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Tuesday, 6 March, 2001, 04:26 GMT
Britain to scrap double jeopardy?

An inquiry ordered by the British government has called for the scrapping of rules that prevent people from being tried twice for the same crime.

The Law Commission of England and Wales says it should be possible to quash acquittals where there is compelling evidence of guilt.

The double jeopardy rule has long been regarded as one of the cornerstones of British justice, and there have been concerns that removing it would increase the chance of innocent people being convicted, and breach human rights legislation.

But the BBC British affairs correspondents says that with a general election looming, the government is keen to show it's prepared be tough on crime. The commission was asked to examine the issue after the racist murder of a black London teenager, a crime for which nobody has been convicted.

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