Are we innocent till proven guilty, or guilty till proven innocent? Is justice really just? And if not, what can be done to improve the situation? Laurie R King and Leslie S Klinger are Ruth Copland's guests.
To listen click here Is Justice Really Just? | It's A Question of Balance (broadcast 16 September).
We generally have faith in the justice system assuming those convicted are guilty - even when someone is charged with a crime we tend to think there can’t be smoke without fire and so they must be guilty of something, even if not the whole crime. Otherwise they wouldn’t have been charged right? In reality, wrongful convictions are not statistical anomalies but occur with worrying regularity for a multitude of different reasons. Some estimates state that 5-10% of the prison population may be wrongfully convicted, which is an astounding potential of 200,000 people who are innocent yet in prison.
This deeply worrying state of affairs is highlighted in a new book called Anatomy of Innocence: Testimonies of the Wrongfully Convicted, which through a collaboration between best-selling authors and exonerees tells the stories of those who for so long could get no one to listen.
Usually for the topic hour Ruth Copland goes out and about to talk to people on the street. However for this week’s topic Ruth has two expert guests - multi-award-winning crime writer Laurie R King and Leslie S Klinger, lawyer, editor, and world authority on Sherlock Holmes. Leslie is the co-editor of Anatomy of Innocence and Laurie is one of the contributing authors.
For more info and to listen to past shows click here It's A Question of Balance