Those who recall the 1970s in the UK may well recall an example of the following graffiti as it was painted in numerous places:
The BBC reports:
A man who continually denied his involvement in an armed robbery in the 1970s has won an appeal against his conviction.
George Davis was jailed for 20 years for armed robbery and wounding, after a raid in April 1974 at the then London Electricity Board, in Essex.
Three appeal court judges allowed the conviction challenge brought by Davis, who is now 69, and lives in London.
Davis was at the Court of Appeal when the announcement was made.
Evidence to show the convictions were unsafe “had been in the hands of the authorities since 1977”, lawyers said.
The convictions were referred to the Court of Appeal by the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC), an independent body which investigates possible miscarriages of justice.
While I do not agree with the use of criminal graffiti to highlight a case of a miscarriage of justice, I also believe that everybody has the right to be treated fairly by the law and that the criminal system has a duty to ensure that any miscarriages of justice are rectified as soon as possible.
If it is accurate, as claimed by the lawyers, that the authorities had evidence as early as 1977 that Mr. Davis’s conviction was unsafe then this is an appalling state of affairs. It is grossly unfair to Mr. Davis that for the last thirty four years he has had this conviction hanging around his neck. I trust he will now be entitled to compensation, the amount of which should be enhanced by the length of time that this has dragged on.
Alan A adds:
How very retro. Of course, Mr Davis deserved to have his conviction quashed on this basis. I’d add the following, for context:
In 1978, two years after his release from prison, Davis was jailed again, having pleaded guilty to involvement in another armed bank raid on 23 September 1977 at The Bank of Cyprus, Seven Sisters Road. Davis was caught at the wheel of the getaway van with weapons beside him; in the raid shots were fired and a security guard clubbed to the ground. Having been released early in 1984, he was jailed yet again in 1987 for attempting to steal mailbags. Davis admitted his guilt for both of these robberies.
I don’t think he is appealing these convictions.
In other news, I am informed that M Kahn has been granted a superinjunction in respect of speculation about his sexuality*.
*[this is a very obscure joke]