Startling revelations have emerged regarding the wrongful conviction of Andrew Malkinson, who spent 17 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. Documents obtained by Malkinson, who had his conviction quashed last month, indicate that police and prosecutors were aware of another man’s DNA on the victim’s clothing in 2007, yet he remained behind bars for 13 more years.
The case revolves around a rape conviction in Greater Manchester in 2003, which resulted in Malkinson serving time for a crime he steadfastly maintained he did not commit. The recent disclosure shows that forensic testing in 2007 had identified male DNA on the victim’s vest top that did not match Malkinson’s DNA.
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Astonishingly, authorities chose not to pursue this lead, failing to notify the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC), which is responsible for investigating potential miscarriages of justice.
While the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) claimed that Malkinson’s lawyers were informed of the new DNA evidence, the CCRC apparently declined further forensic testing or an appeal referral in 2012, with concerns about costs cited in the case files.
Malkinson’s solicitor, Emily Bolton, emphasized the need for an overhaul of the CCRC, noting that the case documents demonstrate a failure to fulfill its role as a barrier to justice. The mishandling of the case highlights the need for a more robust review process to prevent future instances of wrongful convictions.
James Burley, the investigator at Appeal, a charity that supports miscarriage of justice victims, criticized the CCRC for not investigating the case adequately and for making decisions based on cost considerations. The records obtained indicate that a DNA breakthrough could have occurred earlier, potentially sparing Malkinson from years of wrongful incarceration.
The CCRC, Greater Manchester Police, and the CPS have yet to comment on the revelations. The case underscores the imperative for transparency, diligence, and comprehensive review processes within the criminal justice system to avoid unjust outcomes.
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