Tonight on my LBC Show we spent an hour of the progamme discussing the judicial review currently taking place in the High Court over the decision by Vince Cable to allow an export licence to be granted to a UK company which exports a drug called sodium thiopental. It's a drug used by US prison authorities to inject prisoners on Death Row. It helps kill them.
An organisation called REPRIEVE is backing a judicial review in the High Court over Cable's decision. On the programme I interviewed a lawyer from REPRIEVE called Sophie Walker. We discussed why she thought Vince Cable's decision was wrong and immoral. She talked about the fact that the case was being brought by two Death Row prisoners, Edmund Zagorski and Ralph Baze and that they were being represented in the High Court by the London law firm Leigh & Day.
I then enquired who was paying their legal costs, as Judicial Reviews lasting four days are not exactly cheap. You could have knocked me down with a feather when she said they were being funded by legal aid. It was a jaw dropping moment. What sort of country allows foreign murderers to bring cases against its own government and funds them through the generosity of their own tax payers? That way lies madness. Well, it's happening. Assuming Sophie Walker, who is a lawyer herself, realised what she was saying and she was right, it's happening right here, right now. Unbelievable. Let me repeat it. UK taxpayers are paying the legal costs of US convicted murderers. On what planet could that be considered a reasonable thing to expect UK taxpayers to do? I'll tell you where. On a planet where our priorities have become so twisted that there will be some warped woolly thinking liberal who will make an attempt to justify it.
Edmund Zagorski was convicted of shooting John Dotson and Jimmy Porter, then slitting their throats and robbing them in Robertson County, Tennessee in April 1983. Ralph Baze shot and killed two Kentucky police officers as they attempted to serve a warrant on him in 1992.
And you're paying their legal costs.
Makes you proud to be British, doesn't it?
I hope questions will be asked in Parliament about this.
UPDATE: Grant has kindly put the interview in Youtube for you to listen to. Scroll in to 7.15 for the bit about legal aid if you want to skip the premable.