2 August 2014
Body of research essay
An analysis of trial fairness in the case of R. v Taylor (1994) 98 Cr App R 361 Did media coverage affect the trial?
“Michelle, 22, and her sister, Lisa, 19, had served nearly two years in prison for murder before they emerged yesterday from the Court of Appeal, pale, shocked and stunned, to a tumultuous welcome to freedom” (Mills, 1993: 2). This was a part of news in Independent on 12 June 1993 after the judgement of the Court of Appeal had been launched. Michelle and Lisa were accused of the murder of Alison Shaughnessy, the wife of Michelle’s ex-boyfriend, who was punctured frenziedly to death. The original trial in 1992 concentrated on the affair between Michelle and the victim’s husband as well as Lisa’s frustration in the way her sister was treated afterward the sisters were sentenced to imprison. In 1993 the appeal took place due to two reasons. Firstly, the conflict of a significant witness’s statement because he initially stated that he saw two girls walking from the victim’s house and one might be black; however he changed that they were jogging and both white. The prosecution fail to clarify this statement. Secondly, the media coverage was exceedingly deleterious. The Sun and The Star which revealed a picture captured from the wedding video of the victim posing Michelle Taylor kissing the groom and the headline declared “CHEAT’S KISS” and “JUDAS KISS”; in addition, Daily Mail’s headline proclaimed