Juries. What's Your Verdict ?

I've spent much of the month of April taking part in jury service which I thought was just about the most important civic duty a citizen can do for society . I went in wide eyed and idealistic and thankful we have a jury system. However after the trial I've been rather depressed wondering if it's time to make fundamental changes to the jury system ?

And apparently going in to detail what was said and done in a jury room might end up in contempt of court so please tread carefully

Basically the case I was sitting in on was a case of "He said she said" totally unreliable corroborating witnesses who contradicted one another and a couple of other people who had an obvious agenda . The sort of case that has you wondering how it got to court. However it soon became clear that some people may have made their mind up regardless of what evidence (Lack of) such as there's no way a woman would lie and the defendant being on benefits shows he's a menace to society and several jurors having no opinion one way or another and who were just going to follow the crowd . The guy in the dock was found guilty of a couple of assaults and Not Proven on the more serious charges but as I said I didn't think the evidence was enough to bring a court case

Not Proven shows I'm talking Scottish jury system and in Scottish folklore it's a cop out that satisfies no one. Every few years politicians say they're going to look in to it but nothing comes of it. Also in Scotland we have a 15 person jury system where in theory someone could get life because the jury found them guilty on an 8-7 majority but we have no way of knowing how juries vote except if it was "unanimous" or "majority" I do wonder if the English method of not having a majority less than 10-2 might be fairer but there again you might have prejudiced jurors whose minds are made up before the charges are read out . I know some judges hit the headlines for the wrong reasons but at least they know what "Beyond a reasonable doubt" may mean and the defence don't have to prove a single thing and that the onus is entirely down to the prosecution

I can promise you guys that the thought of me being innocent but up in court on serious charges and in front of a jury fills me with terror
 

cowgoesmoo

Old-Salt
I'd rather trust the judiciary to be independent and fair minded than some of the mongs that roam the streets. However that's in todays society, who knows what may happen in a couple of hundred years time if we go full circle and end up with a capricious and corrupt judiciary like the middle ages.

I'm pretty certain that once lost the right to trial by jury would be very hard for future generations to reintroduce.
 
I'd rather trust the judiciary to be independent and fair minded than some of the mongs that roam the streets. However that's in todays society, who knows what may happen in a couple of hundred years time if we go full circle and end up with a capricious and corrupt judiciary like the middle ages.

I'm pretty certain that once lost the right to trial by jury would be very hard for future generations to reintroduce.
No such thing as independent


 

theoriginalphantom

MIA
Book Reviewer
perhaps something less biased?

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or a system of judges to dispense instant justice on the streets?

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It's a tough one. There is no doubt at all that the public are almost exclusively a pack of useless, wet-blanket cúnts, but also that a self-appointed judiciary would be tyrannical bunch of hand wringing belters that would gleefully disassemble our nation. Just look at what they tried to do over Brexit where they tried to undo our political system.

I'm not sure what the answer is. Probably clear and permanent policies that take doubt away from the decision making process. In this instance, "he said, she said" equals not guilty/proven and the probable miscreant gets off scot free. It doesn't help that in court you often get the dregs of society blaming other dregs of all sorts of bollocks. Perhaps hang them all and let god decide?

If Skynet becomes sentient, maybe if it only targets those who vote Labour and purchase cheap cider, the problem will get solved?
 

theoriginalphantom

MIA
Book Reviewer
1620246605276.png
 
I've sat on three jury's over the years

I'm a big fan of the system, not foolproof but generally it works.
On balance I think its probably the fairest system there is.
 

Sixty

ADC
Moderator
Book Reviewer
I'd not trust any judgement handed down by a jury after the experience of doing it. People are, largely, utter morons. I got assigned a rape case - no corroboration, the medical expert who examined the complainer said it could have been forced or consentual, we had the option of striking charges from the Crown's case if required etc. Now, the guy was obviously a scum-bag who'd knocked her about and admitted it. His Solicitor Advocate conceded that the accused was a coward and an ******** but there was no way it was even slightly beyond all reasonable doubt but his guilt had been decided after day two.

Majority verdict and the guy was convicted after 90 minutes 'deliberation'.

The judge - Lord K******** - said to us that he was the 'master of the law' but we were the 'masters of the facts' but not on this experience: a few of the jury were more concerned about claiming back expenses and the free lunch every day.
 
Juries/Elections all seem problematic for those in power. The jury systems very imperfections are what makes it so important in our democractic system and is a reminder to the powerful, that the people are the final judges of what is right and nothing is absolute.
 
I'd not trust any judgement handed down by a jury after the experience of doing it. People are, largely, utter morons. I got assigned a rape case - no corroboration, the medical expert who examined the complainer said it could have been forced or consentual, we had the option of striking charges from the Crown's case if required etc. Now, the guy was obviously a scum-bag who'd knocked her about and admitted it. His Solicitor Advocate conceded that the accused was a coward and an ******** but there was no way it was even slightly beyond all reasonable doubt but his guilt had been decided after day two.

Majority verdict and the guy was convicted after 90 minutes 'deliberation'.

The judge - Lord K******** - said to us that he was the 'master of the law' but we were the 'masters of the facts' but not on this experience: a few of the jury were more concerned about claiming back expenses and the free lunch every day.
Is that because you’re an SNP fanboy who wants the party to put its own people in those positions to make the decisions.
 

Sixty

ADC
Moderator
Book Reviewer
Is that because you’re an SNP fanboy who wants the party to put its own people in those positions to make the decisions.

No. It's because, as I stated, the case was not proven beyond all reasonable doubt. Reading not your strong suit?
 

Sixty

ADC
Moderator
Book Reviewer
Its actually 'beyond reasonable doubt' not 'beyond all reasonable doubt. An important point.

A fair, and reasonable, point but I did also say that the chat in the jury room had decided he was guilty on the second day of the trial, a six-day effort. Therein lies the weakness as the defence Solicitor Advocate hadn't presented anything by that point.
 
I think I have something nearing a solution - mindful of the fact that juries are supposedly chosen at random and- several of those chosen are likely Jeremy Kyle viewers or contestant types or- thick as mince. Didnt a judge a few years ago dismiss a whole jury for being thick? Also, several people might be there under duress of sorts...they'd rather be at work- possibly earning a lot more cash.

How about a system where people can apply to be selected for jury service - then they undertake a test of sorts to become ellegible. At least that way there would be a jury that wanted to be there and- was deemed to have certain capacity to appreciate various bits of instruction / explanation.

Same with voting. Remember- Tony Blair was elected apparently with the housewife vote due to his 'nice smile'. That's the sort of logic we need to filter out.
 
I think I have something nearing a solution - mindful of the fact that juries are supposedly chosen at random and- several of those chosen are likely Jeremy Kyle viewers or contestant types or- thick as mince. Didnt a judge a few years ago dismiss a whole jury for being thick? Also, several people might be there under duress of sorts...they'd rather be at work- possibly earning a lot more cash.

How about a system where people can apply to be selected for jury service - then they undertake a test of sorts to become ellegible. At least that way there would be a jury that wanted to be there and- was deemed to have certain capacity to appreciate various bits of instruction / explanation.

Same with voting. Remember- Tony Blair was elected apparently with the housewife vote due to his 'nice smile'. That's the sort of logic we need to filter out.
Did you leave school with no qualifications. Barred from jury service.

Have you spent your life on benefits.. Barred from jury service.

There should be some form of exam maybe, called for jury service, those that fail to pass the exam are excluded.

Tbh, and I don't usually agree with Sixty, most people are mongs who have no understanding of the legal system, marry that with a Jeremy Kyle mentality and intelligence level... Would you want your fate decided by people like this or by people who have some level of common sense.
 
I think I have something nearing a solution - mindful of the fact that juries are supposedly chosen at random and- several of those chosen are likely Jeremy Kyle viewers or contestant types or- thick as mince. Didnt a judge a few years ago dismiss a whole jury for being thick? Also, several people might be there under duress of sorts...they'd rather be at work- possibly earning a lot more cash.

How about a system where people can apply to be selected for jury service - then they undertake a test of sorts to become ellegible. At least that way there would be a jury that wanted to be there and- was deemed to have certain capacity to appreciate various bits of instruction / explanation.

Same with voting. Remember- Tony Blair was elected apparently with the housewife vote due to his 'nice smile'. That's the sort of logic we need to filter out.
But once you have that system it will attract the sort of politically motivated intelligentsia that are not to be trusted with integrity.
 

lextalionis

Old-Salt
Juries are an unusual element in our justice system and few of us, thankfully, will have our lives put under the "care" of "twelve good men and true". The odd thing is that they were not a democratic institution until the passage of the Juries Act 1974, which broadened the franchise beyond those who fulfilled the previous property qualification (thus restricting it largely to the middle class) to include, of course, "everyone" who was not insane, a convicted criminal, or worse.

In practice, "everyone" can look like a queue at the local dole office. The more educated or affluent usually have the nous to escape the burden and so your fate can be decided by the unemployed, the unemployable, the retired and the potentially very nasty. In the old days, the property qualification helped ensure that the overall standard of judgement was higher, given that it excluded the profligate, the bankrupt and the unemployable.

There seem a trickle of cases where judgements have been overturned (such as the postmasters/mistresses) where you think, "How did it end up with a conviction anyway?" The juries were not much use then. I'd rather be tried by a judge and a panel of lay magistrates, the true jewels of our justice system.
 
Did you leave school with no qualifications. Barred from jury service.

Have you spent your life on benefits.. Barred from jury service.

There should be some form of exam maybe, called for jury service, those that fail to pass the exam are excluded.

Tbh, and I don't usually agree with Sixty, most people are mongs who have no understanding of the legal system, marry that with a Jeremy Kyle mentality and intelligence level... Would you want your fate decided by people like this or by people who have some level of common sense.
To be fair - I dont think the leaving school with no quals can really be considered as a factor in this day and age. There are probably people on here who left school with no quals but then made a decent success of their lives.
 
But once you have that system it will attract the sort of politically motivated intelligentsia that are not to be trusted with integrity.
That is a danger. Maybe DV the applicants? Would be time consuming and costly but- overall worth it.
 

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