They Have No Shame

First reported here back in March in Stick a Fork in England. They’re Done, the British government has found that people erroneously convicted of crime tend to sue once they’re released from incarceration, and they tend to win pretty fair settlements.  So in order to recover some of the swag, they’ve developed this really neat idea:  Charge for room and board!

That’s right, since the plaintiff received a room and three squares a day, they can be backcharged for it!  Prison is just a big Motel 6 with room service!  

Mr. Free Market reports  the latest such incident in which two men have been billed 25% of the awards that they received for being wrongly convicted.  From the BBC:

Innocent men must pay prison bill
Two men wrongly jailed for murder for 18 years must pay for the money they saved in “board and lodgings” while in prison, the Court of Appeal has ruled.

Cousins Michael and Vincent Hickey were convicted of murdering newspaper boy Carl Bridgewater in November 1979.

An independent assessor ruled their “loss of earnings” compensation should be cut by 25% to cover living expenses.

The High Court overturned the ruling – but the assessor appealed, arguing it had been “lawful and reasonable”.

Lord Brennan QC, the Home Office-appointed assessor, had awarded Michael Hickey, 42, £990,000, ($1,800,000 US) and Vincent Hickey, 49, £506,220, ($921,000 US) subject to deductions for expenses which they would have incurred as free men.

But in April 2003, High Court judge Mr Justice Maurice Kay ruled the deductions were unlawful.
On Thursday, after Lord Brennan’s successful appeal, the cousins’ solicitor said they were “extremely disappointed” by the Appeal Court’s “palpably unfair” decision, and were considering appealing to the House of Lords.

Stigmatised as child killers, they had been subjected to appalling treatment in prison, Susie Labinjoh, of Hodge Jones & Allen, added. Their food had regularly been adulterated with phlegm and glass.

They had been “outraged” by the deductions, Ms Labinjoh said.

“They could not comprehend how anyone aware of the circumstances of their imprisonment could suggest that they profited from it in any way.

Mr. Free Market – a resident of England comments:

The issue here is not if the men were ultimately cleared on a technicality or ‘miraculous new evidence that has just come to light’ – it is whether the State can illegally detain you & then charge you for the privilege of doing so. Gordon ‘tax & waste’ Brown must be rubbing his grubby mits with glee – a whole new revenue source for him to fritter away.

As for the Court of Appeal – have you all gone stark raving aardvark?? As you speak as outsiders, what do you think of the human race?? Or have too many years living in Judge’s Chambers & hitting the tax payer funded vintage port, finally done for you?? This is shear unmitigated madness ……… maybe next time these judicial numpties take a sunny stroll on insanity beach, maybe they should stop for a minute & dip a toe into the sea of reason.

Word of advice:  Don’t hold your breath.

Another word:  Emigrate.  England is done.  Stick a fork in it.

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