Janis Sharp, Gary McKinnon’s mother, on Theresa May as ‘Liberal Hero’

by Stephen Tall on January 1, 2013

One of my first 26 Liberal Heroes here on the CentreForum blog was Theresa May for her decision not to authorise the extradition of Gary McKinnon to the USA. Here’s an excerpt from my post:

Mrs May’s was the correct decision, a liberal decision and one which will hopefully result in a much better form of due legal process and natural justice in the future. It was correct and liberal because Mrs May took the side of the angels in standing up for a vulnerable individual against an over-mighty state. Mr McKinnon’s alleged offences — hacking into the Pentagon’s computers — are not trivial. But the idea that a man who claims he was looking for evidence of UFOs should be subject to a 10-year legal battle with the threat of a lifetime’s imprisonment hanging over him is grossly disproportionate.

However, I queried the legal grounds for Mrs May’s decision: ‘Her legal grounds are suspect — previous home secretaries had considered very similar legal and medical evidence and decided they couldn’t side with Mr McKinnon — and dependent on a Human Rights Act which Conservatives are more often found decrying than championing.’

Janis Sharp, the mother of Gary McKinnon who has fought a doughty campaign on his behalf these past 10 years, responded to the blog-post today via Twitter. Here’s our exchange, in which she gives her perspective on the evidence that led to Theresa May’s decision:

[View the story "Janis Sharp (Gary McKinnon's mother) on Theresa May's decision not to extradite her son to the USA" on Storify]

Janis Sharp (Gary McKinnon’s mother) on Theresa May’s decision not to extradite her son to the USA

Twitter exchange, 1 Jan 2013

Storified by Stephen Tall· Tue, Jan 01 2013 10:09:17

Four RTs from @janissharp (Gary McKinnon’s mum) follow: replies to me as this blog-post – http://bit.ly/XxViay – has been doing the rounds.Stephen Tall
@stephentall #TheresaMay saw med evidence that no other Home Sec had seen. Gary referred to neurologist aged 16 as losing Mental FacultiesJanis Sharp
@stephentall Gary’s grandma had lifelong Schizophrenia his great Grandma confined to Mental institution in Scotland for 50 yearsJanis Sharp
@stephentall There was much more Med evidence than Aspergers alone in Gary’s case which I won’t go into publicly but which #TheresaMay sawJanis Sharp
@stephentall I think v brave of #TheresaMay to have refused Extradition in Gary’s case as not easy for our Ministers to stand up to U.SJanis Sharp
@stephentall Respect to #DavidCameron & #NickClegg 4 giving #TheresaMay full backing on this. @DavidBurrowesMP & @Keith_Vaz also BrilliantJanis Sharp
@stephentall Great 2 see ministers standing up 4 own people & planning Forum. Last Gov. not brave enough & still silent on ExtraditionJanis Sharp
@stephentall @GrantShapps was also extremely helpful re-Gary. HAPPY NEW YEAR.Let’s hope 2013 is a great 1 with more Compassion in the WorldJanis Sharp
@janissharp Many thx for msgs, will RT if I may. All the best for 2013.Stephen Tall
@stephentall Thank you Stephen :-) Janis Sharp

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