The Shofar is the ancient trumpet which called the people of God to prayer, repentance, sacrifice and war.


14.40 hrs 3rd August 2008

Following the acquittal of Barry George on his retrial for the murder of Jill Dando, a Christian group is calling for murderers only to be convicted on 'overwhelming evidence'.

The call follows the reduction of the whole-life sentence on David Beiber, who was convicted of the murder of PC Ian Broadhurst on 26th December 2003 on what the Court of Appeal later described as 'overwhelming evidence.'

Stephen Green, National Director of Christian Voice, said today:

'Barry George spent 8 years of his life in jail for a crime he did not commit. That is a state-sponsored wickedness. He was convicted on the barest of circumstantial evidence, but the verdict was deemed at the time to be "beyond reasonable doubt".

'Far from his story providing an argument against capital punishment, it actually speaks volumes against our rejection of divine standards of evidence in favour of the humanistic invention of "beyond reasonable doubt". George's imprisonment is obviously less than the ultimate penalty but was still a life-destroying punishment to inflict on an innocent man.

But the reduction of the whole-life tariff on Beiber was also criticised. Green said:

'Beiber's conviction was upheld by the Appeal Court who said it was based on overwhelming evidence. In that case, Beiber should have been executed.

'In the Christian understanding, upon which our laws are or should be based, the death penalty was given to mankind for perpetuity under God's covenant with Noah. That covenant was sealed with the sign of the rainbow (Genesis 9:12-13).

'The Bible verse says: "Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed" (Genesis 9:6, AV) and it goes on to explain why: "for in the image of God made He man."

'The reintroduction of the death penalty for murderers convicted on overwhelming evidence would send out a signal of the true worth of innocent human life, and overwhelming evidence means the testimony of at least two eye-witnesses, or the equivalent in forensics.'