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3:13pm on Thursday, 15th March, 2007:



Yesterday, the Law Lords ruled that three men wrongly accused of murder who had spent several years in prison should indeed be obliged to pay for the board and lodgings afforded them during their stay.

What?! This is madness!

Plenty of people are held in custody on remand while awaiting trial, only to be released when the allegations against them are quashed. Should they have to pay for board and lodgings?

Other people serve time because they weren't the victims of miscarriages of justice — they actually committed the crimes of which they are accused. Shouldn't they be made to pay for board and lodgings, too?

Also, while these innocent men were in prison, they received training in various occupations. If they're being charged for board and lodgings, is it only a matter of time before they're also given a bill for their education?

What next? Will those people kidnapped in Ethiopia recently be invoiced by the Afar rebels who generously gave them food and accommodation while holding them at gunpoint?

Bah! Prisoners are supposed to be "guests of Her Majesty's prison service". Some hosts they are...

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Copyright © 2007 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).