Menezes verdict choice limited
The jury at the inquest into the death of Jean Charles de Menezes will not be able to consider a verdict of unlawful killing, the coroner has said. Sir Michael Wright said that having heard all the evidence, a verdict of unlawful killing was "not justified".
Mr de Menezes, 27, was shot dead at Stockwell Tube Station by police officers who mistook him for one of the failed 21 July 2005 bombers. The jury may now return an open, narrative or lawful killing verdict.
Sir Michael made the ruling as he began his summing up of the case on Tuesday. He also warned jurors that they must not attach any criminal or civil fault to any individuals.
see full story here
I do not understand this. An innocent civilian was followed from his home, allowed to enter the tube station and board a train - he was then shot from close range seven times in the head. Many witnesses attest that no warning was given. the accounts they give make it appear more like a summary execution than a legitimate police action. And yet the jury, having heard all the evidence, is directed that they cannot say a crime has been committed. Nor can they say that anyone was negligent.
How is this possible? It seems a blatant denial of the principles of justice. It may in fact be true that it was a tragic accident but I always assumed that in English law the jury is the sole arbiter of the facts. It is time the British stopped kidding themselves that they live in a democracy and acknowledge what is clear - that the war on Terror is merely a cover for the real war on citizens' rights. In both the UK and the US.