LETTER:Putting justice in jeopardy

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The Independent Online
From Mr Andrew Phillips

Sir: In your editorial "Nicole's killer is still free" (4 October) you argue that the televising of the Simpson trial may have been justified, if only because without it the "unreconstructed racism" of the Los Angeles police would "almost certainly" not have come to light. Even if one accepts that point (which I do not) it mistakes the purpose, and underestimates the inherent fallibility, of the trial process. That purpose is singular, namely to see justice done in the particular case.

That is difficult enough to achieve, and to burden any trial with secondary considerations of justice for a class (however much they may deserve it) or a cause (however meritorious) is to jeopardise justice in the case. That undermines justice generally, particularly where half the world is looking on.

Yours faithfully,

Andrew Phillips

Bates, Wells & Braithwaite


London, EC1

4 October