Shirley McKie: Scottish Government Apologises

Welcome to the public CLPEX.com Message Board for Latent Print Examiners. Feel free to share information at will.

Shirley McKie: Scottish Government Apologises

Postby Iain McKie » Thu Jan 26, 2012 4:11 pm

On behalf of Shirley and our family I am extremely pleased to announce that yesterday in the Scottish Parliament, Kenny MacAskill, the Secretary for Justice, and the Lord Advocate the Rt. Hon Frank Mulholland, met with Shirley and myself and apologised.

Mr MasAskill stated that he was, ‘sorry on behalf of the Scottish Government’, that she had been wrongly accused and that our family had been exposed to the trauma of the past 14 years. He hoped that the Fingerprint Inquiry Report and the action the Government would be taking would help ensure that this never happened to anyone again. The Lord Advocate was ‘sorry’ that Shirley had been prosecuted and hoped that if the same circumstances arose again the mistakes of the past would not be repeated. It was a particular pleasure for us that Alex Neil and Mike Russell, politicians who had stood shoulder to shoulder with Shirley for over a decade, were also present.

It is hard for us to truly express our feelings on hearing Government representatives saying that one simple word, ‘sorry’. While we wish it had been uttered in 1999 after Shirley was unanimously acquitted of perjury it never the less marks a watershed for us and we are now satisfied that it is time to let go of the past and move on.

Things do remain to be done and we hope that the fingerprint and forensic communities sit up and take notice of what is happening in Scotland without engaging in the fiction, ‘It could never happen here’.

Individual thanks are due to experts David Grieve, Pat Wertheim, Ed German, Arie Zeelenberg, Allan Bayle, Les Bush, Gary Dempster, John McGregor, John Dingwall and the hundreds of their colleagues at home and abroad who have stood by us over the years. You will not be forgotten.

That the government apologies should take place on the 25th January, the birth date of Scotland’s national poet Robert Burns, was particularly poignant as we had used his words to front our campaign.

‘There’s nane ever fear’d that the truth should be heard but they whom the truth would indite.’

Our heartfelt thanks to all those who supported Shirley and our family and we thought it would be appropriate to sign off with the thoughts of an American poet John Greenleaf Whittier who was heavily influenced by Burns – in the end all we are left with is forgiveness.

My heart was heavy, for its trust had been
Abused, its kindness answered with foul wrong;
So, turning gloomily from my fellow-men,
One summer Sabbath day I strolled among
The green mounds of the village burial-place;
Where, pondering how all human love and hate
Find one sad level; and how, soon or late,
Wronged and wrongdoer, each with meekened face,
And cold hands folded over a still heart,
Pass the green threshold of our common grave,
Whither all footsteps tend, whence none depart,
Awed for myself, and pitying my race,
Our common sorrow, like a mighty wave,
Swept all my pride away, and trembling I forgave!
Last edited by Iain McKie on Fri Jan 27, 2012 4:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
As always my thanks to all experts who have supported Shirley over the years.
Iain McKie
 
Posts: 186
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2005 3:23 am
Location: Ayr, Scotland

Re: Shirley McKie: Scottish Government Apologises

Postby Taggart » Thu Jan 26, 2012 5:09 pm

Wonderful news Iain. Hopefully this will help you all move forward.
I noticed Shirley received a public apology from Tom Nelson of the SPSA on 14th December 2011.
Are you in a position to tell us if Shirley has received any personal apologies from the two SPSA experts, Terrace Foley and Alister Geddes who misidentified the print Y7?
I would like to think it I'd the very least they could do!
Taggart
 
Posts: 596
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2007 11:33 am

Re: Shirley McKie: Scottish Government Apologises

Postby Les Bush » Fri Jan 27, 2012 6:26 am

Thank you for the update Iain, and for the insight into how your family and Shirley are feeling. The poem by Whittier is inspiring with hope that one day all people will be able to shift from positions of pride to one of united humanity. Now in near retirement mode I've reflected on 35 years in policing mostly spent doing both crime scene and fingerprint examinations and there have been only a few occasions when humanity has shone through as the winner. Our industry is generally to provide both interference and disruption to criminal activities leaving the rest of the community to go about their business knowing the rule of law is being applied. Having those few times when humanity claims victory is a great balancing mechanism to counter the regular examples of when mankind turns on itself. Pride is one of the several ways by which we are able to inflict pain on another. The SCRO had developed a culture of pride about their successes such that when Y7 came along they not only abused the integrity of their organisation but also tainted community trust in particular for Shirley and your family. Even if the forgiveness that Whittier speaks of is applied on your side alone Iain it is still a big win for humanity. Even if the Fingerprint community cannot combine its resources to self regulate based on the recommendations of this Inquiry, it is still hopeful that another Y7 will be exposed. And finally Shirley has the knowledge about your example of selfless love and devotion, these are to be valued far beyond any monetory or moral victory, it is what makes a family great and she has that forever. Iain please take some pride in what you have achieved, resume your delayed retirement and then go off to a quiet place and wet that line for a nice catch and a wee dram. Regards from oz. Les
Les Bush
 
Posts: 206
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2005 6:29 am
Location: Australia

Re: Shirley McKie: Scottish Government Apologises

Postby Big Wullie » Fri Jan 27, 2012 12:09 pm

What Great news Iain.

The Final Chapter and what a fitting Image from Mike Russell who campaigned for Shirley:

Her Left Thumb

Image

A massive thank you to all the experts who stood up against the corrupt system in Scotland.

Like Taggart I would also like to see personal apologies from Geddes & Foley.
User avatar
Big Wullie
 
Posts: 676
Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2007 5:59 am
Location: Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom.

Re: Shirley McKie: Scottish Government Apologises

Postby Taggart » Fri Jan 27, 2012 12:28 pm

Iain,

I am not sure if you are aware but mysteriously the Official SPSA Apology to Shirley that was posted on the SPSA website on 14 December 2011 has been removed. I can only assume this is a genuine error on their part?

http://www.spsa.police.uk/news/latest_news

I am sure the powers that be in the SPSA who read this site will correct this error and re-instate the apology as a matter of decency and as a public record.
Taggart
 
Posts: 596
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2007 11:33 am

Re: Shirley McKie: Scottish Government Apologises

Postby Big Wullie » Fri Jan 27, 2012 1:27 pm

Did anyone copy the apology Taggart ?
User avatar
Big Wullie
 
Posts: 676
Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2007 5:59 am
Location: Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom.

Re: Shirley McKie: Scottish Government Apologises

Postby David L. Grieve » Fri Jan 27, 2012 5:33 pm

While obviously a decade late, the apology is welcomed news. I am delighted for Shirley and would have been more delighted had the audience been more inclusive. That we applaud a limited apology nearly 14 years late is revealing of the incredible nightmare of this affair.

Les spoke eloquently of mindless culture clashing with basic humanity and how rarely humanity triumphs. At the same time, I am encouraged that the people Iain listed, plus many more I have met, are on vigil to urge humanity on. I doubt seriously that an apology on the floor of Parliament will end the mindless culture of arrogance that fueled this debacle, but to be included in Iain's list with such remarkable individuals is a privilege. .
David L. Grieve
 
Posts: 113
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2005 9:30 am
Location: Carbondale, IL

Re: Shirley McKie: Scottish Government Apologises

Postby Big Wullie » Fri Jan 27, 2012 6:42 pm

Pat

You will recall Mr Geddes more than most because he was the little character who sat laughing while you were giving evidence.

Laughing that much you had to make a comment to him.

Wonder if he is still laughing now.

He who laughs last laughs the longest as the saying goes. LMAO

Did the enquiry not recommend he be suspended ?
User avatar
Big Wullie
 
Posts: 676
Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2007 5:59 am
Location: Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom.

Re: Shirley McKie: Scottish Government Apologises

Postby Big Wullie » Fri Jan 27, 2012 7:07 pm

Taggart wrote:Iain,

I am not sure if you are aware but mysteriously the Official SPSA Apology to Shirley that was posted on the SPSA website on 14 December 2011 has been removed. I can only assume this is a genuine error on their part?

http://www.spsa.police.uk/news/latest_news

I am sure the powers that be in the SPSA who read this site will correct this error and re-instate the apology as a matter of decency and as a public record.


Taggart

Even though this apology has been taken from the SPSA this one is still available:

Tom Nelson, director of forensic services at the authority, said: "As an organisation, we accept the findings of the Inquiry and we expect all of our staff members to do the same.

"We accept that Shirley McKie did not make the mark known as Y7. We have today apologised directly to the McKie family for the errors that took place in the late 1990s and for the subsequent pain that has caused them."


From the STV website here: http://news.stv.tv/scotland/west-centra ... -released/

Video Of Tom Nelson Apology

Fair play to Tom Nelson he apologised while Geddes and Co ran out the front door of the hotel.

They still have a partial apology here:

http://www.spsa.police.uk/search?s=McKie

SCOTTISH POLICE SERVICES AUTHORITY WELCOMES FINDINGS OF FINGERPRINT INQUIRY…expect all of our staff members to do the same. We accept that Shirley McKie did not make the mark known as Y7. We have today apologised directly to…
news/latest_news/scottish_police_services_authority_welcomes_findings_fingerprint_inquiry - 14 Dec 2011


Here is another poser:

Will David Asbury get the same apology ?

After all he did serve 4 years in prison.

David

I doubt seriously that an apology on the floor of Parliament will end the mindless culture of arrogance that fueled this debacle,


I fear you might be 100% correct having heard another shocking appeal in our courts today, though nothing to do with fingerprints.
User avatar
Big Wullie
 
Posts: 676
Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2007 5:59 am
Location: Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom.

Re: Shirley McKie: Scottish Government Apologises

Postby Taggart » Mon Jan 30, 2012 6:37 pm

Wullie,

I just checked and still no sign of the Apology being re-instated on the SPSA website. For those who did not see it, here it is:

SCOTTISH POLICE SERVICES AUTHORITY WELCOMES FINDINGS OF FINGERPRINT INQUIRY
Wednesday, December 14, 2011: The body responsible for delivering fingerprint services in Scotland has today welcomed the report by Sir Anthony Campbell of his Inquiry into Fingerprints in Scotland.

The Scottish Police Services Authority (SPSA) accepts all the Inquiry’s findings and all of the recommendations made of it by the Inquiry. SPSA Forensic Services will be developing an action plan with the aim of making the necessary improvements in time for fingerprints to integrate into the new single Scottish Police Service in 2013-14.

Welcoming the Inquiry’s report, SPSA’s Director of Forensic Services Tom Nelson said:
“The breadth and depth of the Inquiry’s scrutiny of this issue has been without parallel and beyond the scope of any individual organisation past or present to have carried out. As a result it has gone much further than any previous reviews and we believe it is of fundamental significance for fingerprint practices across the world.

“It challenges the infallibility of fingerprint evidence and we accept that this will be a huge cultural challenge for fingerprint examiners across the world. However, as an organisation we welcome that and we agree with the Inquiry’s view that ‘acknowledging fingerprint evidence is not 100 per cent certain need not detract from the true value of this type of evidence’.

“As an organisation, we accept the findings of the Inquiry and we expect all of our staff members to do the same. We accept that Shirley McKie did not make the mark known as Y7. We have today apologised directly to the McKie family for the errors that took place in the late 1990s and for the subsequent pain that has caused them.

“Fingerprints in Scotland is changing and improving, and that programme of improvement has continued since the Inquiry’s evidence gathering phase concluded two years ago. Embracing this Inquiry’s work gives us an opportunity to capitalise on the head start we have already made and put Scotland at the forefront of global advances in this field.

“Today, our examiners have common training that is consistent with that across the rest of the UK. Fingerprint staff have their competence checked more stringently and more regularly. Transparency has improved so that more information on how fingerprint examiners reach their conclusions is written down, and variances in conclusions revealed to the Crown. In January we will launch a new approach to specifically and separately deal with complex fingerprint marks, in line with the recommendations of the Inquiry today. Local fingerprint bureaux have also in the last year become a national service and this structural reform is crucial to accelerating work underway to bring consistency to procedures and standards.

“We welcome the fact that the Inquiry’s recommendations support the direction of SPSA’s ongoing programme of modernisation. The Inquiry has recognised that progress has been made and that in key areas like external accreditation SPSA is leading the way in the UK.

“However, we accept that there is further improvement to be made and we accept the recommendations set out today by the Inquiry. We will be working within our available resource and with our partners such as the Crown Office to implement them.

“This Inquiry makes clear that ‘fingerprint comparison continues to serve as a valuable source of evidence’ but it challenges the fingerprint community to shake off long-held assumptions and beliefs. I believe that if we can embrace that approach then today marks a watershed. I want a decade of division to be put behind us and to unite to improve the quality and understanding of fingerprint evidence. Working together we can ensure that while fingerprint practices change, they still remain as valuable a part of the criminal justice process in the decades to come as it has unquestionably been throughout the 20th century.”

UKPolicing.info Notes . . .

SPSA took on responsibility for fingerprint services in April 2007. Fingerprint staff in Scotland operate as part of SPSA Forensic Services and are now part of a national Physical Sciences operation which also includes drugs, firearms, paint, glass and document examination.

CONTACT:
Angela Hughes 0141 534 8962


Of course there might be another explanation for it being removed?

In January we will launch a new approach to specifically and separately deal with complex fingerprint marks, in line with the recommendations of the Inquiry today.


By my reckoning that means it will be launched at the very latest tomorrow, given that is the last day of January? My information is this is a false statement and the SPSA are not in a position to launch this procedure in January.
Taggart
 
Posts: 596
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2007 11:33 am

Re: Shirley McKie: Scottish Government Apologises

Postby Big Wullie » Mon Jan 30, 2012 7:26 pm

Thanks very much for this copy Taggart I knew someone would have copied it.

For some unknown reason I did miss this and I am shocked they are still making false promises.

I am also shocked they still seem to be suggesting they are the best in the world at Fingerprints:

“Fingerprints in Scotland is changing and improving, and that programme of improvement has continued since the Inquiry’s evidence gathering phase concluded two years ago. Embracing this Inquiry’s work gives us an opportunity to capitalise on the head start we have already made and put Scotland at the forefront of global advances in this field.


Put Scotland at the forefront is that a joke or what ?

I have also not seen any evidence that the others (Geddes & Foley) within the SPSA that still insisted Y7 was Shirley McKies have been suspended.

Remember it was Geddes and Mcbride who went to Marion Scott at the Sunday Mail with the ex detective Les Broon with their cock a hoop bull which I will not reiterate and yet Mr Geddes has yet to apologise for his actions and continues to work within the SPSA and this to me a member of Joe Public is alarming.

Did Mr Nelson not say he would implement all the recommendations of the enquiry ?

What is he waiting for ?
“We welcome the fact that the Inquiry’s recommendations support the direction of SPSA’s ongoing programme of modernisation. The Inquiry has recognised that progress has been made and that in key areas like external accreditation SPSA is leading the way in the UK.


SPSA Leading the way in the UK ?
User avatar
Big Wullie
 
Posts: 676
Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2007 5:59 am
Location: Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom.

Re: Shirley McKie: Scottish Government Apologises

Postby David L. Grieve » Tue Jan 31, 2012 9:22 am

Mr. Nelson's fondness for hyperbole is remarkable. However, a cheerleader is more effective when there is a good team on the field. Nelson's claim that the inquiry had a breadth and depth beyond parallel is an example of superlatives without substance. As Bill Gates is fond of saying, the requirement of such self-esteem is actually doing something.

In response to Mayfield, the FBI not only assembled an international panel to review the latent print error from a technical basis but assembled eight committees to examine all aspects of operations, including culture. I was asked to participate in the review of the training program and our recommendations were specific, not nebulous. The same was true for the other inquiries.

This "instant recuperation" touted by Mr. Nelson sounds exactly like the SCRO reaction to the HMIC inquiry. We are healed. It is a miracle.
David L. Grieve
 
Posts: 113
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2005 9:30 am
Location: Carbondale, IL

Re: Shirley McKie: Scottish Government Apologises

Postby Taggart » Wed Feb 01, 2012 2:27 pm

The media in Scotland today covered the Scottish Government apologies:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-g ... t-16843103

David, I appreciate your comments and fully understand your concerns regarding the on-going actions of the SPSA. On 1 April 2007 when the SPSA was set up they actually took over all liability for the previous actions of the SCRO.

I believe the SPSA has two further apologies to make. Firstly as Wullie points out, the apology that was publicly made to Shirley, similarly needs to be afforded to David Asbury.

I also believe the SPSA need to make an apology to the International Fingerprint Community for allowing their experts to seriously damage the reputation of the Science for the last 15 years.

Re your concerns that the SPSA are simply reacting in the way the previous SCRO did, I believe the International Fingerprint Community are in a far stronger position, not only to demand answers from the SPSA, but also to ensure that changes are being made.

Since the publication of the Report several things must have happened within the SPSA.

(1)The two experts, Foley and Geddes must have been asked if they accept they made two errors in the Marion Ross case.

(2) Irrespective of their responses they must have been suspended from all fingerprint duties on the 14 December 2011 until they had been re-trained and all their previous work has been independently peer reviewed. Only after this has occurred can they possibly resume fingerprint duties.

(3) If they failed to formally accept their mistakes then they needed to be officially dealt with under the SPSA Competency Procedure, and then the SPSA Disciplinary Procedure.

(4) Given the Inquiry reported two errors within the SPSA would have been duty bound to implement the Official Procedure which deals with erroneous ‘identifications’.

(5) The SPSA state on their website http://www.spsa.police.uk/ that they are ‘one of the world's only independently-accredited ‘crime scene to court' forensic services’. Given the Fingerprint Section must therefore be accredited, two mistakes would mean there must have been non-compliances, which again must have been formally investigated and reported in line with any such accreditation.

(6) The SPSA holds the fingerprint evidence in the Marion Ross case. Now we know there are two errors in this one case, it cannot wait for the Lord Advocate or the Chief Constable of Strathclyde Police to order a re-examination of the fingerprint evidence. Two errors in one case that has never ever been peer reviewed must give serious cause for concern within the SPSA and allow them to carry our their own re-examinations of the evidence.

(7) The use of the prints in training with-in the SPSA. Initially I had concerns the SPSA might not want to use the images in re-training but have been heartened when I re-read the evidence of the Scottish Training Officer of the SPSA, Alex McGinnies at the Inquiry. He was asked about using the prints in training
http://www.thefingerprintinquiryscotlan ... script.pdf

…The other thing I wanted to ask is would it not be a very useful training model not just Y7 and the inked print to look at it and then try and work out what happened, but also the methods of presentation, the difference between how the Americans presented the evidence, is it not something that is a very useful database for training purposes for, frankly, interest's sake within the SPSA? Would you agree with that comment?

Mr McGinnies answered:
I certainly would and we do use the Mayfield case. The Brandon Mayfield case has, if you like, a beginning a middle and an end. It has, as you say, a very quick turnaround on the report, the international experts and the recommendations. We use that to look back and look at the procedural breakdowns. I'm hoping that when the case is resolved that I will be able to use that as a training aid, yes.


The Scottish Training Officer clearly stating agrees that Y7 should be used in training and was hoping he could use them as a training aid when the Inquiry resolved the issue over identification.

I believe that every Fingerprint Agency anywhere in the world has the right to challenge the SPSA over how it has dealt with the Inquiry Report. Also I believe they should be asking the SPSA to share with them their new training packages which Mr McGinnies will have prepared in light of the Inquiry Report.

The SPSA needs to be in a position to share the lessons with their colleagues and peers. What cannot happen is for a wall of silence or secrecy to be allowed to cover the SPSA.

I notice Michlle Triplett updated her Fingerprint Dictionary on 25 January 2012. However I cannot see any updates reflecting the findings of the recent Fingerprint Inquiry.

Shirley McKie - 1997
In 1997, Shirley McKie, a detective with the Strathclyde Police in Scotland,
was charged with perjury after denying that she had left a fingerprint at the
murder scene of Marion Ross. David Asbury was convicted of this murder based
on other fingerprint evidence. Later both charges were overturned while the SCRO,
who performed the fingerprint analysis, stood by their identifications. On February 7, 2006,
just prior to Shirley McKie’s civil hearing, The Scottish Ministers settled out of court for the
full amount Ms. McKie was suing for, while not admitting to any errors.
Over 10 years after the murder the identifications were still under dispute and a resolution
seemed impossible. In April 2007, the examiners involved in this case were asked to resign.
4 of the 6 examiners (Robert McKenzie, Allan Dunbar, Hugh McPherson and Charlie Stewart)
took a redundancy package. One examiner, Tony McKenna, agreed to be redeployed to
Strathclyde Police. Fiona McBride refused to accept another job at 1/3 of her salary and
was fired on May 1, 2007. Fiona McBride is pursuing legal action.


Similarly I see no updates on the profiles of Martin Leadbetter with reference to his errors:

Leadbetter, Martin FFS, RFP, Bachelor of Arts + Honours
Martin Leadbetter was employed within the Fingerprint Branch at New Scotland
Yard from 1966/72. During this period he was also responsible for attending
crime scenes in Central London as a Divisional Fingerprint Officer. Having
qualified as a Fingerprint Expert in 1972, he transferred to the Gloucestershire
Constabulary where he remained employed for just over two years, after which he
took up the post of Deputy Head of the Fingerprint Bureau for Hertfordshire
Constabulary, just north of London.

In 1988 he was seconded to the Home Office as part of the team investigating
implementation of a national AFIS for England and Wales. This secondment lasted
until 1991 and during this time he assisted in the writing of the Detailed
Operation Requirement for a national AFIS and made several visits with the bench-
marking team to the USA and France where systems produced by Printrak, NEC, Morpho
Systèmes (now Sagem) and ISS were all tested.

From January 1991/August 1995 he was employed by Sagem SA as Fingerprint Expert
and Consultant. During this period he visited the police departments of more than
thirty countries worldwide, including two visits to Siberia, South American countries,
South Africa, numerous visits to the USA, Russia and most European countries.

In September 1995 he took up his present post as Head of the Fingerprint Bureau for
Cambridgeshire Constabulary, based in the East Anglian region of the UK.

He has been a member of IAI since 1978, a Distinguished Member since 1988 and achieved
Life Membership in 2003. He is a Founder, Fellow and Life Member of The Fingerprint
Society and was its first Secretary and Assistant Editor of the Society's journal,
Fingerprint Whorld for just on fifteen years. Today, Mr. Leadbetter is a serving
member of The Fingerprint Society Committee. Recently, he has acted in a consultative
position in Bosnia, assisting the European Union Police to implement a national AFIS
for that country. He has addressed several conferences, both at home and abroad, in
particular at the Humboldt University, East Berlin, Surgut, Siberia and most recently,
in October 2004 at the Centenary Conference in Budapest, which celebrated the first
hundred years of the fingerprint system in Hungary.

At home he is now very active holding several important national posts. He is a member
of the National Fingerprint Board of England and Wales, Chairman of the Bureau
Practitioners' Sub-Group and a member of the Standards Working Group. Until recently
he chaired the Third Level Detail Sub-Group, which had been instigated by the
Association of Chief Police Officers to investigate the potential use of so-called
'third level detail' within the identification process. He also sits on the IAI's
International Committee and is a member of the Journal of Forensic Identification's
Editorial Board.

He is a Registered Forensic Practitioner with the Council for the registration of Forensic
Practitioners and Member of the British Academy of Forensic Sciences and holds the degree
of Bachelor of Arts with Honours.

Throughout his long career within the fingerprint discipline he has been a constant
contributor to forensic and scientific journals. He strongly holds the view that
fingerprint identification is not a science, but a technique that requires
considerable skill, but is prepared to compromise and accept that it has a scientific,
albeit a rather nebulous 'scientific' basis.

In his spare time Martin Leadbetter enjoys gourmet cooking, wine and is a composer having
written three symphonies, numerous works for chamber and instrumental ensembles, more than
fifty songs, and works for choir, band and orchestra. He is also a Member of the
Corporation of the Royal Albert Hall, London. As an author he has just completed his first
full-length novel, Deep and Crisp and Evil, which gives an uncompromising insight into the
working of the modern police service and forensic discipline.
11-24-2004

Martin Leadbetter retired from the Cambridgeshire Constabulary on Aug. 12, 2005. He
remains an active participant in the fingerprint industry.


Can I also suggest for accuracy of the Dictionary to include an entry for Peter Swann to include his two errors.

I believe this dictionary to be invaluable and should be seen as a record for the future, long after we are all departed and it is important that it is factually correct.
Taggart
 
Posts: 596
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2007 11:33 am

Re: Shirley McKie: Scottish Government Apologises

Postby Pat » Wed Feb 01, 2012 5:35 pm

Taggart wrote:I believe the SPSA has two further apologies to make.


I have to disagree with you, Taggart. The number of people who are owed apologies by the renamed SCRO would fill a London double-decker bus. Nay, they fill the borders of Scotland, and then some. But those directly targeted for retaliation for daring to speak out about the erroneous identifications number in the dozens.

Take the Lothian & Borders latent print examiners who all jointly signed a letter to the effect that SCRO had made an erroneous identification in the case of Y-7. As I understand it, every last person whose signature was affixed to that letter was transferred or run out of the fingerprint section with a blot on their career. Take Gary Dempster who dared to speak out publicly and was forced out of his job and career. Scotland needs more Gary Dempsters and fewer arrogant snots like the one I had to admonish from the witness stand myself when I was testifying before the inquiry. Even into England, I know of examiners who were muzzled because they recognized the wrongs being done and voiced concerns.

If there is true ethical concern, the people who were forced to apologize to Shirley will set about making things right for all the honest latent print examiners who tried to blow the whistle but were punished for their efforts. But I expect your chances of success would be greater with a £1 ticket in the National Lottery than they would be to expect all the apologies due from the rascals at SCRO (or SPSA; same thing).
The views presented in this post are those of the author only. They do not necessarily represent the views of DoD or any of its components.
Pat
 
Posts: 226
Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2010 7:39 am

Re: Shirley McKie: Scottish Government Apologises

Postby David L. Grieve » Wed Feb 01, 2012 8:56 pm

I agree with Pat and this is why I am not jubilant about the Inquiry Report. Yes, it is nice to have the statement about acknowledged errors in the Ross investigation, but the Report leaves out far too much to be definitive. To add to Pat's list and my personal top violation of decency, a sincere and heartfelt apology is due Arie Zeelenberg. Pat and I testified because we knew Y7 was not made by Shirley, and we were later joined by many hundreds worldwide. Arie tried to reconcile the matter and assist SCRO before this became an international debacle. Sadly, Arie's hand was bitten before he could feed anyone. Not content with rebuffing his efforts, SCRO tried to malign him, a campaign of arrogance and stupidity that was maintained until the bitter end. Those responsible are not just incompetent but evil.

Taggart, what is wrong with your outline of corrective steps is that nothing has been done by SPSA with transparency. I went to the SPSA website and saw they bragged about independent accreditation. By whom? An agency accredited by a reputable body lists that body, not makes vague reference. In the States, such statement without basis might be prosecuted as deceptive practices. Taggart, you and I can go into business as an accrediting agency, charge the Scottish government an outrageous fortune and say everything is just fine in Brigadoon. I am suspect, as everyone should be, of a claim without specific reference.

Retraining the two examiners who made acknowledged errors requires employing a program that is designed and tested to be effective at remediation. Training people with the same program that caused mistakes is not going to correct anything. Who has independently reviewed the current training? Is this any instance of internal blessings without proof? Has SPSA taken their program to outside comment and critique? SPSA is tooting its own horn with gusto but it is just their own horn.

The sections SPSA have on the website concerning ACE-V is indicative of an agency that does not understand, let alone follows, the concept. What records do they have that each examiner has demonstrated proficiency in ACE-V? What external proficiency tests have they taken? Have any problems been revealed? Most importantly, what procedures do they have in place for conflict resolution?

My concern has been since 1999 is whether the citizens of Scotland can sleep peacefully knowing they will not be victims of arrogance and abuse as Shirley and David were. Clearly in 2012, the answer is still no. At present, any citizen can be subjected to the same litany of horrors that Shirley and David experienced. If you are content with that, accept the Report as the end. If you are not, demand something bnetter. Demand answers from SPSA. If they cannot provide them, demand answers from the government. You have only your liberty to lose.
David L. Grieve
 
Posts: 113
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2005 9:30 am
Location: Carbondale, IL

Next

Return to Public CLPEX Message Board

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], Yahoo [Bot] and 1 guest

cron