack Straw and Malcolm Rifkind, had been discovered seeking cash for influence deals: Mr. Straw apparently seeking five thousand pounds per day, Mr. Rifkind available for hire at five to eight thousand pounds per half day. 

Both men strenuously refute these allegations insisting they are honourable men whose activities are characterised by integrity. 

Jack Straw refused Barry George compensation and restorative justice for the miscarriage of justice perpetrated upon him and the Rifkind doctrine, that can be read on the Scottish Government’s website at (Ex Gratia scheme)  is one of the devices the Scottish Government employs in order to deny Jimmy Boyle restorative justice and compensation for the crimes perpetrated upon him in the name of justice. 

Which then are the honourable men: Jack Straw or Barry George? Malcolm Rifkind or Jimmy Boyle? 

We at the Miscarriages of Justice Organisation have our answer to these questions; what is yours? 

It would be wrong not to acknowledge the warmth and humanity that exists amongst those people who deplore this violence, supposedly done in their name and interest, and Cathy and Jimmy want to put on record their thanks for the friendship, hospitality and support they received from Lucy, Jake, Arthur and Buster, not forgetting Cosmo Ra Dug. Thanks chinas!