LONDON, UK – David Norris and Gary Dobson, who received life sentences at the start of January for the 1993 murder of black British teenager Stephen Lawrence, are to appeal against their convictions.
Norris will argue that the use in evidence of a police surveillance video, in which he and Dobson used violence racist language, was unfair, the BBC reports.
The Court of Appeal has also received papers from Dobson’s solicitors, outlining his intention to appeal.
Both men were convicted on January 4, 2012 over their involvement in the racist murder of Lawrence 19 years ago by a group of white youths near a bus stop in Eltham, south-east London.
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Dobson was sentenced to a minimum of 15 years and two months, while Norris received a sentence of 14 years and three months, after a six-week trial that hinged on new scientific evidence presented by prosecutors, Reuters reported.
The trial judge, Mr Justice Treacy, said that the “terrible and evil crime” was committed “for no other reason than racial hatred,” and urged British police not to “close the file” on catching the other white youths involved in Lawrence’s murder.
Lawrence’s killing and the inadequacy of the investigation into his murder prompted a massive overhaul of the British criminal justice system.
The first attempt to convict Norris and Dobson, along with three other youths, was thrown out of court in April 1993 after the evidence of a key witness was called into question, according to GlobalPost.
A subsequent public enquiry branded London’s Metropolitan police force “institutionally racist.” Lawrence’s family has doggedly pursued justice since then, refusing to give up after a separate private prosecution was also thrown out of court.
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