How Did Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Use the Skills of Sherlock Holmes to Correct a Miscarriage of Justice in Real Life?


Quick Answer

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle used the same analytical skills he imparted to his iconic character to clear an innocent man's name in 1906. The case was chronicled heavily in The Telegraph and set a precedent that later prevented numerous miscarriages of justice.

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Full Answer

George Edalji was an Indian man whose family immigrated to England. When Edalji was young, a series of harassing letters plagued his family. Although a disgruntled former employee of the family later admitted to sending the letters, Edalji himself was blamed when the letters started arriving years later. Due to racial prejudices at the time, Edalji was used as a scapegoat for a series of brutal livestock killings in the area.

When Sir Arthur Conan Doyle caught wind of the unseemly miscarriage of justice, he took to The Telegraph with a series of detailed analyses of the evidence the police had overlooked in Edalji's case. Doyle himself used the Sherlock method of deduction to prove that Edalji was far too nearsighted to stalk animals in the dark while police were afoot. Doyle also recognized that bloody razors found in Edalji's apartment were really just rusty and that the mud on his boots was not a match for the field in which the animals were killed. Edalji was cleared of the crime and the Court of Appeals was formed to prevent further miscarriages of justice.

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