Indeterminate sentences for public protection (IPPs) - a chronic failure
Since Jaslyn is an 'IPP' he has no current release date or programme for such. The current amount of time which he has served far exceeds the recommended tariff which he was given upon sentence, as well as far exceeding the average term upon conviction for such an offence. The parole board have done nothing to assist jaslyn with his rehabilitation and constantly change the goal posts as to their requirements, as well as including fictitous unsubstantiated statements in his reviews for the purpose of painting Jaslyn in a very bad light. Thus, Jaslyn has been left to sit in a cell year after year currently in his 13th year.
The Minister for Justice Ken Clarke is more than aware of this situation regarding IPPs, for recently he said about IPPs:
- "They're only released when they can demonstrate to the Parole Board that they are a minimal risk to society, which is the present test, but in a prison cell they will find it almost impossible to satisfy that test. We need long, determinate sentences for serious criminals. That is the way the criminal justice system works,"
Therefore the government clearly must be content with this system of setting people up to fail, as by Mr Clarke's statement, since the IPP status still continues even though Mr Clarke has also commented that reform to the IPP system would save 600 places and ?10 million of tax payers money.
As there is highly unlikely to be any progress towards release from prison for Jaslyn in his present prison. He and his family feel the only recourse is to Petition the Minister of Justice. Jaslyn has given permission for his last letter from the Parole Board to be put in the public domain as it is self explanatory as to why he feels he cannot progress. The full letter can be accessed here . . . .
Parole board - Decision of the panel - HMP Frankland 27th November 2009
Download: Petition on behalf of Jaslyn Ricardo Smith to Kenneth Clarke Secretary of State for Justice
'If you don't convict at first, trial, trial again'
The crime does not fit the time served and continuing to be served
Jaslyn was convicted following a second trial, the jury from the first trial failed to reach a verdict, at Wolverhampton Crown Court in April 1999.
He was convicted of raping his girlfriend, and further to him having a previous spent conviction, he was given an Automatic Life Sentence with a minimum tariff of 3_ years, as by the 'two strikes rule' which has now been repealed.
Jaslyn's case was taken to a retrial on the charge of rape with a new jury, he was found guilty of assaulting his girlfriend causing her actual bodily harm, rape and having ammunition without a certificate.
It is asserted that the evidence against Jaslyn is unsafe, although all attempts to the CCRC have so far been unsuccessful due to a failure of his legal team to prepare his case. One example which has not been explored is that no mention of rape was reported when his girlfriend was taken to hospital for the assault for which Jaslyn subsequently pleaded guilty to. His girlfriend was told by the hospital to take pain killers and return home to rest, few hours later his girlfriend was taken to the police station where she was examined by a doctor for rape. The evidence showed that intercourse had taken place, which Jaslyn admitted intercourse had taken place and maintains to this day that it was consensual. His girlfriend was never cross examined on this.
- - His girlfriend was taken to the hospital accompanied by the police, why did she not report that she had been raped? Jaslyn's legal team at the time, failed to cross examine her on this.
- - Why did she report the rape afterwards and then she was examined by a doctor at the police station?
- - Previous allegations by his girlfriend were subsequently dropped.
- - Kidnapping charges were dropped due to witness statement given by a taxi driver, therefore his girlfriend was not held against her will at no time as she claimed, and shown to not be a witness of the truth, however the jury still believed her evidence resulting in the conviction. Jaslyn's legal team at the time failed to cross examine her on this point.
- - No medical evidence of rape was produced during the trial, so why was Jaslyn convicted of rape?
- - Unlawful detention, Jaslyn now going into his 13th year of a sentence with no release date given and no rehabilitation plan in place. A contravention of Article 5(4) of The Human Rights Act.
- - Jaslyn is in a prison located hundreds of miles away from his family and friends.
- - Jaslyn is not given the opportunity to do courses to prove that he is not a risk to the public, or any risk to women, as the prison service have not provided access for him to do any courses within his minimum tariff of 3 _ years.
- - Jaslyn was put in solitary confinement whilst at Hmp Franklands with a recent move to the medical / suicide unit with no explanation or reasons given to Jaslyn or his family for either of these moves. During this time in '23 hour lock up' Jaslyn was shown a ligature and told by staff they could hang him and make it look like suicide. Further to his family writing to the Governor expressing their concerns about this, he was transferred to the suicide unit.
- - Disclosure of the evidence - late disclosure of the telephone records, hammer etc.
- - Non disclosure of evidence which could have been argued to assist Jaslyn's defence e.g. DNA swab results, forensic results from the sierra, pocket notebook entries.
- - Doctors at hospital/police station not called to give evidence, or statements read out to the jury.
- - Impossible to obtain a transcript of the trial proceedings since they have been destroyed due to the lapse of 5 years post conviction. An appeal attempt was active at this time but the court transcripts were destroyed regardless, making any subsequent appeal attempt due to the obtaining of new evidence or criticism of the fairness of the trial proceedings impossible. Thus any attempt to show a breach of Article 6 (the right to a fair trial) of the Human Rights Act is impossible due to the destruction of this valuable piece of evidence.
Jaslyn has served his tariff 3 times over with no date of release been given and still remains in a top security prison, 'the crime does not fit the time'
'The system has tried to break me mentally and physically, because I have maintained my innocence (which I will do to the end of my days) the system will not allow me to have a life outside these walls'
Jaslyn is looking for a legal team that will help to see justice done, help with his appeal his full story can be seen on www.mojuk.org.uk
Letters of support/solidarity
Jaslyn Ricaldo Smith
HMP Full Sutton