Wednesday, 3 September 2008

The Death of Justice

I was pleased to be able to attend the launch in Cardiff of Michael O’Brien’s book, The Death of Justice.

Michael was wrongly imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit – the murder of a Cardiff newsagent in the 1980s.

His book reveals the trauma and heartache he suffered while in prison and how he learnt to cope. During the 11 years he not only lost his freedom and youth but also members of his family, including the tragic deaths of his daughter and step-father.

There have been long-standing calls for a public inquiry into this and other miscarriages of justice cases in the South Wales area.

My former Assembly colleagues Cynog Dafis and Owen John Thomas raised a Statement of Opinion in 2001 and now there are renewed calls for a full and independent public inquiry.

I intend backing this up with a fresh Statement of Opinion when the Assembly returns after the recess. Five AMs have already said they will support this and I hope many more AMs across all parties will also do so.

It is important that there is a public inquiry because there are many unanswered questions in each of the miscarriage of justice cases. The public needs to have full confidence in the police service and that is why we need answers, 10 years after Michael O’Brien was released from prison.

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