No licenced release for any soldier (or anyone else) convicted for Bloody Sunday…

There was some heated discussion on our thread about the arrest of one of the ex soldiers from the Bloody Sunday as to whether, if convicted, they would be released on licence. Well, Mark Devenport has been digging and it seems the answer,
fairly certainly, is no.

…the Northern Ireland Sentencing Act 1998 which does not apply to any offences committed before the Emergency Provisions Act came into force in 1973.

The 1973 act introduced “scheduled offences” to be tried before no-jury Diplock courts. In the main, those cases involved former paramilitaries because it was feared juries would be subject to intimidation.

But during the Troubles there were also judge only trials of soldiers like Lee Clegg or Guardsmen Mark Wright and James Fisher.

Senior legal sources tell me if a soldier is convicted in the future of what would have been deemed a scheduled offence between 1973 and 1998, they could apply for early release under the Good Friday Agreement.

However, that still leaves an anomaly in respect of crimes carried out between the start of the Troubles in 1969 and 1973.

Discover more from Slugger O'Toole

Subscribe to get the latest posts to your email.

We are reader supported. Donate to keep Slugger lit!

For over 20 years, Slugger has been an independent place for debate and new ideas. We have published over 40,000 posts and over one and a half million comments on the site. Each month we have over 70,000 readers. All this we have accomplished with only volunteers we have never had any paid staff.

Slugger does not receive any funding, and we respect our readers, so we will never run intrusive ads or sponsored posts. Instead, we are reader-supported. Help us keep Slugger independent by becoming a friend of Slugger. While we run a tight ship and no one gets paid to write, we need money to help us cover our costs.

If you like what we do, we are asking you to consider giving a monthly donation of any amount, or you can give a one-off donation. Any amount is appreciated.