The Birmingham Six was a group of six individuals who were in the wrong place at the wrong time. The six men were from Northern Ireland and had lived in Birmingham since the 1960s. Five of them had left, apparently intoxicated, to the Birmingham New Street train station for Belfast on November 21st 1974, the night the Tavern in the Town and Mulberry Bush pubs were bombed. It was within six minutes when two pubs had blown up.
These men were traveling to attend a funeral of their childhood friend who died while assembling a bomb where they were then arrested. All were convicted in 1975 of the murders of the 21 victims killed in the explosions in the pubs shortly after. All were completely innocent. For almost seventeen years, these six men were tortured, threatened, and beaten for a crime they did not commit. Demands for the case to be re-examined grew in Britain and Ireland and was referred back to the Court of Appeal. With all the demands, the convictions were upheld in 1988.
It even took three more years of pursuing and writings by a number of campaigners before the men’s convictions were again reconsidered. The Birmingham Six conviction was a terrible injustice. Yes, they were later proven innocent but they will never again be able to gain back the time they had lost and erase the memories they have made. This topic of the Birmingham Six intrigued me and I was glad that I could be a part of and learn more of the Irish culture and events. I learned that the criminal justice isn’t fair to its peoples.
In my opinion and most likely the opinion of others, the jury should not be the ones to decide but rather the evidence and proof should be the deciders. Some of these lessons play a role even in today’s day one’s life away that one cannot regain. Hopefully our country today will look back at all the cases of the innocent charged as being guilty and realize that policies need to start changing. They need to start basing judgments off of evidence and not only on what one or a group of people are persuaded by.