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A Tortoise File

Wrong turn

Murder and miscarriage of justice

Wrong turn

First published
Monday 20 September 2021

Last updated
Sunday 19 September 2021

Why this story?

Hundreds of people have been convicted under the doctrine of Joint Enterprise for offences of violence they did not commit.

Five years ago, a ruling in the Supreme Court should have marked the beginning of the end of a scandal at the heart of the justice system, when judges ruled that the law had taken a wrong turn and had been misinterpreted for 30 years.

But instead of the floodgates opening to allow hundreds of appeals, just one man has had his conviction declared unsafe. We talked to that man, John Crilly, whose personal story illuminates a wider injustice that might affect more than 1,500 people serving long prison sentences. It is a story about what happens when the justice system gets something wrong but can’t really face the consequences of its mistakes. David Taylor, editor