By Martin Galvin
The appalling vista opened with incompetence not malevolence. A credentialed English scientist subjected the Irish suspects to indisputable forensics tests, which registered positive for explosives. Word was quickly passed to crown constables, who proceeded with a confidence borne of incontrovertible scientific proof that they had guilty Irishmen to beat into confessing. The English judge termed the evidence the most overwhelming he had ever heard, and commended the constables for their conduct. Regrets would be later voiced that a death sentence was not authorized by law. It would be almost a decade before the indisputable scientific tests were proven absolutely wrong and the case would become widely recognized as a miscarriage of justice. Sixteen years would pass before the British would free the “Birmingham Six”.
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