by Katy Docherty and David Walsh
The families of the World’s End murder victims are set to have their hopes dashed when the Double Jeopardy Bill goes before Holyrood. The current law prevents a person from standing trial for the same crime twice but will be scrapped in a session of the Scottish Parliament tomorrow.
The Double Jeopardy Bill will now allow a retrial if evidence arises of the acquitted person admitting guilt or new DNA evidence comes to light to strengthen the case against the accused. The conditions of the Bill have been restricted to murder, rape, culpable homicide and serious sexual offences cases.
Criminal defence lawyer John Scott is skeptical of the plans: ‘There isn’t really any evidence which is absolutely conclusive of guilt. It’s not as if DNA evidence will tell you who did it. DNA evidence is far more likely to tell you who didn’t do it and beyond that, it can tell you who might have done it.
‘But you still need something else beyond DNA evidence in order to be able to convict.’