UK Government Expresses Concern Over Repayment from Wrongly Convicted Prisoners

Downing Street has expressed its belief that it is unjust for prisoners who were wrongly convicted to be required to repay living costs for their time spent incarcerated.

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The issue came to light after concerns were raised about a man, Andrew Malkinson, who spent 17 years in prison for a rape he did not commit, and now faces the possibility of deductions from any compensation he receives for his board and lodging during his wrongful imprisonment.

Wrongly Convicted: Andrew Malkinson’s Case:

Andrew Malkinson, aged 57, was wrongly convicted of raping a woman in Greater Manchester in 2003, leading to a life sentence with a minimum term of seven years.

Despite maintaining his innocence, he spent an additional 10 years behind bars before senior judges at the Court of Appeal quashed his conviction last week.

New DNA evidence surfaced, linking another individual to the crime, which ultimately led to his exoneration.

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Prime Minister’s Perspective:

Downing Street addressed concerns about possible deductions from compensation by stating that there is an independent board responsible for reviewing and deciding on such matters.

The Prime Minister’s press secretary emphasized that Boris Johnson believes it would be unfair to require wrongly convicted individuals to repay costs, given that they have endured wrongful imprisonment for a crime they did not commit.

Historical Background:

The current rules governing compensation repayments can be traced back to a 2007 ruling by the House of Lords, which was the highest court in the country at that time.

However, the government now acknowledges the need to reevaluate this approach, considering cases like Andrew Malkinson’s, and ensure fairness in the process.

The Government’s Response:

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak has been actively engaging with the Home Office and other government authorities to gather facts and ensure that the approach to compensating wrongly convicted individuals is just and appropriate.

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The government recognizes the importance of addressing this issue to prevent further injustices in the future.

Conclusion:

The case of Andrew Malkinson has brought attention to the plight of wrongly convicted prisoners and the potential hardships they face even after exoneration.

The UK government, led by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak, is actively considering a fair and equitable approach to compensating those who have suffered from wrongful imprisonment.

With a commitment to review the existing rules and make necessary changes, the government aims to provide justice and support to those who have endured unjust incarcerations.

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