The Nicky Kelly case remains one of the most notorious miscarriages of justice in the history of the Irish State. Yet there has never been an inquiry into how this innocent man signed a confession, while in Garda custody, admitting to a part in the 1976 Sallins mail train robbery.In his 1992 presidential pardon Kelly was described as being "innocent as though never charged" in connection with the robbery, yet he was so charged, signed the confession and was sentenced to 12 years' penal servitude. The Courts then kept him in jail despite repeated appeals, until his release in 1984 on "humanitarian grounds". Nicky Kelly was failed at every turn by the justice agencies of this State.In While Justice Slept, Irish Times journalist Patsy McGarry talks to a leader of the gang responsible for the robbery; describes Nicky Kelly's interrogation in detail, as presented in the trial transcripts; gives an account of Kelly's time on the run in Europe, Canada and the US; his return to Ireland and to jail, his hunger strike and the prolonged campaign for his release; his eventual pardon and compensation by the State.While Justice Slept is a look at what can happen when a democratic state responds to perceived threat by abandoning the basic rights of its citizens and principles of democracy. The later Morris and Barr Tribunals demonstrate what can happen when no lessons are learned from such abuse. In an age when the most powerful democracy in the world has shown scant regard for fundamental justice rights, it is timely to ask: can we be sure there will not be a repeat of the Nicky Kelly case in Ireland?