09 September 2009

Michael Shields

Very pleased to hear the news that Michael has been released.  Inevitably I think that now Jack Straw will be inundated with similar requests to look exclusively at an individual case? I for one would certainly like to sit down face to face with Mr Straw to show him the evidence which wholly supports my innocence. I will not be alone because within our jails are innocent prisoners, some still inside way over the recommended tariff yet struggling to get our justice system to take notice.  Duncan Campbell (guardian.co.uk) has just written an excellent article relating to this. I hope Michael can adjust to life outside now and look forward because of course it is not easy.
Mr Straw will be hearing from me although in the past I have sent numerous letters to him about my wrongful conviction and also about prison conditions from the various jails I was in. It will be interesting to know exactly what information the family gave Mr Straw when they met privately which in turn allowed him to do this U turn on his previous refusal to release Michael. However - a happy day for the Shields family who have to be praised for their excellent campaign.


Blogger Susan said...

Re my original blog, once you go onto the Guardian website please go to ;Justice on Trial; to read the article by Duncan Campbell.

6:33 pm  
Blogger Alan said...

I have not followed the Michael Shields case very well, but what I have read did not convince me overwhelmingly of his innocence. Was it really Graham Sankey or wasn't it? And why was the unmovable Jack Straw so anxious to release him?

On the other hand, I have no doubt as to your innocence, Susan. Not that that matters though, but a number of respected people have been saying the same thing for years and, obviously, the justice system is not working.

Would be great if Jack Straw gave you a Royal pardon and I certainly don't see how he can refuse to meet with you and your group under the circumstances.

6:31 am  
Anonymous Nigel said...

Yes Alan, I'm pleased for Michael Shields and his family and friends too. I'm not a legal expert, but for Susan a Royal pardon wouldn't be good enough. To me a pardon's just saying: 'We know you did it, but that's all right'; but a finding that a murder conviction is unsafe is the courts (not the Minister) stating that the accused is truly not guilty. As I see it, a pardon is a second best option - and Susan deserves only THE best.

I recall that a few years ago, the family of Timothy Evans appealed to the CCRC to get the pardon granted in 1966 changed to an unsafe conviction, but the CCRC refused to take the matter further.

9:42 am  
Blogger nola said...

I couldn't believe it when I heard it on the news! How long is it since a Home Secretary intervened in this way? And why this particular case?
Very odd and it begs the question from many,including Susan, 'Why him and not me?'

12:16 pm  
Blogger Alan said...

Thanks for your clarification on this issue, Nigel. That's a very important point and makes the issue of Michael shields even more difficult to understand. As Nola so rightly said, it begs the question from many,including Susan, 'Why him and not me?" But at the same time one wonders, then, if we "know" he almost killed the guy in Bulgaria, why on earth pardon him? I am also tempted to ask why Jack straw, who has never shown any previous indication of looking beyond his own career, should risk the possible backlash associated with this pardon, or is it indeed because he gauged public opinion to be on his side and, I wonder, could there possibly be an election coming up in the near future? It's all very mysterious and beyond the comprehension of us common mortals.

Anyway, if this detracts from the CCRC process, it would be better to wait for them, but one obviously hopes they will move soon.

4:51 am  
Blogger Alan said...

Sorry for so many posts. As an addendum, here is an interesting article.

5:43 am  
Blogger Susan said...

Thank you for all your constructive comments. Quite a few journalists have commented on the pardon. This is not 'sour grapes' because I am pleased Michael no longer languishes in jail...but many people are amazed that Jack Straw actually admitted it was only after private talks with the family, he changed his views! This is what is extraordinary and has caused me to write Mr Straw requesting a face to face meeting. I can name a number of people who would give him the name of the person we think responsible of Aunties murder, (they knew him!)but I am certain....no, I know for sure... Mr Straw would not accept their testimonies on face value! It concerns me not only because of my own case, but for so many others who unfortunately are still in jail.

1:23 pm  
Anonymous lynette said...

just watched a programme about your conviction on the crime channel, i cant beleive something this awful happened to you, and commend your bravery and spirit you displayed through your time in prison, i lost someone very close to me last year and the thought of being held responsable for the death sends a chill down my spine, i hope you clear your name and are able to live the rest of your life in peace, i hope you find the same bravery and strength you have shown to help you through your health worries, you have already been robbed of too much of your life and your families lives, god bless
lynette parrish

10:19 am  

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