JAA is a campaigning/support group formed in 2006 which is dedicated to increasing the legal rights of, and improving support for, victims’ families which have suffered the double injustice of murder and unjust acquittal.
30 Members of Parliament signed an Early Day Motion in support of JAA in 2008.
Why is JAA needed?
We know that mistakes are made in the Criminal Justice System and that sometimes a person is acquitted who everyone knows is guilty. This can happen when:
- A jury returns a ‘perverse’ verdict which goes against all the evidence. As juries do not have to give reasons for their verdicts and no notes are taken of jurors’ deliberations, we can never know how a perverse verdict was reached.
- A jury cannot reach a decision after a re-trial. The case is then terminated and a verdict of ‘not guilty’ returned.
- A ‘not guilty’ verdict is returned after a technical hitch in the legal system.
How many families are affected?
Figures from the Home Office’s Criminal Law Policy Unit show that each year there can be 125 to 183 families living with the acquittal of the person accused of the murder or manslaughter of their loved one.