Thursday, January 16, 2014

Scottish independence: Scotland’s inept SNP Justice Minister Kenny MacAskill finally admits that there is a need for ‘safeguards’ if corroboration is scrapped, SNP attempt to patch up botched Crime Bill, why didn’t he recognise the errors before now?

Dear All

Scotland doesn't have a Justice Minister, it has Kenny MacAskill, he is Alex Salmond's creature.

Time for a quote:

"My problem is that I have too many talented people and not enough Cabinet positions.

The truth is that Salmond doesn't have "too many talented people" or is talented himself. If he was talented he would have fired McAskill without a second thought.

Having bungled the Justice appointment we have justice by populism and diktat now.

You can't have failed to noitice that the SNP want to scrap corroboration, this in my opinion is wrong, everyone knows it is wrong, but MacAskill is still pressing ahead regardless.

The vehicle which is used to drive this along is rape conviction levels.

Everyone recognises that rape is a terrible crime, the solution to the conviction problem is better trained prosecutors, not lowering the bar of proof to make evidence worthless or carry less weight than accusation.

You would think when something is so inept, stupid and dangerous, someone, anyone in the Scottish National Party would recognise the self evident truth of how MacAskill should be replaced by someone who understands what a fair trial means of everyone involved.

No, these SNP clowns just sit there raking in the cash and staying silent.

It is not the role of the Justice Minister of Scotland to side against anyone who is accused, that isn't their role and never was, MacAskill is like a de facto agent of the Crown Office.

After a stink has brewed up about the historic need for corroboration in Scottish criminal trials, it has now been put on hold as Kenny MacAskill fights to save a key part of flagship legislation.

It should be scrapped immediately and the proposal farmed out to academic Law departments of universities to be studied in detail. When you tinker with one part of a system you have to ask what is the possible effects on other areas of the criminal trial?

I wonder if many people look at this and ask themselves, are the SNP using this as a platform to garner votes?
In Holyrood, the Justice Committee don't seem want to play ball on this as their continuing scepticism and hostility shows.

Hence we have a ten to midnight offer to suspend this section of a wider Bill to allow an expert group to give further consultation to safeguards before the change comes into force.

Ian Cruickshank, of the Law Society of Scotland, said:

"While this is a welcome concession our view remains that corroboration, given its centrality in criminal proceedings, should be looked at comprehensively before legislation is passed that abolishes it."

For centuries no Scot has faced conviction unless there are two independent witnesses or sources of evidence.

Alex Salmond's Government wants to change this, safeguards proposed already are seen to be inadequate such as the number needed to convict.

The arguments for the change are that no other comparable jurisdiction in the world retains such a strict rule, that the requirement hampers prosecution of sexual assaults, that quality of evidence should be more important that quantity, and that forensic science has progressed.

Labour MSP Graeme Pearson says the SNP approach is "cavalier" in its reform of corroboration law.

He said:

"I have looked and there are 62 people in England and Wales whose cases were found to have been miscarriages of justice, some after many years of imprisonment. Scotland has nothing like that."

Conservative MSP, Margaret Mitchell said:

"All it means is the Government would use its majority to force through a decision that is causing great concern."

LibDem spokeswoman Alison McInnes said a full independent review was needed.

Lawyers, Sheriffs, Judges and human rights people recognise that this is a blunder, but when you are trying to win an independence vote, law takes second place to vote caches.

I wonder how many innocent people who ended up wrongly convicted will feel happy that they will be dealt away for votes by the SNP?

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Over the next few months you'll hear more and more ludicrous statements from the SNP.
Quite simply made in order to catch the gullible uninformed and not very bright voters.
They're desperate and will resort to desperate measures.
I hate to say it but the Tories are doing well in the media spotlight.
Which fucks up the SNP long term plan.