London man convicted of crime for sharing video of burning Grenfell Tower model

Originally published at: London man convicted of crime for sharing video of burning Grenfell Tower model | Boing Boing


What a fucking ballsack (probably a tanned one).


And yet the actual people responsible for Grenfell, foremost the Arconic company that made the flammable cladding and falsified safety tests, have yet to be prosecuted.


Plenty of bandwidth to prosecute both.


I did NAZI that coming.


It seems like peak smarm culture when it’s a crime to put ‘grossly offensive’ material on the internet; but apparently OK to coat a residential building with literally inflammatory material.


In this instance I’m more curious about the U.K.’s rules surrounding double jeopardy than about their laws regarding free speech, which I already knew were different than in the U.S. If he was actually acquitted (rather than, for example, having a mistrial declared) how is it that he can be re-tried for the same crime?

My understanding was that you needed significant new evidence to justify a second trial. The linked article doesn’t suggest that was the case here. I also thought it was targeted at serious offences, so not clear why they’re revisiting something originally handled by the magistrates.


Prosecutors’ right to appeal verdicts is another thing you have Tony Blair to thank for.


Yeah, Wikipedia’s explanation of the 2003 Criminal Justice Act describes how “new and compelling evidence” can now be used to justify a second trial but only for a list of “schedule 5” offenses, which include things like murder, rape, kidnapping and terrorism, but that doesn’t explain this case.

Piers Morgan compares himself to Nelson Mandela | Piers Morgan | The Guardian

Speaking before the launch of his new show, he said: “I feel like Nelson Mandela when he came out of prison. It’s like the long walk to free speech freedom.”

I’m a lawyer that follows UK develops closely (granted not usually in this area) and had no idea about this.

What an awful idea! I guess I can just be glad more US politicians haven’t heard of this or you could imagine people pushing for it here. Or maybe they are and I’m just displaying my ignorance.


For someone from a common civil law country this sounds so weird. Here each side can appeal against a verdict and it is considered part of the same case until the highest court has decided. Otherwise it would be unfair, wouldn’t it, if only one side could appeal but could walk away as soon as they got one judgment on their side?

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Pedantic note: I think you mean a ‘civil law’ country. The UK is a common law country.


Ugh, of course! Thanks!


Prosecutors should not be able to appeal an acquittal in my view for several reasons, including because (1) the job of the prosecution is not to “win” a guilty verdict but to serve justice (ok, ok - but that’s supposed to be the purpose, we can all stop laughing), and (2) the relative resources of the state and any individual defendant make this an even more unfair fight.


Yeah, the state is the one that’s bringing the case in the first place, and knowing that they only get one shot at it incentivizes them to do a good investigation and get their shit in order from the get-go. There’s already a lot of pressure for defendants to accept plea deals even if they might not be guilty, and knowing that the state can keep appealing acquittals and drain your time and finances for years and years to come would make the situation even more unbalanced.

Accepting that (factually) guilty people sometimes go free is a reality of any good and fair justice system.

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So are you saying that common law is inherently better and fairer than civil law?

As far as I know plea bargains don’t really exist in those legal systems.


I’m no expert in comparative legal systems but it has to be the case under any fair system (of which I am sure civil law is one) that actually and factually guilty people must be acquitted of crimes. If that is not the case, then the protections set in the system are miscalibrated, such that a large number of actually and factually innocent people would go to jail.

There is no perfect system, and the US common-law system is definitely miscalibrated in my view in favor of the prosecution as currently constituted. But I would bet quite a bit that civil law systems have systems calibrated in the same general way (at least in Europe).

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I’m not comparing the two systems generally, just the idea of Double Jeopardy specifically. Not all civil law countries have the same policy on double jeopardy as far as I can tell. Apparently they sometimes use the term “autrefois acquit” which is basically the same thing.

Wikipedia says otherwise, although it’s a more modern phenomenon and not used as widely as in the U.S.