Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Don't believe everything you read in the papers!

Law students - a word of advice. Don't take everything you read in the papers as fact.

This article in the Daily Mail is a perfect example. It claims that the judge ruled that a "yob" (interesting term to use for someone found not guilty by the way!) "walked free" from Court as the prosecution's witness was "too believable".

Sounds terrible, eh?

It would be if it were true!

In reality the judge was not prepared to convict someone against whom the only evidence was someone having a glimpse lasting no more than a couple of seconds!

Remember the standard of proof in criminal cases is "beyond reasonable doubt"!

If the ONLY evidence is such a brief glimpse, with nothing else to corroborate it, is there such reasonable doubt?

Of course!

Therefore the judge was clearly correct to direct an acquittal in this case.

The problem for the Daily Mail (and the Metro, which they also own by the way!) is that this doesn't fit in with their "Judges are out of touch and soft" agenda - so they report only the bits they want you to hear!

So be careful not to believe what you read in the papers - they ALL have one bias or another!

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