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Welcome to the world of the Vincent D'Onofrio obsessed - and a bit of real life thrown in.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Justice At Last

Almost 19 years ago, in April 1993, this young man, Stephen Lawrence, age 17, was murdered by a gang of youths in Eltham in London, stabbed to death at a bus stop. I remember seeing it reported on Teletext almost immediately as a racist murder, but strangely the police didn't treat it as such. After all, Stephen and his friend Duwayne Brooks were black, weren't they? It must be a drug thing.

With this mindset, the police couldn't help but mess up the investigation, and it was far too long before they took it seriously enough to harvest evidence.

Even when they started to investigate in earnest, they failed to achieve a conviction, and the case was dismissed due to insufficient evidence. As a result of the case, a lengthy public enquiry took place which concluded that there was institutionalised racism in the Metropolitan Police. Stephen's parents took out a private case against those believed to be the perpetators, but this too failed.

Four years ago the police began a review of the case, which led to these men, Gary Dobson and David Norris, being brought to trial. The reporting of the trial has been painful, as mistake after mistake by the police and forensics experts were highlighted. It sounded as if cross-contamination would lead to an acquittal. Then there was the forensics expert who had deliberately taken the labels off evidence when he lost his job.

Today, at last, these rabid racists have been found guilty. Three of the original five gang members have still not been brought to justice. But at least, tonight, two aging thugs are behind bars for this savage crime, and the Lawrences finally have some measure of closure.

The bus stop where the attack took place has a memorial plaque, which has been vandalised and now has a security camera trained on it.

Stephen had wanted to be an architect, and the Stephen Lawrence Architectural Centre stands a mile or so from here, its aim to encourage young people in their pursuit of a career in architecture. Even before it was finished, the expensive patterned plate glass was vandalised, and stood boarded up for what seemed like years. I wish that could be the end of such evil.


Eliza said...

This whole case has been handled disgracefully..and the more we found out the worse it got. I'm glad the Lawrence's have got a form of justice now, but it's not enough..I don't think it will ever be enough :-(

Ruby said...

I wish, too, Val.

vikeau said...

How tragic--but at least there has been some semblance of justice.

JoJo said...

How sad...but at least there was finally justice. There are lots of cases in the USA that are similar to this. The cops just do not want to explore any other avenues. They get hellbent on convicting someone and even when the person ends up being innocent, the cops and DA can't admit they were wrong.

bobbybegood1 said...

A truly sad case. UNFORTUNATELY, not the last of such. Cheers Val!!

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