The Justice Department


The Justice Department
at The Sherlock Holmes Museum investigates alleged Miscarriages of Justice cases primarily based in the UK by funding forensic investigations which may help to resolve particular cases. We will consider cases anywhere in the world where the convicted person claims to be innocent and where DNA enquiries may reveal evidence suggesting the verdict is unsafe.

We also fund "cold case reviews" on behalf of prosecuting authorities, where forensic investigations may assist in identifying the true perpetrator of a crime

Miscarriages of justice arise when a defendent is wrongly convicted for a crime which he has not committed, thus allowing the real perpetrator to remain at large. This brings injustice not only to the defendant but to the victim/s of the crime in question and creates a continued danger for society until the real perpetrator is finally identified and captured.

These cases arise because the criminal justice system like any other state organisation is not infallible. Fresh evidence following a conviction can help to prove a defendant's innocence, and we will concentrate on those cases where forensics can play an essential part in helping to solve a crime. This is in keeping with the traditional methods employed by the famous literary detective, Mr Sherlock Holmes, who placed great stress on the need to examine the minute details of a crime scene in conjunction with other evidence before forming a conclusion as to the perpetrator.

The advances in the field of forensic science enables crimes to be solved using a variety of methods and indeed, with the advent of DNA analysis in particular, it is very difficult not to leave traces of one's presence at the scene of a crime without being identified. The first steps in solving any crime therefore ought to involve the careful study of crime scene evidence taking into consideration all the prevailing factors. The aim in all cases is to produce a DNA profile of the perpetrator as quickly as possible and thereby save valuable time and resources which would otherwise have to be spent on a laborious and sometimes fruitless investigation.

When a person's DNA is found at a crime scene or on any items related to it, it is necessary to establish whether the DNA was deposited during the course of the crime, ie., whether the person was the perpetrator, or an innocent explanation exists for the presence of the DNA.

The cases which we are currently funding and which deserve our endorsement as being examples of possible miscarriages of justice are listed below. We will continue to assist in the funding of these cases until such time as the defendant is exonerated or shown to be actually guilty of the offence based upon DNA findings. The list of cases will no doubt increase over time and we will be preparing dedicated pages in order to serve as examples of what went wrong in the criminal process which resulted in the convictions being obtained and what steps we needed to take in order to resolve the case.

Some of the cases we fund will belong to the "cold case review" category - so please keep in touch with all our efforts on behalf of both defendants and prosecutors.

We hope that the successful resolution of the cases listed below will serve to underline the crucial role of forensic investigations in ensuring that the real perpetrator of a crime is identified and brought to justice. 

 

Case Name

Status

1 R v Michael Stone (The Chillenden Murders)

Active

2 R v Omar Benguit (Murder of Jong-Ok Shin)

Active

3


The Sherlock Holmes Museum

Contact: The Justice Department 0207 706 9693