Joint enterprise: ancient law jailing hundreds, say FOI reports

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Joint enterprise: ancient law jailing hundreds, say FOI reports

Use of law which enables defendants to be found guilty of killing even if they did not deliver fatal blow sparks widespread concern
Court, gavel
There were 1,853 people prosecuted in England and Wales for homicide in a charge that involved more than four people in the last eight years. Photograph: Tom Jenkins for the Guardian

More than 1,800 people have been charged with homicide under the controversial, legal principle of joint enterprise in the past eight years, according to figures obtained from freedom of information requests.

The first, detailed assessment of how frequently prosecutors rely on the 300 year old, common law offence has been obtained through research by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism.

There is widespread concern over the complex doctrine, which enables defendants to…

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