WE ARE A MAGAZINE ABOUT LAW AND JUSTICE | AND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO
July 13 2024
WE ARE A MAGAZINE ABOUT LAW AND JUSTICE | AND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO
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Detectives in the Stephen Lawrence murder investigation will not face criminal prosecution

Detectives in the Stephen Lawrence murder investigation will not face criminal prosecution

A senior lawyer from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has today informed the BBC that they will not prosecute the four officers concerning allegations of misconduct in a public office. This announcement comes following the conclusion of a CPS review into their decision not to prosecute the officers due to insufficient evidence, which was made last year.

The review was triggered by Stephen Lawrence’s parents, Dr Neville Lawrence and Baroness Doreen Lawrence, as well as Stephen’s friend, Duwayne Brooks, who wanted to challenge the decision not to prosecute.

However, in their latest announcement, the CPS explain they have not changed their decision not to charge the officers. They explain that ‘offences of misconduct in public office were reconsidered, but the review upheld the original decision not to bring any criminal charges against the four officers in the case.’

This conclusion means no officers will be held criminally responsible for their widely documented failures in the murder investigation of Stephen Lawrence. In 1999, a public inquiry led by Sir William Macpherson  concluded the first Lawrence murder investigation was ‘marred by a combination of professional incompetence, institutional racism and a failure of leadership by senior officers’.

The report was critical of the decision by the investigating officers to delay the investigation, in particular the delay in making key arrests following the murder.

Following this decision today, the CPS state they ‘understand this news will be extremely disappointing for Stephen’s family and friends, and the CPS has offered to meet with close family members to explain [their] reasoning in further detail.’

On Tuesday, following the CPS decision Stephen Lawrence’s mother, Baroness Doreen Lawrence, said: ‘Today’s decision by the CPS marks a new low in the way the criminal justice has treated me and my family. …The reviewed decision, issued today, makes not a single mention of racism.’

Baroness Doreen Lawrence went on to observe that ‘The decision today means – as things stand – that not a single officer will ever be held responsible in any way, shape or form for the obvious and unforgivable failings in Stephen’s case.’

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