The Stephen Lawrence Murder and the British Criminal Justice System

Topics: White people, Race and Ethnicity, Crime Pages: 3 (720 words) Published: September 18, 2011
Despite a criminal case, a private prosecution and an inquest, no-one has ever been convicted of the murder of Stephen Lawrence. The racially motivated murder of this young black student and the subsequent bungling of the police investigation outraged the public and press alike. The Daily Mail campaigned vigorously for Stephen Lawrence. They even formally accused five men of murder and invited them to sue them if this was wrong. No complaint was ever made.

Stephen Lawrence was killed in a race attack 11 years ago

Black teenager Stephen Lawrence was murdered in 1993. His killers have never been convicted. Despite an extensive reinvestigation, the Crown Prosecution Service has announced that no more charges will be brought over his death. But despite the lack of justice for his family, Stephen's death did lead to a watershed in British race relations. How did Stephen die?

The 18-year-old A-level student was fatally stabbed at a bus stop near his home in Eltham, south-east London in April 1993. A 1997 inquest ruled he had been "unlawfully killed in a completely unprovoked racist attack by five white youths".

What happened in the original investigation?
The original Metropolitan Police investigation - found by a later inquiry to be racist and incompetent - did not lead to any prosecutions. But the family doggedly pursued the case and eventually five young men were identified as suspects. Who were the five suspects?

In 1993, Neil Acourt and his brother Jamie, David Norris, Gary Dobson and Luke Knight were arrested. Proceedings against Jamie Acourt and David Norris never went to trial. In 1996 Neil Acourt, Mr Knight and Mr Dobson stood trial for murder but were acquitted after the judge decided the evidence of witness Duwayne Brooks - Stephen's friend and with him at the time - was unreliable. In the case of Gary Dobson, a later Kent Police report said four adults had confirmed his presence elsewhere on the night of the murder. All five...
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