The evidence and the sequence of events is detailed and complex. The full BBC account may be read on the website, http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-35170419. But this we can say at this stage, there are serious difficulties and questions to be asked, and must be presented to the Court of Appeal for a more reasoned treatment. Meanwhile doubt is justified and the judgement is hardly “beyond reasonable doubt”, the criterion of a valid judgement that involves the death penalty.
Finally, the trial leads to a reflection on the death penalty itself. The trial has raised immense interest and strong feelings regarding guilt or innocence. In such cases the truth often outs only long after the event. Many who have been imprisoned for long years are released. But for those who have been executed there is little impetus to continue the search for truth; a posthumous declaration is cold justice indeed. The death penalty serves no purpose in our judicial system and may cause great injustice.