Following exchanges at First Minister’s Question Time over the issue of ‘double jeopardy’, Green MSP Patrick Harvie said:
“During First Minister’s Questions, Cathy Jamieson went as far as accepting the old adage that ‘hard cases make bad law’, but then proceeded to demand the abolition of the rule against double jeopardy, just two days after the end of the World’s End trial and before we’ve even heard the Lord Advocate’s statement to Parliament this afternoon.
“This is disgraceful opportunism, seeking to score political points on the back of a high profile and deeply distressing case.
“Few of us can imagine the feelings of the victims’ relatives as they see the accused man acquitted. But the rule against double jeopardy is an ancient protection for innocent people – if we do as Labour and the Tories suggest and act without thinking, we will risk seeing innocent people convicted in future, which would destroy their lives as well as leaving the guilty to walk free.
“This is a time for careful and thoughtful reaction, not a knee-jerk response designed only to sound ‘tougher’ on crime than one’s political opponents.”