Exoneree Gerry Conlon Remembered: Accused of IRA Bombing in 1974
RJI today acknowledges the passing of Gerry Conlon, exonerated ex-prisoner who was wrongfully convicted in the UK for crimes he did not commit. He served 15 years for a crime he did not commit. Conlon from Belfast was convicted in 1974 as part of the Guildford Four for planting an IRA bomb that killed five at a pub in Guildford, London. Conlon was convicted as were other relatives including Conlon’s father who died in prison. Conlon was exonerated as were all those associated with the crime including his family members; no one convicted had any connection with the IRA.
RJI strongly supports any efforts that acknowledge wrongful convictions (miscarriages of justice) in the U.S. and globally. We believe that restorative justice is needed to hold offenders accountable and restore the victim of crime, as much as possible, and the community. Wrongful convictions are the antithesis of restorative justice since with the conviction of an innocent person the actual offender is often not pursued or caught. There is a great need after wrongful convictions to 1) fully restore the innocent person through full exoneration of him/her including restoring any rights lost, 2) seek to fairly compensate the individual for years spent in prison unjustly and 3) seek to hold the offending parties accountable who contributed to the conviction of the innocent individual.
RJI remembers Gerry Conlon for the work he did once released to bring light to the injustice of wrongful convictions. Conlon’s book “In the Name of the Father” which later was made into a film by Jim Sheridan is an important contribution to all those working for the human rights of those individuals unjustly imprisoned and still seeking their freedom today.
For coverage of Conlon’s passing we link the following article from the Irish Times:
This is Lisa Rea for Restorative Justice International.