R V SALLY CLARK
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This case features the celebrated "73 million to 1" claim of the impossiblity of two cot deaths occuring in the same family that was allowed to go before the jury. It highlights yet again the need for trial judges to be vigilant about the rules of evidence and to apply them to prevent inadmissable evidence going before a jury.
Prison is generally meant to fulfil two main aims: deterence and punishment (while rehabilitation is a hypothetical third aim).
Normal mothers however have no need for such a deterent; and if Sally Clark is really guilty of murdering her two babies, the question arises as to whether such mothers should be 'punished' with a mandatory life sentence, or whether some form of psychiatric help would be more appropriate and in accordance with Christian precepts.
A common feature of police interviews which are often read out in their entirety before juries is that they often contain inadmissable statements from the interviewer, like " 'Fingers' said he gave you the money"; "you know that is illegal" ; "he said you did the crime" etc. Similar inadmissable statements can be made by proscecution witnesses. Whenever inadmissable evidence is allowed to go before juries, there is an increased risk of verdicts producing miscarriages of justice.
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