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Prisoners (Rape And Murder)

Volume 78: debated on Thursday 9 May 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prisoners convicted of (a) rape and (b) murder have been released since 1955 on the basis of fresh evidence presented subsequently clearing their name; and how many were pardoned (i) before and (ii) after their execution in cases of murder between 1955 and the year of the last implementation of the death penalty.

The information readily available is as follows. Since 1955 one man convicted of rape and one man convicted of sexual offences (unspecified in the available records) have been granted free pardons. Four men convicted of murder and one man convicted of rape have had their convictions quashed following a reference to the Court of Appeal by the Home Secretary. Between 1955 and the coming into force of the Murder (Abolition of Death Penalty) Act 1965 no person convicted of murder was granted a free pardon; 79 persons convicted of murder and sentenced to death were granted a conditional pardon and the death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment. One man convicted of murder was granted a free pardon posthumously in 1966.