Reform

anonymous person with binoculars looking through stacked books

Miscarriages of Justice Investigations – Going Beyond the Bundle

Deconstructing a wrongful conviction is a painstaking process. Often, once all the tripwires that floored the original jury have been carefully exposed, a case will require extensive investigative efforts to reveal previously unseen evidence that can exonerate the individual, or at least raise serious doubts about the veracity of the...

The Need for Speed – Improving the Criminal Cases Review Commission

One of the many problems plaguing the Criminal Cases Review Commission – the body set up to review potential miscarriages of justice in England and Wales – is the sheer length of time that it takes them to consider any given application. To help address the issue, the House of...

Wrongful Convictions and Bad Juries – ‘Lurking Doubt’ in the Court of Appeal

Proving your innocence in most cases requires finding some ‘fresh evidence’ that wasn’t available at your original trial, a challenge that stops many a wrongly convicted person in their tracks. Unless you are one of the lucky few able to acquire pro bono support, conducting a private investigation from behind...

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Getting a Wrongful Conviction back into Court: A tortured path

Most people wrongly convicted of a crime are quick to lodge an appeal within the allotted 28-day time limit. Unless there was something seriously wrong with the actual trial process however, your only hope of an acquittal is to find some fresh evidence that wasn’t available just a week or...

confused businessman checking time on wristwatch

The APPG on Miscarriages of Justice – Unfinished Business

In 2019, a Westminster Commission made up of a growing number of MPs concerned by the rising tide of wrongful convictions across England and Wales was formed across party political lines in search of solutions. Establishing an All-Party Parliamentary Group on Miscarriages of Justice (APPGMJ), they launched a public inquiry...

hand of crop person touching grid fence

The case for decriminalisation

Mark’s visceral experience of the criminal justice system has impressed upon him the urgent need for reform. “You just don’t learn this kind of thing at law school, the real, practical issues that undermine and delegitimise the entire process”. Invited to contribute to a new book, ‘Crime and Consequence‘, Mark...

Book Review: Parole and Beyond – International Experiences of Life after Prison

Asked to write a book review for the Prison Service Journal, Mark submitted this thought provoking piece on ‘Parole and Beyond‘, a comparative study of international parole systems that shines a spotlight on the hidden workings and effects of correctional justice. Parole and Beyond – International Experiences of Life after...

person holding a green plant

Innocence Projects – Green Shoots

Mark Alexander writing on the resurgence and growth of innocence projects in universities Originally published in Criminal Law and Justice Weekly – Issue 23 (2016) 180 JPN 411 – 415 [1]      Over the past 9 months I’ve been trying to get a sense of the health of the innocence project...

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We need our Innocence Projects now more than ever

A shorter version of this article was first published on the Justice Gap The announcement that Innocence Network UK (INUK) had disbanded in September 2014 came as a real shock to those of us on the inside still fighting for justice. There had been no indication to those of us on...

Mark issues statement regarding CCRC’s refusal to refer his case

In 2015, the CCRC opted not to refer our first application to the Court of Appeal In spite of the new evidence we presented to the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC), it has decided not to refer my case to the Court of Appeal. This is because the CCRC do...

protester holding sign

Prisoner Suffrage – Draft Voting Eligibility (Prisoners) Bill

The Joint Committee on the draft Voting Eligibility (Prisoners) Bill – comprised of 6 MPs and 6 Peers –recently invited interested organisations and individuals to tender written evidence as part of their inquiry into Prisoner Voting. This follows pressure on parliament from the Council of Europe to comply with the...