"Never be silent whenever wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented." Elie Wiesel
MOJUK Aims and Objectives
It is easy to go from cradle to the grave with the belief that the law protects us all equally, that the law prevents the government from violating the rights of the people, or that judges will protect the rights of all who come before them.
"The courtroom, one of the supposed bastions of democracy, is essentially a tyranny. The judge is Monarch. He is in control of the evidence, the witnesses, the questions, and the interpretation of law." - - Historian Howard Zinn, "Declarations of Independence" (1990)
Millions of people in the UK, learn about the law from school, college, what they get from the media.
The proper place to learn about the law is in a courtroom, where the proverbial shit hits the fan. It is entirely possible to read numerous legal textbooks, go into a courtroom, see what's happening and be totally stunned by the differences between what the law says, and what the law does, daily.
People observing the process of courts for the first time are, end up saying, again and again, "They can't do that!", only to recognize that they are doing it, and continue to do so.
The Crown Prosecution Service, who prosecute all criminal trials, in the courtroom are not concerned with finding the truth but assigning blame.
MOJUK is not concerned with the 'innocence or guilt' of those in jail. We are concerned only that they have been brought to trial and convicted through 'due process of law'.
Miscarriages of Justice (MOJ) do not occur by chance.
Every MOJ, when examined in hindsight, will show massive defects in our so-called 'justice system', from the original incident (*in some cases which never happened) right through to the appeal court, where the 'justice system' descends into total farce.
Many of the miscarriages of justice supported by MOJUK are 'career criminals' who have been *'Taken off the streets' by the police.
You cannot break the law to uphold the law.
Any abuse of due process no matter how small should be sufficient grounds for the quashing of any conviction and compensation should be paid in every case.
*'Taken off the streets': Police have since their formation been in the habit of where they think someone has committed a serious crime or habitually commit crime and can't get a conviction through 'due process', resort to illegal means to get convictions.
‘Hostages of the State’
The Criminal Justice System has become the focal point of increased criticism over recent years due to a rising Prison population, unrest within the Prison System itself, deaths in custody, racism, and miscarriages of justice.
There are in the UK prison system many hundreds of people who are convinced they should not be there. They claim they should not be there for no other reason than that they are victims of a ‘Miscarriage of Justice’.
These victims of the Criminal Justice system commonly refer to themselves as ‘Hostages of the State’.
MOJUK has no doubts what so ever that this is true as there is a chronic failure within the legal system to recognise that justice:
1. Is applied by human beings who are not infallible
2. Distortion of facts are common methods of gaining convictions
3. Police do lie, plant/conceal evidence.
4 That the theatrics of solicitors and barristers in the courtroom can condemn innocent people.
5. Judges can be opinionated and biased to the detriment of the accused
6. Juries are susceptible to misdirection by judges, expert witnesses, barristers.
7. Juries can be subject to every prejudice imaginable and are generally clueless about what is happening in the courtroom.
8. Accused are at the mercy of expert witnesses. Both the defence and prosecution expert witnesses will have impeccable academic qualifications, proven experience in the field. And will both be diametrically opposed to one another.
8. That though the Prosecution are legally obliged to disclose details of all the evidence and provide full access to it, prior to trial. This too frequently does not happen. (An ever-increasing number of complaints to the European Court of Human Rights under article 6 'non-disclosure, are being upheld.)
10. That once convicted, no matter how clear it becomes that the conviction was wrong the Criminal Justice System, will do everything in its powers to prevent that conviction being overturned.
“Anyone convicted of an offence and sentenced to a period in prison, whilst in prison serving that sentence, is entitled to be treated with respect’ and looked after in a ‘Humane’ manner by the 'Prison Service', in whose care they have been placed by the courts.”
Aims and Objectives
1. To keep an up to date record of all those ‘Hostages’, who are campaigning against a miscarriage of justice
2. To provide free publicity for ‘Hostages’ where it is believed that a miscarriage has occurred.
3. To provide free pages on the ‘world wide web, where their case can be accessed by all.
4. To keep the ‘Hostages’ informed of who is campaigning, and when their appeals are to be heard.
5. To keep the ‘Hostages’ informed of convictions that have been overturned.
6. To provide a regular newsletter ’Inside Out’, which will mainly contain articles written by the ‘Hostages’ themselves.
Even where it has become unmistakably clear that someone has been imprisoned wrongly, it can take years to get that person freed from prison. Appeals are more often than not unsuccessful the first time around.
Many, many years can pass before that appeal date and then you lose and you are back too square one.
Due to lack of progress ‘Hostages’ become the ‘forgotten’, their supporters have fallen away.
MOJUK will provide free advice and assistance on how to set up a campaign to those people who claim they have been wrongly convicted and that a miscarriage of justice may have occurred.
MOJUK will not discriminate on any grounds, each miscarriage of justice will be able to put their story as they see fit.
MOJUK will provide those prisoners campaigning, support and publicity during their incarceration which otherwise may not be available to them.
Families and friends of those wrongly convicted will be given free advice on how to set up campaigns, how to deal with the media, how to publicise the injustice.
There are other websites which also keep data on those wrongly imprisoned:
INNOCENT <http://www.innocent.org.uk/ > is a Manchester-based organisation which supports and campaigns for innocent people in prison.
'Inquisitorial system' v 'Adversarial system'
Where at trial if the Expert witnesses prosecution/defence cannot agree on the facts of the evidence to be presented to the court, they should be barred from giving evidence to Juries!
Where the cause of death is not determined - no murder charges should be brought!
In the absence of strong evidence of murder, a case should not be prosecuted.
Neither should evidence be allowed into court where prosecution and defence cannot agree on the value of the evidence.
There is a very strong case for using the 'inquisitorial system' used in Europe, rather than the 'adversarial system' used in the UK justice system.
In the Angela Canning trial using the UK 'adversarial system', the jury was forced to rely on the expert witnesses who had given contradictory evidence". This also happened in Nick Tucker's trial and happens all too often in other murder trials and leaves the jury in an unenviable position of having to make a judgement on something they know nothing about.
In Europe they use the 'inquisitorial system' If it's a science, then the facts should be agreed before the trial proceeds; if they cannot come to an agreement, then it should not be allowed in court, as the onus is on innocent until proven guilty.
An inquisitorial system in forensics would go a long way to prevent miscarriages of justice and the unnecessary suffering that the innocent, and their families, have to endure.
MOJUK founded in 1996 by John O to keep alive the stories of those people in prisons nation-wide who are campaigning against a miscarriage of justice.
MOJUK is non-political, non-profit making, non-funded