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Old 03-01-2018, 07:46 AM
Herlock Sholmes Herlock Sholmes is offline
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For anyone who isnít aware of this new BBC series itís well worth watching. Itís on early in the mornings when most are at work or taking kids to school so you may need to record them or alternatively watch them on the BBC IPlayer. There have been 4 so far (Iíve watched three.)

Descendants of those executed look back at the case, along with two Barristers, one for the defence and one for the prosecution. Forensic experts, psychologists and other descendants of people connected to the case all contribute before the evidence is placed before a judge who gives his opinion on whether there is cause for doubt and possible appeal.

Itís fascinating to look into these largely forgotten cases and itís a sobering fact that in all three cases that Iíve seen so far I can see many causes for doubt (thatís my own opinion of course so thereís no need of a Ďspoiler alert.í) Even more sobering is the fact that those found guilty were all hanged.
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Old 03-01-2018, 10:36 AM
AmericanSherlock AmericanSherlock is offline
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Hi Herlock, sounds like something I would be interested in. I'll see if I can catch it on YouTube or somewhere else online. I have always been for the death penalty in theory but against it in practice because of the risk of an innocent being executed. While there are cases that I believe are proven 100 percent, in most cases they are not and I do not think any risk is acceptable. It says something about a society that believes such a risk is acceptable IMO. Even though I do believe capital punishment is the correct justice for certain crimes, we have to be sure we have the right person 100 percent and I'm not sure how that can be perfected across the board.
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Old 03-01-2018, 01:04 PM
Herlock Sholmes Herlock Sholmes is offline
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Hi AS,

Iíve just checked and the 4 episodes screened so far are available to watch on YouTube. This is the first one:

https://youtu.be/p6gN93hJxVE

I have the same opinion as you on the death penalty. We can all think of people that weíd accept that the world would be a better place without. I can never shake the Ďhuman fallibiltyí part though. How many innocent people have been hanged? Iíd rather some people face life behind bars rather than the death that they might deserve than have to speak about the innocent that were killed as Ďa price worth paying for the majority of correct decisions.í Take Wallace. We both lean toward him being guilty but I donít think either of us are confident enough to have seen him hang (or even to have spent life in prison to be honest.) But he could have hanged. Given Rodís misguided certainty that Parry was guilty I assume that heíd be quite happy about opening the trap door?
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Old 03-02-2018, 11:47 PM
AmericanSherlock AmericanSherlock is offline
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Thanks for that Herlock. I'll give it a viewing this weekend. Should be interesting.

Yes, I wouldn't convict WHW for life in prison even . I'd have to acquit even though I do think he was probably guilty but it isn't proven beyond a reasonable doubt IMO.

Rod thinks he's a defender of Wallace but his absolute conviction in his, let's face it, far out there conspiracy theory is quite frightening. He'd have Parry go down for whatever accomplice role penalty there is and pressuring him to give up "Qualtrough". He could easily have some casual buddy of Parry hang and think it was correct.

People like that are the reason innocents have been executed. God Forbid he's ever on a jury if I stand trial for anything
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Old 03-03-2018, 03:41 AM
Herlock Sholmes Herlock Sholmes is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AmericanSherlock View Post
Thanks for that Herlock. I'll give it a viewing this weekend. Should be interesting.

Yes, I wouldn't convict WHW for life in prison even . I'd have to acquit even though I do think he was probably guilty but it isn't proven beyond a reasonable doubt IMO.

Rod thinks he's a defender of Wallace but his absolute conviction in his, let's face it, far out there conspiracy theory is quite frightening. He'd have Parry go down for whatever accomplice role penalty there is and pressuring him to give up "Qualtrough". He could easily have some casual buddy of Parry hang and think it was correct.

People like that are the reason innocents have been executed. God Forbid he's ever on a jury if I stand trial for anything
No problem AS.

Itís his certainty that bothers me ( along with his general obnoxiousness of course). At this distance of time, unless some new evidence surfaces, the case will remain unsolved.

So many ripper documentaries but why hasnít this fascinating case merited 1 or 10?
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Old 03-03-2018, 09:32 AM
AmericanSherlock AmericanSherlock is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post
No problem AS.

Itís his certainty that bothers me ( along with his general obnoxiousness of course). At this distance of time, unless some new evidence surfaces, the case will remain unsolved.

So many ripper documentaries but why hasnít this fascinating case merited 1 or 10?
I agree, the Wallace case very likely will never be solved. I think it is the best unsolved murder mystery ever, but for whatever reason it is not that popular compared to some others. Certainly not in America. Most people I've mentioned it to have never heard of it.

I do think Rod suffers from certain "disorders". I'm starting to feel a bit bad because I don't think he can help his behavior. On the other hand, his claim to have "solved" the Wallace case is worthy of derision. Luckily, there is the 2 of us to put him in his place.
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Old 03-06-2018, 10:20 AM
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I'm enjoying this series. Interesting cases highlighting individuals who were all convicted and paid the ultimate price.

I particularly like each programme containing a prosecution slant. Too often, programmes of this ilk set out to primarily demonstrate technical breaches with the prosecution and end up lacking balance. The approach here comes across as open and - as should be expected with two QCs and a Judge at centre stage - realistic as to the chances of a conviction being overturned. Indeed, the QCs agreed that one historic case didn't even merit being considered by the Judge.

My main criticism is that at 45 minutes a programme - including features with a current day relative - there, perhaps inevitably, isn't always sufficient time to thoroughly explore all aspects of the case. I especially thought this for Burns & Devlin, particularly wanting more detail as to their 'alibis' and also the involvement of the much derided Chief Inspector Bert Balmer.

Given Balmer's current reputation following the Court of Appeal's fully merited destruction of his character in the Cameo Murders appeal of 2003, I could understand the Judge ruling in favour of Burns & Devlin. However, I wasn't convinced this programme fully supported the reason for his decision.

Generally, the Judge seems on the money although - just a personal opinion - I thought he was a little generous in ruling in favour of both Edith Thompson and William Burtoft.

Thompson clearly lied to the police immediately following her husband's murder whilst unfairness in the trial judge's summing up as to her character needs to be seen in the context of the time and was capable of being pursued at her original appeal if considered a worthy avenue.

As for Burtoft, I wasn't as convinced as those fronting the programme that his written confession had been unfairly obtained and thought his defence counsel might have had valid reasons for keeping him out of the witness box rather than it being 'negligence' as stated.

Anyway, three more programmes to come in this series and I'll be watching them.
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Old 03-06-2018, 11:34 AM
Graham Graham is offline
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I haven't been able to watch many of the progs so far, but I did see the one concerning Edith Thompson and I very much agreed with the decision. I always thought she had a very rough deal and should at least have been reprieved. Basically the legal concept of common purpose was the only route to her being charged and found guilty. She was quite open about her affair with Bywaters, and as she had taken no part in the murder was understandably appalled, and protested her innocence right up to the very end.

Graham
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Old 03-07-2018, 10:52 AM
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Hi Graham - although it wasn't an overwhelming one, there was enough in my opinion for a case to be made against Mrs Thompson and particularly given that she lied to the police at outset, I could understand the judge and jury not being overly sympathetic towards her.

As regards the matter of a reprieve and whilst none was ultimately granted, I found it interesting that a public campaign was mounted to try and save Bywaters but not Thompson. Presumably, it was felt at large that the young man's actions had been dictated by the elder woman.

Best regards,

OneRound
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Old 03-07-2018, 01:02 PM
Graham Graham is offline
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Hi OR,

I'm not sure if the programme actually got that bit right, as in fact after the trial a public campaign gained over 1 million signatures in favour of reprieves for both of them. That, of course, was never going to happen. I haven't read a lot about this case, in all fairness, but it seems to me that the feeling amongst most commentators is that Edith Thompson should not have been sentenced to death in the first place; or at least should have received a reprieve. On the other hand, you could say that she was almost the architect of her own downfall.

Graham
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