Fear Holds the Power
The story of what fear can do to rationality and the law
The Guildford Pub
The Innocent Victims
As more IRA bombings occurred, the pressure on the police to find those responsible for the Guildford bombings increased. On Thursday November 28, the Surrey Constabulary arrested Paul Hill, suspected of misuse of an IRA rifle. Even though the grounds for Hill's suspicion was never clear, it was enough to make him a suspect. The police were desperate. The New York Times reports Hill was threatened his girlfriend, pregnant at the time, was in danger unless he confessed and gave the police some names. After that threat Hill began naming the names of everyone in London he knew, including Gerard Conlon, Patrick Armstrong and Armstrong's girlfriend Carole Richardson. The people on his list were promptly arrested for the bombings in Guildford and another bombing that decimated the Woolwich Building. When in interrogated, Conlon also came to fear for his family's life, "''Policemen threatened to phone up Belfast to get my mother 'sorted out' - killed. My family sorted out. To me, signing the confession was nothing if it was going to get the pressure off my family. I signed it" (Toolis 3).
Gerard "Gerry" Conlon
The Guildford Four Trial
Wednesday, July 16th 1975 at 12am
Courtroom No. 2 The Old Bailey
Prosecutor: Sir Michael Havers
Defendants: Gerard Conlon. Paul Hill, Patrick Armstrong, Carole Richardson
The Happy Ending?
In the end the new evidence showed the police's desperation to find the bombers, they had manipulated evidence to prove their case. The Guildford bombing had put England in a permanent state of fear. The pressure was on the police to catch the bombers. In the end they dealt with that fear by manipulating the law and four people were wrongfully incarcerated.
Daniel Day Lewis as Gerard Conlon
Daniel Day Lewis played the main protagonist, Gerard Conlon in the biography In the Name of the Father.
Daniel Day Lewis as John Proctor
Daniel Day Lewis played John Proctor is the film adaption of Arthur Miller's critically acclaimed The Crucible.
The State of Fear
The Crucible and Guildford Paralells
Hill acted similarly to Williams, when put under pressure he listed the names of everyone he could think of who could have set off the bomb. His confession proved to the police, the bombers were still out there.
William's beginnings ran parallel to Hill's both having cracked under fear and accuse anyone who could have possibly committed the crime. Similarly, her confession proved to Hale and Danforth there hunt was not in vain.
Fear Rules All
Boyle, Darren. "Gerry Conlon - Who Was Wrongly Convicted of Guildford Pub Bombings and Jailed for 14 Years - Dies at Home after Long Illness." Mail Online. Associated Newspapers, 21 June 2014. Web. 8 Dec. 2014. <http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2664397/Guildford-Four-miscarriage-justice-victim-Gerry-Conlon-dies-home-following-long-illness.html>.
Davies, Hunter. "Interview: Guildford's Other Victim." The Independent. Independent Digital News and Media, 11 Jan. 1994. Web. 7 Dec. 2014. <http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/interview-guildfords-other-victim-it-was-a-scandalous-miscarriage-of-justice-now-it-is-a-film-sarah-conlon-helpless-as-her-husband-and-son-were-jailed-tries-not-to-be-bitter-1399310.html>.
Toolis, Kevin. "WHEN BRITISH JUSTICE FAILED." The New York Times. The New York Times, 24 Feb. 1990. Web. 7 Dec. 2014. <http://www.nytimes.com/1990/02/25/magazine/when-british-justice-failed.html>.
"Service for Pub Bombings Anniversary."BBC News. BBC News Online, 5 Oct. 2014. Web. 7 Dec. 2014. <http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-surrey-29490810>.