Letter: Locking up `killers'

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The Independent Culture
Locking up `killers'

Sir: It is significant that the Government has proposals which involve imprisonment of psychopaths without trial, before it has in place a Bill of Rights and a Freedom of Information Act.

A government which controls the funding of an institution where such people are detained and those who make the decisions on detention can easily pressurise those involved. It has happened in other countries, usually condemned for the contempt of human rights.

The safeguards of an appeals system and regular reviews are illusory, if those detained do not have access to legal representation and the funds to call expert witnesses. The Government is currently proposing drastic cuts in the availability of legal aid.

British justice has never been noted for generosity to those whose convictions are subsequently quashed. Will the Government be ensuring generous treatment to those whose detention turns out to be wrongful?

Will the remedies of habeas corpus and actions for damages for false imprisonment, supported by legal aid, be available to those detained?

These and other questions posed in you correspondence columns demand answers, before legislation is brought before Parliament.

MAYNARD HALL

Wigton, Cumbria

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