Dr Michael Naughton introduces new book on Barry George case
Press release issued: 6 November 2018
Dr Michael Naughton, Reader in Sociology and Law, has written the foreword to a new book by Michelle Diskin Bates, the sister of Barry George who was wrongly convicted and imprisoned for the murder of BBC TV presenter Jill Dando.
‘Stand Against Injustice: The untold story of the family of Barry George, wrongly convicted for the murder of Jill Dando’ is a memoir centred around the high-profile murder trial of Barry George, who was wrongfully convicted and imprisoned but was later acquitted after an appeal and retrial.
In his foreword, Dr Michael Naughton introduces the book as simultaneously disturbing yet uplifting and inspirational; the author’s story is a testament to what can be achieved through an individual’s fight for justice, but also sheds light on the ways in which the criminal justice system can be fallible.
He discusses the 'tunnel vision' paradigm police and prosecution can fall into, "which sees them identify a potential suspect, first, and then work inwards to build a case against them rather than working from the evidence out in criminal investigations."
“[T]he book highlights that to understand the ease with which innocent victims can be, and are, wrongly convicted, there is a need, first, to distinguish between criminal justice system forms of “evidence” and evidence as truth, with the latter being the only legitimate basis upon which convictions should be obtained.”
Dr Michael Naughton is a Reader in Sociology and Law across the Law School and the School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies (SPAIS), University of Bristol. He has broad interdisciplinary teaching and research interests, including the sociology of law, criminology, criminal justice and evidence law, and has researched and written extensively on “miscarriages of justice” and the wrongful conviction and imprisonment of the innocent.