What happened to Stephen Lawrence was tragic, a young man, with his whole life ahead of him and who didn’t deserve to lose his life, died in the street in violent circumstances.
The subsequent investigation into the death was flawed in the extreme, and the prosecution was mishandled by the CPS and associated agencies. This meant that the case against the alleged offenders was of poor quality and the defendants were subsequently found not guilty. The police and the CPS didn’t do their jobs properly and many would say justice was not done.
I fully support the idea of the Lawrence family getting substantial compensation from the police because the investigation was mishandled. Also there should have been an investigation into the mishandled investigation and police procedures for similar cases should have been improved.
What I cannot support is trying people twice for the same offence. The law on double jeopardy has been a vital bulwark against despotism, and now, because of the Lawrences, that protection is now no more.
Because the Lawrences didn’t get the result they wanted from the courts, they cried ‘racism’ and pressured the Labour Government to change the law on double jeopardy in order to get a conviction against those who had already been tried by a jury. Of course I understand, and sympathise with the Lawrences that in the original court hearings they didn’t get the justice that they thought they should have got, but that is no excuse for removing a vital protection from malicious prosecution from those of future generations.
Although the Lawrence family got the result they wanted, because of their selfishness in demanding that double jeopardy was abandoned, they have placed future generations at grave risk of injustice. Any future government, possibly one that is extremely oppressive, may use this law change to make multiple consecutive prosecutions of, for example, political dissidents, until the jury or judge returns a result with which the government was happy.
The ability to keep prosecuting a person until a guilty verdict is obtained makes a mockery of the word ‘justice’.
The Lawrences, by their and their supporters actions, have placed a Sword of Damocles above the heads of you, your children and your grandchildren. You may think that those who were convicted at the second trial of involvement in the death got their just deserts, but would you think the same way if it was you or your offspring who were innocent of a crime but who were constantly threatened with re-prosecution for the same offence? I think not.
I used to feel sorry for the Lawrences because of their tragic loss. Now however, I despise them for what they have done to the legal system.
Whenever I see the Lawrences pontificating on the media, I don’t think, there go brave bereaved parents, but instead think, ‘what a bunch of selfish bastards’.
If you see Doreen Lawrence, politely tell her what she’s done, tell her how she has damaged protection for the innocent and tell her that she should be ashamed of what she has done, not only to this generation but to future ones.
Ms Lawrence, and the whole Lawrence family, you’ve had more than your day in court, you got the result you wanted, and you have given future despots a dangerous weapon to use against the British people. Is it not now the time for you to shut up, f**k off and live your life quietly?