I blogged initially about Eddie Gilfoyle in early January after being alerted about the issue on Prisoner Ben’s blog. Eddie was in the extraordinary position following his release that protesting his innocence would result in a breach of his parole conditions and possibly returning to jail. Since then I’ve been following this and it seems that the parole board has backed down after threats of litigation from his solicitors.
The full details are in insidetime, a fantastic monthly magazine/newspaper distributed to prisoners within the UK and with many articles written by current, and former, prisoners. The story is well written and gets in depth into the legal details of the rights to speech and to communicate to the media available for current prisoners (and naturally which should be available for people who have been released!).
Whether Eddie is innocent or not is utterly irrelevant, nor whether he even desires to speak to the press. You’ve got to allow people the ability to protest their innocence and the ability for abuse in a system where prisoners are silenced from communication with the outside world is all too obvious. If that offends a victim/victim’s family then is is part of the cost of a system where we give society the rights to withdraw a person’s freedom.