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How can we trust your data? MPs grill prosecution chief

How can we trust your data? MPs grill prosecution chief

first_imgAlison SaundersCommittee member Alex Chalk MP said: ‘How can we have any confidence in the future when you [or your successor] come to us with a whole load of data, “don’t worry justice select committee, we only had 20 this year recorded as disclosure failings”… but in fact it could be multiples of 20 because the data capture doesn’t work, does it?’Saunders replied: ‘And that’s why we’re absolutely looking at it again.’ The CPS chief explained earlier that prosecutors are asked to pick one of 28 ‘main’ reasons why a case has been stopped.She said: ‘There may have been a disclosure issue but at the same time it may have been that a complainant or a witness has decided not to support the prosecution and we dropped it because of that reason, or because there was something in the material which conflicted with evidence so it’s gone down as a “conflict of evidence”.’ Saunders said 28 reasons are too many to ask prosecutors to choose from. The CPS is reviewing the system to see if a ‘more sophisticated but simpler’ system is needed.Saunders agreed with committee chair Bob Neill that the criminal justice system owed victims and people who may have been wrongly charged an apology as a result of disclosure issues.The DPP said: ‘As I said before, I feel every single failure. It is not something that we want. We have been very clear about where our failings are, we will apologise for those. And what I hope is that the initiatives we have in place will make a difference.’Latest initiatives include a process where the disclosure officer and prosecutor agree, at the pre-charge stage, reasonable lines of enquiry. The CPS is also conducting disclosure-themed individual quality assurance reviews. The director of public prosecutions has told MPs that ‘every single’ disclosure failure weighs heavily on her – as a review published today suggests disclosure failings have jeopardised many more rape and serious sexual offence cases than Crown Prosecution Service records show.Earlier this year the CPS announced that senior prosecutors were assessing all cases in England and Wales where someone had been charged with rape or serious sexual assault after a rape trial involving student Liam Allan was abandoned following the discovery of text message evidence that had not been disclosed to the defence. The police and CPS apologised to Allan in January.The outcome of the review was published today. Chief Crown prosecutors identified 47 cases stopped between 1 January and 13 February this year that had issues with the disclosure of unused material. Only five were recorded on the CPS case management system which were classified ‘disclosure issues with CPS or police’.Members of the House of Commons justice select committee invited Alison Saunders, director of public prosecutions, to acknowledge that the CPS’s ‘data capture system is not fit for purpose’.#*#*Show Fullscreen*#*#last_img read more

Judgement reserved in defamation trial involving Linton

Judgement reserved in defamation trial involving Linton

first_img 1947 Views   2 comments The legal team representing ministers of government in a defamation lawsuit against Opposition Leader, Lennox Linton and Q95FM has asked the court to strike out Mr Linton’s defence.The lawsuit was filed after Mr Linton accused ministers of government of extorting sexual favors from young women in Dominica during his address at a UWP youth rally in St. Joseph in 2014. That public meeting was broadcast live on Q95FM, hence the reason why they are a party to the lawsuit.In his submission to the court on Thursday 18 February 2016, Senior Counsel Anthony Astaphan, who is leading the minister’s legal team, asked Justice Bernie Stephenson to strike out Mr Linton’s defence because it is based on the accusations of a complaint made to the Police by a female against a minister on 19 June 2014. Mr Astaphan told the court from Mr Linton’s defence it can be deduced that his statement wasn’t against all government ministers but rather a minister who owned a private company. Astaphan said it is not a statement of fact “to raise these indignities against all ministers of government, including three female ministers”.He further submitted that the defense is relying on one report made “which proves nothing”. “No attempt was made to attempt to speak to the complaint or the investigating officer,” Mr Astaphan stated. “What investigations did Mr Linton do to ascertain the fact that government ministers were rapist and extorting young people in Dominica for sexual favors? He did nothing,” he continuedMr Astaphan concluded that there was no proper defense for the justification of evidence to support a case for justification of fair comment and privilege.However, defense attorney Gildon Richards placed emphasis on the meaning and context in which the words were used that warranted the lawsuit.“Those words must not be taken lightly; they are the backbone of the proceedings and provides definition, scope and meaning. The words used referred to one claimant.”Richards stated that not all the claimants [ministers] should be on the list since some of them can’t be raped and some are not government ministers. He added that nowhere in the claimant’s submissions do they point to any particular violation by the defense.Mr Richards submitted that there is no reason why the defense should be struck out because they were “fair comment”.Justice Stephenson reserved her judgment and adjourned the court to 29 February 2016.Speaking with the media after the adjournment, Mr Astaphan said he is happy that the legal team received a chance to ventilate the matter and indicate to the court rather than the court of public opinion.“It was really and truly a complete act of unwarranted, unprovoked unsupported attack on the integrity of the ministers but that will be a matter for the judge to decide in accordance with the rules and evidence that a lot of us do not like to be bound by”. Share Share Sharecenter_img Sharing is caring! Tweet LocalNewsPolitics Judgement reserved in defamation trial involving Linton by: – February 18, 2016last_img read more

Tiger unleashed: LSU lets Brandon Harris play his game

Tiger unleashed: LSU lets Brandon Harris play his game

first_imgFournette got his 180 yards and two scores, but the passing game wasn’t just a supporting cast.LSU seemed listless for most of the first quarter until Harris provided a spark with 14- and 19-yard strikes to close out the period. Fournette eventually capped the 88-yard drive with a 2-yard plunge.Near the end of the first half, with LSU leading 21-14, Harris’ playmaking ability instantly cured a rather pathetic effort at the 2-minute drill.Following four runs by Fournette, a short pass to Malachi Dupre and no sense of urgency, Harris – on third-and-9 — escaped the rush at midfield, ran toward the right sideline and heaved the football deep down the middle of the field.The Gators’ secondary, inexplicably lost in coverage, left Dupre alone. The 6-foot-3, 190-pound sophomore hauled in the prayer and sauntered into the end zone to give the Tigers a two-touchdown lead with 15 seconds remaining.LSU’s unique approach to the 2-minute drill worked on this night.Normally, the late heave on the run down the middle of the field is a no-no. However, there was nothing to lose in this case. The only thing an interception would have likely affected was Harris’ stat line.Harris finished the evening 13-of-19 for 202 yards and two touchdowns and didn’t turn the ball over.Those aren’t gaudy numbers, but LSU fans have plenty of reason to be excited. This team is undefeated (6-0, 4-0 SEC) and the offense is still growing.Bit by bit, Miles and Cameron have unshackled Harris, a former Parkway High star. And he’s earning more slack by making plays.“Cam is doing a great job of mixing it up,” Miles said.Saturday’s victory will be forever highlighted by the fake field goal touchdown connection between Brad Kragthorpe and Trent Domingue. Although Harris admitted “they don’t tell me anything” about trick plays on special teams, he was privy to LSU’s terrific use of a flea-flicker on its penultimate drive of the first half.On first and 10 just shy of midfield, Fournette took a handoff from Harris and then tossed the ball back to his quarterback, who found Dupre for 52 yards. One play later, Fournette scored from 6 yards out to give LSU a 21-7 advantage.“(Cameron) was looking at it and said, ‘This is the time.’ The timing of the call was perfect,” Miles said. “I think he calls a game as good as anybody in America.”No one expects the game plan to have Harris come out and throw 50 times – not with No. 7 on the field. However, the SEC is tough and it’s unlikely Fournette will dominate on every night. Or perhaps there will be a day the Tigers dig themselves a hole bigger than Saturday’s one-touchdown deficit.Heck, Harris wouldn’t mind if airing it out was simply the game plan as his confidence is on the rise.“(Critics) are nothing but motivation for me,” Harris said. “I play with a chip on my shoulder every single week. I say this humbly, ‘This team knows how talented we are passing the ball. Everybody knows what I can do throwing the football.’”Now, when he sees a bunch of defenders crowding the line of scrimmage, he gets a little giddy.“If they want to play us with nine in the box, so be it,” he said.Is LSU’s offense unstoppable? Let’s not get crazy. However, it has the ability to thrive with balance or make up ground if needed. That hasn’t been the case for some time.The whole country knows the power of No. 7. Now, No. 6 is beginning to make a name for himself.“(Harris) is one of the fundamental guys to our success,” Miles said. “If he continues to do the things he did tonight, we’ll be as good as we can be because our quarterback gives us that chance.”Twitter: @RoyLangIII LSU quarterback Brandon Harris (6) passes against Florida in Baton Rouge on Saturday.LSU quarterback Brandon Harris (6) passes against Florida in Baton Rouge on Saturday.BATON ROUGE – LSU needed much more than Leonard Fournette — although he certainly helped – on Saturday against the Florida Gators. And this won’t be the last time.Saturday, sophomore quarterback Brandon Harris provided a perfect complement to LSU’s Superman, and head coach Les Miles shook the dust off his book of trickery as the No. 6 Tigers defeated No. 8 Florida, 35-28, at Tiger Stadium.LSU fans have clamored for Harris to be unleashed. Saturday, head coach Les Miles and offensive coordinator Cam Cameron allowed Harris the most slack he’s had in a big game during his abbreviated career as a starter. At 6-foot-3 and 206 pounds, Harris is known for his big arm. However, against the Gators, he displayed the ability to set up his cannon with slick feet and improvisation.No matter the quarterback, for roughly the past 20 games, LSU’s passing offense has often appeared forced. Not against Florida.last_img read more