Lord Janner(104 Posts)
It's not the defence team, it's four highly reputable medical experts including two instructed by the prosecution. As none of us have examined him, seen his medical records or read the reports, and I suspect the vast majority of us don't have the required medical qualifications and experience, our opinions are pretty damn irrelevant.
Reminds me of Saunders and the Guinness trial in the 1980's. He is the only person on the world who has "recovered" totally from dementia. Or at least that was the reason given (supported by medical evidence) as to why he was not fit to stand trial for a very serious financial matter. Yet subsequently he showed no signs and was able to lead a normal life. I personally am very dubious about these senior people, charged with serious crimes, who suddenly are not fit to stand trial. To be blunt it stinks of shit.
The above post is almost completely wrong about Ernest Saunders.
He stood trial and was convicted. He was sentenced to five years. He appealed against sentence. Contrary to reports none of the expert witnesses offered a positive diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer's. They all expressed concerns that there was a suspicion of pre-senile dementia due to Alzheimer's, one of them highlighting an abnormality in a brain scan. The appeal judge halved the sentence on the basis that Saunders was suffering from pre-senile dementia. I have to say that this suggests he misunderstood the medical evidence which does not appear to have been strong enough to support that conclusion. Saunders recovered following release. It is suggested (but I don't think it has been proven) that his condition was stress-related.
It is absolutely right that a person who is deemed unfit to understand the charges against him/her and instruct the defence team is unfit to stand trial. Otherwise there can be no defence! We must, surely, believe 4 experts in the field of dementia. Why would they lie? They have nothing to gain. Alison Saunders was correct in the first place. It is very, very sad that the people who want the trial will not have their day in court. However, the real lesson to be learned is that this should have been investigated thoroughly and brought to trial many years ago. It is the delay that has caused the problem.
Personally i think its disgusting, he should be thrown in prison if hes guilty.
But shazza, "if he's guilty" is the point. We can't know he's guilty unless we have a fair trial, we can't hold a fair trial of a man with advanced dementia. And, for what it's worth, it sounds like throwing him in prison would be utterly pointless, he wouldn't have a clue what's going on.
I am appalled at this thread. My father had dementia. It is horrible and a nasty disease. Janner is in exactly the same state. People should be ashamed at themselves over what is said on this thread.
Also people are innocent until proven guilty.
Peadofeelia is the most hateful crime, so i am sorry Deogratis what about all the victims if this guy done it? what aboutthem? innocent people that suffered!
What about his man's right to a fair trial, shazza? As you rightly acknowledge, we don't know if he's guilty or not.
Well, we can't know for sure, can we? But there's no reason to think that the doctors are lying, and so he's not fit to stand trial.
Ok if he does have severe dementia are there really people who think he should stand trial anyway, that would make travesty of justice. The question that should be debated is our justice system so corrupt independent doctors have been coerced into falsifying his medical records. I personally don't believe this to be the case and would be interested to see evidence of this.
Well I save my sympathies for the victims who would like to prosecute Janner and they will not get a trial now or justice.
Yes a 'trial of facts' is schedule for April. A jury will decide on the basis of evidence presented if Janner did those acts he has been charged with, but there will be no finding of guilt and no conviction.
We also need to know - how was he (and other powerful men) able to get away with these crimes for so long? And what needs to change to prevent this kind of thing happening again?
The reason the trial of the facts is going ahead is because victims and their supporters campaigned for it.
I don't have any sympathy for the man if he has committed these vile crimes, but he innocent until proven guilty and under English law someone has to be medically fit to stand trial. We cant change this on a case by case basis due to the enormity of the crime.
A trial of the facts seems like the right choice to me. Merely letting it go because Janner can't stand trial would be a huge injustice to the victims.
Yes a trial by facts looks like the best next option for those wanting to prosecute. It does feels wrong to just let it go.
I assume with the Jimmy Savile case it was a trial by facts after he had died.
I don't think there was ever a trial of the facts in relation to Savile?
No there never was any trial in relation to Savile's crimes. There was the police investigation, the Department of Health investigation into what happened at NHS hospitals and also the big judge-led inquiry into child sexual abuse that is still going on.
The person has to be alive I think for a trial of the facts so you can't do that with Savile who remains innocent under the law o f course.
People do need to be careful though - there has been a massive travesty of justice against some very innoncent men; the new evidence just out about the pressure on potential witnesses by one website, the fact they were showing pictures to them and without police being there etc is not good news and suggestions someone like ex MP Harvey Proctor who was just a gay MP who had sex with someone who was 20 rather than 21 was present where he clearly wasn't and even the Heath allegations - he just wasn't where the witness said, means people should not be taken in by some of the lies which are out there on line. Keep an open mind in relation to all these men as each is an individual case. Lord Brittan's case is appallilng - went to his grave not having been told he was now innocent because some "lying scumbag" engaged in class war got it wrong and a police force who tend to be working class to rather like these cases against posh people are not always doing their jobs properly.
It is not the role of the courts to deliver justice for victims, nor is it their role to find out what happened. They are not even there to determine whether or not the defendant is factually guilty.
The courts are there to test the evidence against a named defendant and determine whether or not the prosecution has made a strong enough case to convict.
There cannot be a fair trial if the defence cannot be heard. In this case Janner has been examined by four medical experts, two of them appointed by the prosecution, on 11 separate occasions over the last 2 years. They all agree that he would not understand the proceedings and would be unable to defend himself. Of course that is difficult for the victims to accept but legally it is the only possible decision.
What should be criticised is not this decision or the medical experts involved but the failures of the Leicestershire police and the CPS which resulted in Janner escaping prosecution in 2002 when he was still fit to stand trial.
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