Why do we keep sending innocent people to rot in jail?

August 7, 2003

Why do we keep sending innocent people to rot in jail? Why do we let obviously violent criminals wander the streets? Why is it so difficult to punish the right people? These are reasonable questions, but answering them involves facing up to some very unpleasant decisions. This article reviews some of the more alarming cases of recent times – some well known, some less so – then attempts to extract some common features from them. It will be shown that before any real progress can be made, we as a society will have to decide to what extent we agree with the words of Sir William Blackstone: “It is better to let ten guilty men go free than to incarcerate one innocent man”. Until we can do that – and it isn’t easy – things will not improve. “It is better to let ten guilty men go free than to incarcerate one innocent man — Sir William Blackstone”

K Zone

 

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