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    Joan Smith quote. Roache's statement after his acquittal was dignified but his supporters were angry. They demanded to know why the case was ever brought, claiming that the actor was a victim of the

    Roache's statement after his acquittal was dignified but his supporters were angry. They demanded to know why the case was ever brought, claiming that the actor was a victim of the "hysteria" created by revelations about Jimmy Savile. It's a curious conclusion to draw from a "not guilty" verdict; there are courtrooms where the conviction rate is 100 per cent but they tend to be in totalitarian states. In serious criminal cases in England and Wales, the rate is around 82 per cent, and I would be seriously worried if every defendant were to be found guilty.The Independent, 9 February 2014

    Joan Smith
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    Joan Smith quote. The issue which faced the jury was this: was Sutcliffe a clever criminal, aware of what he was doing and determined to avoid capture? ... In a sense, it was the wrong question. The battle that was fought out in court - the mad/bad dichotomy - both substitutes for and obscures the real dilemma raised by the Yorkshire Ripper case: is Sutcliffe a one-off, su generis as I have heard one psychiatrist describe him, someone who stands outside our culture and has no relation to it? Those who assert that Sutcliffe is mad are in essence saying yes to this question; madness is a closed category, one over which we have no control and for which we bear no responsibility. The deranged stand apart from us; we cannot be blamed for their insanity. Thus the urge to characterize Sutcliffe as mad has powerful emotional origins; it has as much to do with how we see ourselves and the society in which we live... It is a distancing mechanism, a way of establishing a comforting gulf between ourselves and a particularly unacceptable criminal

    The issue which faced the jury was this: was Sutcliffe a clever criminal, aware of what he was doing and determined to avoid capture? ... In a sense, it was the wrong question. The battle that was fought out in court - the mad/bad dichotomy - both substitutes for and obscures the real dilemma raised by the Yorkshire Ripper case: is Sutcliffe a one-off, su generis as I have heard one psychiatrist describe him, someone who stands outside our culture and has no relation to it? Those who assert that Sutcliffe is mad are in essence saying yes to this question; madness is a closed category, one over which we have no control and for which we bear no responsibility. The deranged stand apart from us; we cannot be blamed for their insanity. Thus the urge to characterize Sutcliffe as mad has powerful emotional origins; it has as much to do with how we see ourselves and the society in which we live... It is a distancing mechanism, a way of establishing a comforting gulf between ourselves and a particularly unacceptable criminal

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    Joan Smith quote. Talk of

    Talk of "witch-hunts" conceals an inconvenient fact: men charged with rape stand a better chance of walking free than other defendants. The conviction rate in rape trials – 63 per cent in 2012/13 – is quite a lot lower. Prosecutors are taking a bigger risk when they bring rape cases to court, especially when the alleged offences happened decades ago, leaving no forensic evidence.The Independent, 9 February 2014

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