Crown readies 'double jeopardy' cases

PROSECUTION bosses have earmarked old cases they want to re-open if the centuries-old "double jeopardy" rule is scrapped for some crimes, MSPs heard yesterday.

Crown Office chiefs also warned that public confidence in the justice system would be undermined if they were not allowed to use new evidence to mount a second prosecution against someone for the same crime.

The government wants to reform the rule which dates back over 800 years, and Scott Pattison, director of operations at the Crown Office, told Holyrood's justice committee that although no work had started yet, they had "cases in mind … in terms of the evidence as a whole and also in light of new advances in technology and science."

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The reforms will introduce exceptions that will allow a second prosecution to be brought in serious cases.