By Indigo Jones
This is the Law school’s second success from the innocence project, following Dwaine George’s case in 2014, where he was found to be wrongfully convicted of murder. This first case made Cardiff University’s Law school the first ever innocence project in the UK to overturn an appeal.
Gareth’s case was brought to the attention of the Law school from a family friend, who believed in Gareth’s innocence and felt his trial wasn’t handled correctly. Gareth, who suffers from a mild learning disability and as result struggles to process information, was unfairly treated during his trial as his disability was not taken in to consideration in court. Cardiff University’s innocence project gave Gareth the opportunity to be given a fair opportunity in court, as they presented new information regarding both his disability and the medical evidence relating to the assault in question.
We spoke to Dr Dennis Eady, one of the leaders of the project, who stated the importance of the project, not only for those who’s cases are being re-opened but also for the students. He emphasised how valuable it would be “For students to get practical experience and to understand the reality of how unfair it all is”.
This hands-on experience enables Law students to examine real cases and real case documents, whilst occasionally gaining help, supervision and advice from industry professionals on the cases. Eady emphasised how it truly demonstrates “The miscarriages of justice” that are happening in the UK.
This success of the appeal enabled Gareth Jones to have another chance at life, as a massive weight was lifted off his shoulders after enduring a month of waiting to hear the results of the appeal. According to Eady, it was an “incredibly emotional moment” for everyone as they waited for the final decision.
Gareth expresses his gratitude to the project for helping him win his appeal, as without the money, information or a strong enough argument his case would be very unlikely to make it to the first steps of an appeal.
As the Law school’s innocence project is a pro-bono scheme it gives those without the necessary funding an opportunity to appeal their convictions. For more information on Cardiff University’s Innocence Project watch the You Tube video provided by the Law school, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XMeznkmpThc or follow them on twitter @CU_Innocence
Corrections: Unfortunately, there are some corrections we must make in relation to the previous article written on Cardiff University’s Innocence Project. Firstly, the ‘Innocence Project’ is the trademarked name of the American project. Many of the facts included were also in relation to the American project, for example “the Innocence Project has freed 351 convicted people and found 150 real criminals”. We must also clear up the fact that according to the previous article there was “weak DNA evidence previously used”, although there was no DNA evidence used in the case. We’d like to apologise to anyone these inaccuracies may have offended.