6. Mahmood Hussein Mattan
Somali merchant seaman, Mahmood Hussein Mattan, was convicted of murdering a shop owner called Lily Volpert, in 1952 after a single witness – who was also a suspect – claimed to have seen him at the scene of the crime. After a very one-sided, racist trial, where his own barrister even referred to Matten as a “Half-child of nature; half, semi-civilized savage”, he was sentenced to death by hanging. After the execution, his family campaigned to have his sentence quashed. After numerous rejections, this finally occurred in 1998 when the Court of Appeal decided that the investigation and trial was “demonstrably flawed”. Matten’s family received compensation of £725,000, which was split between his wife and three daughters.
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