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The Colston Four

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The Colston Four

Old 11th Jan 2022, 04:13
  #141 (permalink)  
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The word "ilk" recently featured on here. Good word ilk, hence here it is again.. in the third letter. However, the fourth letter may induce various levels of apoplectic rage for being definitive.

The acquittal of the Colston Four does not edit history | Letters | The Guardian

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Old 11th Jan 2022, 08:07
  #142 (permalink)  
 
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Just popped in for a shufti, now just popping back out after seeing this...........................The acquittal of the Colston Four does not edit history | Letters | The Guardian
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Old 11th Jan 2022, 08:34
  #143 (permalink)  
 
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At the risk of upsetting up some of our more dogmatic contributors, here's a link to an article from yesterday by their bęte noire - the Secret Barrister - where he (or she) indulges in a thought experiment by means of a case study of an imaginary trial involving the issue of when (and why) damage may not necessarily be criminal damage.

It's far too long and detailed to reproduce here. but the last few paragraphs might ring some bells :



People are angry. Politicians are warning that the rule of law is in peril. Many say that this trial was open and shut – the only question for the jury was whether damage had been caused, and the answer to that was obvious. One even suggests we may need to abolish juries.

The anger is not because people have somehow discovered the reasons for the verdicts, and can show the jury have abandoned reason in favour of emotion. Not because people have carefully considered the legal directions and put forward arguments as to how the judge may have got it wrong in how he approached the law (for instance, in the way he dealt with the novel argument on “proportionality”). Not because people sat through the trial and heard all the evidence and can articulate how the jury logically erred in their approach to the questions they had to answer – the angriest people in fact appear not to know anything more than the bare prosecution allegations.

But because, instinctively, some people had wanted the verdicts to be something else. Not delivered independently by a jury hearing evidence; but ordained by somebody sharing their exact personal and political beliefs.

The jury got it wrong, the cry goes up.

But nobody can explain why.
A thought experiment on criminal damage
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Old 11th Jan 2022, 08:34
  #144 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by denachtenmai View Post
Just popped in for a shufti, now just popping back out after seeing this...........................The acquittal of the Colston Four does not edit history | Letters | The Guardian
No need to "pop in ", the Guardian is available on line to read at your leisure.

However, I get the impression you are not entirely receptive to critical commentary and enlightenment but, if you read the many posts on here, you will be gratified to learn you are not alone.
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Old 11th Jan 2022, 10:55
  #145 (permalink)  
 
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K n C
Your location claims that you are' firmly in the real world' yet you continually reference that particular newspaper on this forum. Newspapers are by nature written, and read by, people of (usually) a particular persuasion, be it political, ideological, or whatever.
How does that represent being in the real world? As for the crackpots who write letters to the papers or BBC, well............!
RE your statement that the newspaper you seem to promote on an almost daily basis contains enlightenment , then that is purely a matter of opinion - yours and others, and depends entirely on ones own particular beliefs.
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Old 11th Jan 2022, 17:01
  #146 (permalink)  
 
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The Grauniad is written by the multi-millionaires that live around Primrose Hill.

That's why K n C likes it so much.

It's an aspirational thing.
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Old 11th Jan 2022, 17:30
  #147 (permalink)  
 
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Not forgetting that The Guardian pays minimal tax despite making a lot of fuss about other entities who take advantage of similar schemes.

Anyhoo, I wonder how far this petition will get? Not very far I would imagine.

[QUOTE]A petition for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to make the 'Colston 4' defendants stand trial for a second time has reached over 12k signatures since the verdict on Wednesday (January 5).

The petition started by campaign group 'Save Our Statues' says that there has been a "miscarriage of justice" that sets a "dangerous precedent", arguing that the jury was "intimidated" by the defence leading to the not guilty verdict.
[QUOTE]

[QUOTE]The description reads: "We the undersigned believe that a miscarriage of justice has taken place with significant public interest enough to warrant an appeal or retrial.

"The acquittal of those who toppled the Colston statue in Bristol sets a dangerous precedent that endangers all of our national heritage, legitimising direct physical action against it.

"This way lies chaos and mob rule. The jury was also intimidated by the defence warning them that the world was watching their decision."
[QUOTE]

Last edited by LowNSlow; 11th Jan 2022 at 18:27.
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Old 11th Jan 2022, 18:21
  #148 (permalink)  
 
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[QUOTE=LowNSlow;11168665]Not forgetting that The Guardian pays minimal tax despite making a lot of fuss about other entities who take advantage of similar schemes.

Anyhoo, I wonder how far this petition will get? Not very far I would imagine.



The description reads: "We the undersigned believe that a miscarriage of justice has taken place with significant public interest enough to warrant an appeal or retrial.

"The acquittal of those who toppled the Colston statue in Bristol sets a dangerous precedent that endangers all of our national heritage, legitimising direct physical action against it.

"This way lies chaos and mob rule. The jury was also intimidated by the defence warning them that the world was watching their decision."
I'll leave my opinion of the ruling out for the time being but it doesn't say much for any jury's moral fibre if they allow themselves to be swayed like that. And I very much doubt that 'the world' was watching their decision.
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Old 11th Jan 2022, 18:28
  #149 (permalink)  
 
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Not forgetting that The Guardian pays minimal tax despite making a lot of fuss about other entities who take advantage of similar schemes.

Anyhoo, I wonder how far this petition will get? Not very far I would imagine.

A petition for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to make the 'Colston 4' defendants stand trial for a second time has reached over 12k signatures since the verdict on Wednesday (January 5).

The petition started by campaign group 'Save Our Statues' says that there has been a "miscarriage of justice" that sets a "dangerous precedent", arguing that the jury was "intimidated" by the defence leading to the not guilty verdict.
The description reads: "We the undersigned believe that a miscarriage of justice has taken place with significant public interest enough to warrant an appeal or retrial.

"The acquittal of those who toppled the Colston statue in Bristol sets a dangerous precedent that endangers all of our national heritage, legitimising direct physical action against it.

"This way lies chaos and mob rule. The jury was also intimidated by the defence warning them that the world was watching their decision."
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Old 11th Jan 2022, 19:25
  #150 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by LowNSlow View Post
The jury was also intimidated by the defence warning them that the world was watching their decision.
That's a very serious accusation to make against legal professionals - hopefully Save Our Statues has evidence to substantiate their allegations.

The world is watching ...
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Old 11th Jan 2022, 20:54
  #151 (permalink)  
 
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I know to C&P is frowned upon, but to omit any of this letter would not convey the whole sentiment:

Jonathan Sumption, Telegraph January 8th

(Jonathan Sumption was for a number of years a member of the Supreme Court)

The Colston Four admitted to pulling down the Colston statue and dumping it in the river.

Legally, that is criminal damage.

The only duty of a jury is to honour the oath that they swore: to " give a true verdict according to the evidence."

By acquitting the C4 in defiance of the uncontested facts, they dishonoured their oath and undermined the rule of law.

This is not unusual as some think.

In politically charged cases , juries quite often defy the law and ignore the facts, because they sympathise with the defendant.

Those who admitted springing the traitor George Blake from prison because they thought 42 years inside was too long , were acquitted.

Trial judges cannot direct juries to convict, even if the admitted facts clearly show defendants are guilty.

The criminal justice system therefore depends on the willingness of jurors to do their duty.

There are however more fundamental issues at stake than the occasional aberrant jury.

Were the C4 even morally justified , let alone legally?

They claimed to be entitled to take direct action , by violence if necessary, to express their own moral values and to efface the memory of human wickedness.

Many people think like that.

Colston was a minor shareholder in the Royal Africa Company which traded slaves from West Africa.

He also took part in slaving ventures for a few years after the RAC lost its monopoly.

He, and 1000s like him, lived at a time when slavery was regarded as morally justifiable.

I accept that we ought not to commemorate an activity that is abhorrent to our own values , even if it was fine for those who practised it and for their contemporaries.

But the Colston statue did not commemorate his slave trading.

It commemorated his generosity to the city of Bristol.

He founded almshouses , hospitals and schools, activities reflecting values that are admirable, universal and timeless.

The moral objection of the statue-wreckers is that their actions were based on the idea that if someone has done something to which they strongly object , nothing else about them matters.

This attitude is an obsessive and fanatical attack on humanity itself.

Societies are a product of their past.

The past is light and shade.

Its values are never wholly good nor wholly bad in the eyes of later generations.

We learn from the mistakes and the wickedness of our forebears, while celebrating their noblest achievements.

It is an essential part of the process by which human societies develop.

Slavery is abhorrent to us, but it has been practised by most human societies throughout history until quite recently.

Should we remove the many beautiful artefacts of the ancient world in the British Museum because they were the product of slave societies?

Or throw out the Benin bronzes because the slave trade was universal in pre-colonial Africa?

We have a duty to understand the past and learn from it.

But to try to efface its memory is morally worthless.

What purpose does it serve?

The past has happened; we cannot change it.

The actions of the C4 were pure self-indulgence .

All they achieved was to advertise the strength of their own feelings.

As a historical phenomenon , slavery matters.

But the strength of their feelings about it is of no importance.

It is customary when defendants are acquitted in a criminal court to say they leave the courthouse without a stain on their character .

The Bristol statue-wreckers left it branded by their own admissions as bigots and philistines.

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Old 11th Jan 2022, 21:07
  #152 (permalink)  
 
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I wonder what the reaction from the people who consider what the "Colston four" did to be acceptable would be if they were to wake up one morning only to find that a mob of Extinction Rebellion activists had trashed their car and the when tried in court for the damage, the jury found them not guilty because the accused stated that as internal combustion engines caused harm and suffering to mankind, they were within their rights to act as they did.
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Old 11th Jan 2022, 21:12
  #153 (permalink)  
 
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What a load of cobblers!
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Old 11th Jan 2022, 21:19
  #154 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by HOVIS View Post
What a load of cobblers!
If that's the best you can reply with then I'm getting the feeling that you were never part of a debating society or group during your educational years.
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Old 11th Jan 2022, 21:21
  #155 (permalink)  
 
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Colston Four verdict: Lord Sumption tells LBC he doesn't particularly admire jury system

Sadly, Lord S has spent much of the last three years demonstrating why judges nowadays are expected to step down from the Bench when they reach 70. His latest diatribe is entirely predictable.
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Old 11th Jan 2022, 22:05
  #156 (permalink)  
 
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If you've served on a jury you'll know that you can never underestimate the idiocy and prejudice of your fellow man.
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Old 12th Jan 2022, 06:36
  #157 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by blimey View Post
If you've served on a jury you'll know that you can never underestimate the idiocy and prejudice of your fellow man.
Indeed so. After all we know that one, possibly two, of the Colston jurors voted "Guilty".

You can never be sure what a jury's decision is going to be until it's delivered.
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Old 12th Jan 2022, 08:22
  #158 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by LowNSlow View Post
Anyhoo, I wonder how far this petition will get? Not very far I would imagine.
It will get nowhere. They were acquitted. There is no mechanism to allow for their retrial.
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Old 12th Jan 2022, 08:26
  #159 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by annakm View Post
I know to C&P is frowned upon, but to omit any of this letter would not convey the whole sentiment:

Jonathan Sumption, Telegraph January 8th
(Jonathan Sumption was for a number of years a member of the Supreme Court)

The Colston Four admitted to pulling down the Colston statue and dumping it in the river.

Legally, that is criminal damage.
Sumption misstates the law in just the second paragraph of his letter, which is rather concerning for someone who was still in a position to sit on Supreme Court cases until less than a year ago.
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Old 12th Jan 2022, 09:09
  #160 (permalink)  
 
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"If you've served on a jury you'll know that you can never underestimate the idiocy and prejudice of your fellow man."

I've served on several and I'd agree with some of that but I've also seen a jury decide to convict after the prosecution made a complete mess of the case. The guy had a string of identical crimes as long as your arm when it came to sentencing - luckily, in the jury room, we were able to untangle the critical facts that m'learned friend for the Crown seemed to have not noticed
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