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Original Issue

The Verdict Is In

The families of 96 Liverpool soccer fans who were crushed to death at an April 15, 1989, match at Hillsborough Stadium (Anger, Then Death, SI, April 24, 1989) may be one step closer to getting justice. On April 26 a jury in Warrington ruled that the deaths resulted from police error. In an attempt to prevent violence among a crowd of more than 3,000 fans outside the stadium, officers opened a gate, allowing supporters to rush into a standing area, where many of the victims were trapped against a fence. The verdict opens the door to formal criminal charges and lawsuits. "It was and still is the biggest disaster in British sporting history," said South Yorkshire police chief David Crompton. "The force failed the victims and their families."