The Magistrate's Blog (2005-2012)

This blog has migrated to www.magistratesblog.blogspot.co.uk This blog is anonymous, and Bystander's views are his and his alone. Where his views differ from the letter of the law, he will enforce the letter of the law because that is what he has sworn to do. If you think that you can identify a particular case from one of the posts you are wrong. Enough facts are changed to preserve the truth of the tale but to disguise its exact source.

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Location: Near London, United Kingdom

The blog is written by a retired JP, with over 30 years' experience on the Bench.

Monday, May 11, 2009

A Very Interesting Question

In the recent Louise Casey thread this comment has just been posted:

At the risk of coming in very late on this one BS said "about the only sensible idea is putting the outcome of convicted cases online."

I'm one of the project team for this aspect and we really do want the feedback. There is one point especially and that is should we only publicise convictions or acquittals/discontinuences as well?
MoJ staffer

What do we think? I think it would be right and useful for convictions and sentences to be available online, but is is certainly arguable that someone who is acquitted can claim to be innocent, and so entitled to be excluded from the database. And yet - trials take place in public and the press are entitled to report them. Is it not right to allow the fact of an acquittal to remain available to the public and, importantly, the victims? How does that tie in with the principle of retaining the DNA of those arrested but not even charged? What about withdrawn and discontinued cases? Perhaps we can add our five penn'orth to the MoJ policymaking process.

Here's a poll:

What criminal court results should be online?
Convictions only (with sentence)
Convictions and Not Guilty verdicts
Convictions, Not Guilty and Withdrawn cases
None of them
Free polls from Pollhost.com