The case of Wullie Beck has stuck in my craw since his appeal was rejected in 2013, for an armed robbery that occurred in 1981. It will continue to do so until his case is overturned and justice is done, both for Mr Beck and his family and for the victims of the attack in the armed robbery and their families too.
Please note that I do not use the customary “alleged” to premise wrongful conviction here as I feel confident that if readers take the time to read the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission’s Statement of Reasons for referring his conviction back to the High Court of Justiciary (Scotland’s court of appeal) that they, too, will be left in no doubt that an innocent man was wrongly convicted and imprisoned for a crime that he did not commit.
The refusal of the appeal by the High Court raises a pertinent and important question about justice in Scotland: What is the value of the Scottish CCRC if the cases that it refers, after extensive and impartial investigations, can simply be dismissed by the High Court and those that the Scottish CCRC believe may be innocent victims of miscarriages of justice have no alternative avenue to seek justice and clear their names?
What now for Wullie Beck? Will he (and others like him) ever overturn his wrongful conviction?