Wrongful Conviction Day – the case of Conroy Smith


The case of a UK prisoner convicted of murder is to be part of a letter writing campaign organised by International Wrongful Conviction Day – which is taking place on 2 October.

Conroy Smith was found guilty of murder in 2006 under the doctrine of joint enterprise, a British law meaning a person can be found guilty for another person's crime. He was convicted with two other defendants. 

Smith's case is being reviewed by the Innocence Project London, which is based at the University of Greenwich, and is currently the only member of the international Innocence Network in England and Wales. The project was established in 2010 and brings together students from law and criminology to work in small groups on a case, alongside a practicing lawyer and academics.

Louise Hewitt, a Lecturer in Law at the university and Director of the Innocence Project London (IPL), said: "Conroy Smith was convicted under the joint enterprise principle for a murder he did not commit. This letter writing campaign for Wrongful Conviction Day will highlight how joint enterprise is used against young black men, and that an urgent review into its use is needed to prevent more individuals being wrongfully convicted.

"As members of the Innocence Network and the European Innocence Network, IPL strives to create awareness of wrongful convictions, like that of Conroy Smith's. Wrongful convictions harm society, especially the family and friends of the person convicted. While it is unrealistic to change entire legal systems in one go, we can collectively create awareness of their failings and look at how they can be improved."

Gloria Morrison, Campaigner Coordinator for JENGbA - Joint Enterprise Not Guilty By Association, said: "Conroy Smith is an example of how joint enterprise is applied to secure a conviction for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and the police based on evidence that is flimsy at best.  His case is an example of how easy it is to target the BAME community using the 'gang' narrative but not actual evidence of his 'intention' or participation in the crime. 

"Joint Enterprise: Not Guilty by Association are supporting nearly 1000 joint enterprise prisoners who are maintaining innocence and we hope every single person reading this writes to their MP and the CPS to demand joint enterprise prisoners are recognised as those wrongfully convicted."

For more information about Wrongful Conviction Day and the letter writing campaign, click here.