4 Conclusion on the CCRC's effectiveness |
conclude that the CCRC is performing its functions reasonably
well, and we have identified areas for improvement, but we were
struck by the disparity between what critics believe it to be
doing and what it claims that it is doing. At times there was
complete disagreement, even on objective and factual matters.
This indicates that at the very least the CCRC has a problem with
public perception, including with the awareness of applicants
as to what it can do for them and of all stakeholders, including
applicants, their representatives, and others, as to how it operates.
The CCRC will never convince its most vociferous detractors, but
it could be doing more to ensure that its work and processes are
55. The level
of successful referrals from the CCRC shows that it remains as
necessary a body now as when it was set up. We received very little
evidence advocating its abolition, and even its strongest critics
have said that they simply want it to improve. The existence of
the CCRC is not enough in and of itself; it must be given the
resources and powers it requires to perform its job effectively.
The fundamental constitutional principle on which our criminal
justice system rests and which the Commission exists to uphold
is that the guilty are convicted and the innocent go free.