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Can't be unlawful

Jean Charles De Menezes coroner rules out unlawful killing verdict - Times Online

Sir Michael Wright, QC, ruled yesterday that jurors would not be allowed to consider a verdict of unlawful killing.

Sir Michael, a retired High Court judge, told the eleven jurors that they could only consider two outcomes: either that Mr de Menezes was lawfully killed or an open verdict.

That is reassuring, next time you are faced with bunch of hyped up plod about to blow your innocent head off remember it will either be lawful or just one of those things that no one can be blamed for.


I was greatly surprised to see this since the victim was innocent of anything what on earth is the ex judge (fortunately some might say)going on about. Surely it is up to the jury to decide whether it is lawful or not. I reckon the shooting rate will now rise, the police have got the clearance they needed. Not that it has stopped them in the recent past mind.

Sir Michael will shortly become Lord Wright of somewhere-you've-never-heard-of, I reckon.

On what legal grounds can the coroner direct the jury in this way? And have there not been instances in the past where the jury have ignored the judges direction?

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