Hillsborough: An ‘unlawful killing’ verdict is not justice in itself

160515 Hillsborough crush barrier

This Blog was not going to dwell on the Hillsborough verdict – but this article by Martin Odoni of The Critique Archives asks important questions.

He is right to point out that the quest for justice is ongoing. It would be too easy for people to accept the ‘unlawful killing’ verdict, say, “That’s that, then,” and think the matter is resolved.

It isn’t. If somebody was killed unlawfully, then somebody else was responsible.

Now it falls on investigators to name the culprits.

The rebooted Inquest into the Hillsborough Disaster has at least finally produced a verdict that tallies with what really happened. Considerable new information was unveiled during the proceedings, adding to public understanding. But there is much about the tragedy, both before and after, that still requires accounting for, and the South Yorkshire Police Service, with its delaying tactics throughout, made clear it has no wish to help with them. The police priority ultimately remained, as it has always been, to shift responsibility onto others, and so mysteries about the Disaster that should have been resolved long before now remain mysteries.

Perhaps this is as much an exercise in curiosity as it is in articulating the ongoing quest for justice (no, an Unlawful Killing verdict in a Coroner’s court does not constitute justice in itself), but I have decided to offer up some questions that I was hoping the authorities might answer at the Inquest. To the best of my knowledge, they have still not been answered after twenty-seven years, and as they are important and relevant issues, truth, justice and accountability will require explanations for all of them – and much else besides.

I need to stress that this list is by no means comprehensive, nor are they intended to be seen as a ‘definitive top ten’. There are many other questions that still need to be answered for full accountability to be achieved, and some campaigners may well feel that other ones are more important. I have simply listed the ten questions that I find most pressing. (If you have others to contribute, feel free to submit them in the comments section below.) I would say that until these questions and others are answered, justice and accountability will remain incomplete, as will the lessons to be learned for the future.

With criminal investigations such as Operation: Resolve and the Independent Police Complaints Commission’s investigation into the conduct of the South Yorkshire and West Midlands Police forces, there is much still to be revealed in the months ahead. But if [these] questions are not all answered, I for one will feel that the investigations have not really completed their work.

To read the 10 questions, and the reasoning behind them, visit: Hillsborough: Ten Questions That Remain Unanswered | TheCritique Archives


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2 thoughts on “Hillsborough: An ‘unlawful killing’ verdict is not justice in itself

  1. Roy Beiley

    I agree entirely. In any other case of unlawful killing would the Police not pursue it to identify and provide evidence of those responsible? Of course they would. But the previous incidents of Police investigating themselves in conjunction with their poodle the “independent” IPCC does not inspire any confidence in there being either an early or acceptable outcome to this case. Missing documents, poor memories and covering arses will probably result in there being no one actually culpable. You only have to watch “In the Line of Duty” on BBC2 to get a whiff of how these investigations get bogged down in loyalty to ones fellow officers.

  2. mrmarcpc

    it isn’t justice for no one has been punished for this terrible crime, everyone keeps blaming the coppers, they are to blame yes but so are the press and the politicians of the day, especially Thatcher, but she’s dead now so she got away with murder, that scumbag Kelvin Mackenzie should be punished, as should the Sun and all the tabloids who smeared the families names as well as the politicians too, then and only then will there be true justice for the 96!

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