Chat or Talk in the INReview Discussion Forum Chat or Talk in the INReview Discussion Forum
 
register chat members links refer search home
INReview INReview > The Scuttlebutt Lounge > Politics & Government > Law > Man Charged For Being In Prison
Search this Thread:
  Print Version | Email Page | Bookmark | Subscribe to Thread
Author
Thread Post New Thread   
Staff
gaboman
What Would Jack Do?

offline
Registered: Aug 2003
Local time: 07:40 AM
Location: The land, the land down under.
Posts: 12701

Man Charged For Being In Prison post #1  quote:



WHAT do you give someone who?s been proved innocent after spending the best part of their life behind bars, wrongfully convicted of a crime they didn?t commit?
An apology, maybe? Counselling? Champagne? Compensation? Well, if you?re David Blunkett, the Labour Home Secretary, the choice is simple: you give them a big, fat bill for the cost of board and lodgings for the time they spent freeloading at Her Majesty?s Pleasure in British prisons.

On Tuesday, Blunkett will fight in the Royal Courts of Justice in London for the right to charge victims of miscarriages of justice more than ?3000 for every year they spent in jail while wrongly convicted. The logic is that the innocent man shouldn?t have been in prison eating free porridge and sleeping for nothing under regulation grey blankets.

Blunkett?s fight has been described as ?outrageous?, ?morally repugnant? and the ?sickest of sick jokes?, but his spokesmen in the Home Office say it?s a completely ?reasonable course of action? as the innocent men and women would have spent the money anyway on food and lodgings if they weren?t in prison. The government deems the claw-back ?Saved Living Expenses?.

Paddy Hill was one of the Birmingham Six. He spent 16 years behind bars for the 1974 Birmingham pub bombings by the IRA. Hill now lives on a farm with his wife and children near Beith in Scotland. He has been charged ?50,000 for living expenses by the Home Office.

It wasn?t until two years ago that Hill was finally awarded ?960,000 in compensation. However, during the years since his release, while waiting for the pay-out, the government had given him advances of around ?300,000. When his compensation came through, the ?300,000 was taken back along with interest on the interim payments charged at 23% ? that cost him a further ?70,000.

?The whole system is absurd,? Hill said. ?I?m so angry about what has happened to me. I try and tell people about being charged for bed and board in jail and they can?t believe it.

?When I left prison I was given no training for freedom ? no counselling or psychological preparation. Yet the guilty get that when they are released. To charge me for the food I ate and the cell I slept in is almost as big an injustice as fitting me up in the first place.

?While I was in prison, my family lost their home, yet they get no compensation. But the state wants its money back. It?s like being kicked in the head when someone has beat you already.

?I have to put up with this, yet there has not been one police officer convicted of fitting people up. The Home Office had no shortage of money to keep me in jail or to run a charade of a trial.

?But they had enough money to frame me. Nevertheless, when it comes to paying out compensation for ruining my life they happily rip me to shreds.?

Hill is not leading the legal action against the government ? instead he has handed the baton to another high-profile victim of miscarriage of justice: Mike O?Brien.

O?Brien spent 10 years in jail wrongly convicted of killing a Cardiff newsagent. His baby daughter died while he was in prison and he was charged ?37,500 by the Home Office for his time behind bars.

Hill said he cannot lead the legal fight as the Birmingham Six have fought every legal action together, but now three of them are over 70 and Hill believes it is too much to ask them to join him in taking on the government yet again.

He said he was also worried about the compensation payments for the other members of the Birmingham Six being affected if they joined him in court against the government.

?The establishment hate me and people like me as we proved them wrong,? he said. ?They either want to ignore us or hurt us.?

O?Brien took the Home Office to court last March and won, but Blunkett appealed the decision. On Tuesday, the rights and wrongs of the government policy will be decided at the Royal Courts.

O?Brien said: ?Morally, the position of the government is just outrageous. It shows total contempt for the victims of miscarriages of justice. It makes me livid.

?I really believe if we win the appeal this week, the government is evil enough to take me to the House of Lords. They are trying to break us. I really think this is personal as far as the government is concerned.

?A government really can?t get much worse than this. But I am confident that we will win as the law and morality are on our side.?

Vincent Hickey, one of the Bridgewater Four who was wrongly convicted for killing a paperboy, was charged ?60,000 for the 17 years he spent in jail. He said: ?If I had known this I would have stayed on hunger-strike longer, that way I would have had a smaller bill.?

John McManus, of the Scottish Miscarriage of Justice Organisation, said: ?This is reprehensible. How can we call ourselves a democratic, civilised society when our government is acting like this?

?The government seems intent on punishing innocent people. The state wants to be paid for making a mistake. It?s hard to believe someone actually thought this policy up. If you tell a child about this they will think it insane.

?Only a sick mind could have invented this policy, yet the government is fighting to retain the right to act like this. It is cruelty with intent. They seem to want to punish people for having the audacity to be innocent.?

The SNP?s shadow justice minister, Nicola Sturgeon, said: ?This is outrageous. It is another assault by Blunkett on the rule of law and on civil liberties. These people didn?t chose to go to prison. They were wrongly convicted, and to charge them for it beggars belief.?

The Home Office said an ?independent assessor appointed by the Home Secretary takes into acccount the range of costs the prisoner might have incurred had they not been imprisoned?. The spokes man said the assessor was ?right? to do this, adding: ?Morally, this is reasonable and appropriate.?

?I was a hostage, now they are billing me?

ROBERT Brown was just a 19-year-old from Glasgow when he was jailed for life for murdering a woman called Annie Walsh in Manchester in 1977. He served 25 years before he was finally freed in 2002, when the courts ruled him innocent of the crime.
He is now facing a bill of around ?80,000 for the living expenses he cost the state. For Brown, it is the final straw. An interim payment he was given pending his full compensation offer is exhausted; his mother recently died; his relationship with his girlfriend has fallen apart and he is facing eviction from his home following a mix-up over benefits.

?I feel like ending my life,? he says. ?I?ve tried to maintain my dignity, but the state has treated me with nothing but contempt ? now they are asking me for money for my bed and board in jail.

?I never contemplated suicide once while I was in prison, but it?s different on the outside. I have received no counselling or support. Society is treating me like something you?d wipe off the bottom of your shoes, but I?m an innocent man and a victim of a terrible injustice.

?It?s horrific. I?ve been out of jail for 14 months and in that time the state has put me through a war of attrition that it never needed to conduct. I feel my life is disintegrating around me.

?Making me pay for my bed and board is abhorrent. I was arrested, fitted up and held hostage for 25 years and now they are going to charge me for being kept as their prisoner against my will.

?Can you think of a more disgusting way to abuse someone? I really feel that my heart is truly and finally broken.?

14 March 2004

http://www.sundayherald.com/40592


Old Post 03-15-2004 08:25 AM
Click here to Send gaboman a Private Message Find more posts by gaboman Add gaboman to your buddy list Reply w/Quote

schmiggens
Outrageous

offline
Registered: Apr 2003
Local time: 07:40 AM
Location: In The Zone
Posts: 18698

post #2  quote:

quote:
?When I left prison I was given no training for freedom ? no counselling or psychological preparation. Yet the guilty get that when they are released.


Interesting I would've thought the innocent people would need counselling more then the guilty anyway, you would think they would give everyone counselling.

quote:
Vincent Hickey, one of the Bridgewater Four who was wrongly convicted for killing a paperboy, was charged ?60,000 for the 17 years he spent in jail. He said: ?If I had known this I would have stayed on hunger-strike longer, that way I would have had a smaller bill.?


LMAO at least he can joke about it.

But seriously, that is wrong. I guess I can understand to a point that they want to make you pay for your board, but do they make rightly accused/ guilty prisoners pay for their food and board too? If not, then they should not charge innocent people either, it's not their fault that they were wrongly accused.

If they have to make you pay for your board, then they should at least wait until you get your compo and take it out of that.


Old Post 03-15-2004 08:48 AM
Click here to Send schmiggens a Private Message Visit schmiggens's homepage! Find more posts by schmiggens Add schmiggens to your buddy list Click Here to Ignore schmiggens REPORT this Post to a ModeratorNOMINATE this Post for Reward Points Reply w/Quote

Staff
gaboman
What Would Jack Do?

offline
Registered: Aug 2003
Local time: 07:40 AM
Location: The land, the land down under.
Posts: 12701

post #3  quote:

I bet their way of thinking is "how dare you not tell us you were innocent!"


The dude said something to the effect of it being reasonable because it's what he would have paid, were he not in prison

What I'm wondering is:
1. Does he believe that prison is a vacation?
2. Does he believe that the man made as much money in prison as he would have out of it?


Sure, this guy can pay for his stay in prison. Then sue them for that and more.

Sounds fair.


Old Post 03-15-2004 08:53 AM
Click here to Send gaboman a Private Message Find more posts by gaboman Add gaboman to your buddy list Reply w/Quote

schmiggens
Outrageous

offline
Registered: Apr 2003
Local time: 07:40 AM
Location: In The Zone
Posts: 18698

post #4  quote:

quote:
Sure, this guy can pay for his stay in prison. Then sue them for that and more.

Sounds fair.


Exactly


Old Post 03-15-2004 09:16 AM
Click here to Send schmiggens a Private Message Visit schmiggens's homepage! Find more posts by schmiggens Add schmiggens to your buddy list Click Here to Ignore schmiggens REPORT this Post to a ModeratorNOMINATE this Post for Reward Points Reply w/Quote

Gold Member
Sayzak
Chimerical Visionary

offline
Registered: May 2003
Local time: 05:40 PM
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 3868

post #5  quote:

I could only read the first couple of paragraphs. It's not often I get too angry to read. If I was that man I would go insane.

Old Post 03-15-2004 12:35 PM
Click here to Send Sayzak a Private Message View Sayzak's Journal Find more posts by Sayzak Add Sayzak to your buddy list Send an AIM message to Sayzak Sayzak's MSN ID is blue3eleven@msn.com Click Here to Ignore Sayzak REPORT this Post to a ModeratorNOMINATE this Post for Reward Points Reply w/Quote
Time: 11:40 PM Post New Thread   
  Print Version | Email Page | Bookmark | Subscribe to Thread
INReview INReview > The Scuttlebutt Lounge > Politics & Government > Law > Man Charged For Being In Prison
Search this Thread:
Forum Rules:
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
HTML code is OFF
vB code is ON
Smilies are ON
[IMG] code is ON
Forum Policies Explained
 
Rate This Thread:

< >

Copyright ?2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
Page generated in 0.03962898 seconds (84.14% PHP - 15.86% MySQL) with 37 queries.

ADS

© 2018, INReview.com.   Popular Forums  All Forums   Web Hosting by Psyphire.
INReview.com: Back to Home