Daniel Morgan was brutally murdered with an axe. In the days before his murder, he had claimed to have information about a network of corrupt police officers. Despite, 6 investigations and two failed prosecutions, his killers have never been brought to justice. They have escaped justice in part because of police corruption. Police corruption during the initial investigation has made it unlikely that his murder will ever lead to a prosecution. The Metropolitan Police Service failed him and his family. They failed to bring his killers to justice. They failed to address police corruption. They failed to resist an unhealthy relationship with the UK media, in particular News International. The corruption coupled with the corrupt media relationship makes his case notable as it challenges the United Kingdom as a decent society. If Daniel Morgan cannot get justice, who can? When the police and the press are corrupted, who is safe? In response to the corruption, failures, and denial, a relentless campaign has forced the government to hold a public inquiry.
The public inquiry set up in May 2013 to explore the evidence from the police and others sources has the following terms of reference.
- Police involvement in the murder
- The role played by police corruption in protecting those responsible for the murder from being brought to justice and the failure to confront that corruption
- The incidence of connections between private investigators, police officers and journalists at the News of the World and other parts of the media and corruption involved in the linkages between them.
A previous post covered the first item on police involvement in the murder. It suggested that the relationships needed to be mapped to see their effect.
This paper focuses on the second point. It defines political corruption and explores the failure to confront corruption on three interrelated levels—the individual, institution, and the regime.
At the institutional level, the police had a corrupt relationship with News International. The company subverted police objectives. At the regime level, the police were corrupted by the regime’s demands.
The analysis will be of interest to anyone researching corruption. The institutional corruption can also apply to corporations who can be subverted by a powerful patron. The regime level will interest scholars in political philosophy as it connects the regime level to a particular problem. Most importantly, I hope it will be of interest and use to anyone who has followed the Daniel Morgan case. Police corruption threatens the citizen’s safety by weakening their access to public justice. Without a secure access to public justice, a decent society or decent politics is tenuous. When a citizen lacks access to public justice, they appeal to force or power as justice through consent to the laws is impossible. For the UK regime, this threat is particularly problematic.
I welcome your comments on this paper. I encourage you find out about Daniel Morgan’s murder. It exemplifies the problem of justice when the police are corrupt. If Daniel Morgan cannot get justice, who can?
 The following are a list of sites, in no particular order, that contain useful information about Daniel Morgan, his life, his death, and the long, strange, frustrating case.
http://www.justice4daniel.org/index.shtml The Morgan family’s campaign to get justice for Daniel.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Morgan_%28private_investigator%29#Murder The Wikipedia entry about his murder
http://jackofkent.com/2012/02/daniel-morgan/ A well known legal blogger’s material on the case.
http://www.murdermap.co.uk/pages/cases/case.asp?CID=492610746 A blog with a good history of the case.
https://inforrm.wordpress.com/2013/05/16/hackgate-issues-for-the-burnton-inquiry-into-the-murder-of-daniel-morgan/ A blog that covers the police issues including relevance for the phone hacking cases and police corruption
http://brown-moses.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/hackgate-for-beginners-murder-of-daniel.html A good resource on police corruption and the Daniel Morgan case.