Letter: If you're innocent, don't say so

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The Independent Online
YOU report the death of Britain's second longest-serving woman prisoner, Carol Hanson ("This woman died in prison...", 9 February). Her incarceration made no headlines. There was no campaign for her release. She must have been told many times that by making even a tongue-in-cheek admission of guilt she would be considered for parole.

And yet, without any hope, she remained adamant of her innocence, knowing this removed her from all possibility of release. That takes incredible bravery and total certainty that she had been falsely convicted. The overwhelming presumption is that this was the truth. It brings a dilemma for other prisoners - such as Maxine Robinson of Chester-le-Street, County Durham, whose appeal against conviction for the murder of her two children has been dismissed. She is convinced of her innocence. So am I, having just completed a book in an attempt to prove that these were natural cot deaths. But in publishing this, am I persuading her to die in prison? Should I, in conscience, advise her to lie? We live in a very queer world.

Ken Norman

Portia Trust

Bowness-on-Solway, Cumbria

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