250-year-old conviction to be reconsidered

Feb. 12, 2010 at 10:37 AM

GLASGOW, Scotland, Feb. 12 (UPI) -- Scotland's justice secretary has agreed to hear an argument to overturn a murder conviction from more than 250 years ago.

A spokesman for Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said the official will consider a submission from Glasgow lawyer John Macaulay to overturn the 1752 murder conviction of James Stewart, who has long been believed innocent of the crime due to a lack of evidence, The Glasgow Herald reported Friday.

A previous attempt by Macaulay to overturn the conviction, a 2008 application to the Criminal Cases Review Commission, was rejected in part due to the length of time that had passed since the incident.

"It is the minimum that James Stewart's memory deserves," Macaulay said in his petition to MacAskill.

Macaulay filed the papers on behalf of Motherwell resident John Campbell, who became interested in the case after visiting a museum in 1982.

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