Juries. What's Your Verdict ?

Chap who used to work with us said his get out clause was “I am here under duress, the entire system is corrupt and immoral, I don’t believe that any defendant ever gets a truly fair trial, so I will vote for not guilty no matter what.”

Excused at least 3 times using that.
 

Gout Man

LE
Book Reviewer
I sort of agree with you. But isn't it the case that you are judged by a jury of your peers?

So Stabby McDoley doesn't need to have folk that have passed a 'jury exam' at his trial, just round up some random track suit wearing idiots standing outside the Dole Office.
That sounds like a typical ILCC jury.
 
I sort of agree with you. But isn't it the case that you are judged by a jury of your peers?

So Stabby McDoley doesn't need to have folk that have passed a 'jury exam' at his trial, just round up some random track suit wearing idiots standing outside the Dole Office.

I don't agree, one of the best bits oabout trial by jury is that you get a very broad mix of people making the decision.
On all three of the jury's I've served on we had a mix of people from doctors to cleaners, I genuinely believe that the system benefts from that very broad mix of knowledge and experience.
You need "streetwise" people as well as clever rocket scientists

One big factor that I suspect is not widely understood by the legal proffession is that smart arsed Barrister's are sussed very quickly by jurors and in many cases the more of a smart arse they are the more damage they do to their clients case.

On all the jury's I was present for everyybody took the task genuinely seriously and considered the evidence very carefully regardless of how many qualifications the jurors had.
I don't think the system is foolproof but I genuinely do think it is a good system.
 
That is a popular myth...

The "Not proven" verdict is a vestage of old Scots Law.. Before the union of parliaments, the prosecution case in Scots courts were the subject of court proceedings rather than individuals. A case was placed before the court which was either "proven" or "not proven". In the English system the court system is based around an accusation against an individual and the result is either the accused is "guilty" or "not guilty" of the accused crime.

When elements of English legal practice, in particularly UK criminal law act came in, the "guilty" verdict became the standard one, replacing the "proven" verdict. Scottish courts however continued to retain the ability to return "Not Guilty" and "Not Proven" verdicts, as there was nothing to stop them doing so.. There was, and remains NO legal difference between the verdicts, and certainly nothing that would affect the outcome in legal terms. The law contained a principle of not allowing "double jeopardy" which effectivly stopped an indiviual being prosceuted again for the same act. This applied to both not guilty and not proven verdicts.

The not proven verdict became used by juries to indicate a strong suspicion of guilt, but that the case lacked sufficent proof to convict. This was not liked by judges or politicians who wanted certainly.

I think it served a useful purpose, in that it was a mechanism to keep prosecutors on their toes. Most of the time Not Proven verdicts came out when the prosecution had made a mess of their case and had not done their homework with sufficient rigour to meet the legal standards. The jury was basically able to say "Ok, matey, you got away with it this time, but we are pretty sure you did it and it was down to the Police and Procurator Fiscal who screwed it up... we will let you off, but we will mark you and people will know...!"

I really do not like the loss of "no double jeopardy" as it just encourages sloppy prosecutions and stupid legal drafting. I much prefer it that everyone gets only one shot at it so everyone needs to do it properly..

Back in the day there was a jury that went ‘rogue’. They were sitting on a case where a chap was charged with murdering somebody important (Lord something or other). Back then the jury didn’t decide guilt, the judge did, the jury simply ruled that the facts of the case were as stated before Proven or Not Proven. He had clearly killed the man, so the case was Proven, but that meant there was a chance that the judge would rule him guilty, even though it was also obvious that he hadn't meant to. Perhaps the judge was a good friend of the victim or something like that. So the jury then “asserted their god given right” or similar, and found him Not Guilty, to protect him.

Or something like that.
 

Arte_et_Marte

ADC
Moderator
Quick question.
If a person has served as a police officer but has since left the police, can they be called for jury service.
Ex coppers can do jury service. I was called up at Lincoln Crown Court in 2014. As soon as we started (and I was getting ready to take notes after I'd written 'hang the bastard') we were called out. We sat in a room kicking our heels for about an hour, before reappearing in an empty court where the Judge said thank you and dismissed us.

I still have no idea what that was all about.
 

Arte_et_Marte

ADC
Moderator
Back in the day there was a jury that went ‘rogue’. They were sitting on a case where a chap was charged with murdering somebody important (Lord something or other). Back then the jury didn’t decide guilt, the judge did, the jury simply ruled that the facts of the case were as stated before Proven or Not Proven. He had clearly killed the man, so the case was Proven, but that meant there was a chance that the judge would rule him guilty, even though it was also obvious that he hadn't meant to. Perhaps the judge was a good friend of the victim or something like that. So the jury then “asserted their god given right” or similar, and found him Not Guilty, to protect him.

Or something like that.
John Grisham Walt.
 
Jury service, as good an attempt to fairness as we have been able to devise, is unfortunately subject to the weaknesses of the human condition.

Bias, corruption, and simple stupidity.
 
Ex coppers can do jury service. I was called up at Lincoln Crown Court in 2014. As soon as we started (and I was getting ready to take notes after I'd written 'hang the bastard') we were called out. We sat in a room kicking our heels for about an hour, before reappearing in an empty court where the Judge said thank you and dismissed us.

I still have no idea what that was all about.
A last minute guilty plea or CPS releasing there been an enormous cock-up & abandoning the prosecution?
 
A couple of cases come to mind that made me wonder about "the system" but I really don't like the leave it to judiciary option either.

Two blokes kicked the crap out of a bloke outside the local Nick, cops pile out so plenty of uniformed witnesses. One of the idiots calls the cops liars so his record is read out. Years of doing the same sort of thing.

One juror wouldn't find them guilty as he was from the Edmonton and Edmonton gets a bad name so he would never find anyone from Edmonton guilty even though it was obvious the blokes did it. One woman could never find anyone guilty as they might get sent to prison and she couldn't have that on her conscience, she proceeded to convince another drippy woman to vote non guilty as well. 9-3 so an innocent verdict returned.

Slimy estate agent looking wide boy had his £30000 horsebox stolen. Insurance paid out then investigated. It had miraculously reappeared in the barn in his garden. We were ready not to just find him guilty but to string the smirking sod up ourselves. Jury sent from the room while the grownups argued. Back into the courtroom. Judge ruled no case to answer case dismissed. WTF that was about I will never know.

For light relief we got the video tape case. A Greasy combovered little weasel that would make your skin creep had been caught nicking a packet of video tapes from Tesco. How the hell did this get to a full on crown court case? All the usual stuff up until he takes the box. The security guard is a liar, the cops are liars. Previous record comes out. best part of three dozen previous shoplifting convictions about two dozen of which were in the same shop. So as soon as he walked into the shop security followed him round knowing he would almost certainly be after a five fingered discount. this constituted persecution an infringement of his civil/human right etc. That took a couple of days of useless toing and froing before we got to find him guilty.
 

Gout Man

LE
Book Reviewer
Ex coppers can do jury service. I was called up at Lincoln Crown Court in 2014. As soon as we started (and I was getting ready to take notes after I'd written 'hang the bastard') we were called out. We sat in a room kicking our heels for about an hour, before reappearing in an empty court where the Judge said thank you and dismissed us.

I still have no idea what that was all about.
Mirrors:???:
 
Ex coppers can do jury service. I was called up at Lincoln Crown Court in 2014. As soon as we started (and I was getting ready to take notes after I'd written 'hang the bastard') we were called out. We sat in a room kicking our heels for about an hour, before reappearing in an empty court where the Judge said thank you and dismissed us.

I still have no idea what that was all about.
You lucky bastard. I had to endure best part of a fortnight sitting on the wooden benches in Court 3 with me knees hard up against the front panel of the jury box. Uncomfortable?? Felt like I had 3rd degree piles by the time we finished.
 
I always quite liked the Ancient Greek way of doing things, the jury consisted of a few hundred citizens and no lawyers. It was up to the victim to try and convince the jury of the accused person's guilt and the accused to prove their innocence.

The best part was they could also decide their fate, but they couldn't be too harsh either because the jury voted on that too.

No case lasted more than a few days and with a larger jury it was more likely that there might be a few smart people to convince the others of the right course for justice.

Nowadays cases last for years and people die before getting justice, the guilty often have more rights than the victims and the mega rich can buy their way out. In some ways the Greek system was superior, imho.
 
That is a danger. Maybe DV the applicants? Would be time consuming and costly but- overall worth it.
The issue is, to get DV you have to be stable and reliable. That would exclude 80-90% of normal society.

It would also cause mass gnashing of teeth when it turns out that DV would exclude almost all 'Woke' types, leaving a largely middle class jury pool.
 
D

Deleted 4482

Guest
In
The issue is, to get DV you have to be stable and reliable. That would exclude 80-90% of normal society.

It would also cause mass gnashing of teeth when it turns out that DV would exclude almost all 'Woke' types, leaving a largely middle class jury pool.
indeed, seeing as juries are supposed to be a true reflection of society - shouldn’t at least one member of a jury be an illegal immigrant?
 

TotalBanker

Old-Salt
i enjoyed my jury service. one mugging in woolwich, defendant probably guilty but the video evidence presented was of such poor grade it could have been anyone, so not guilty verdict. One chav accused of doing something to another chav, probably did, who cares, "victim" came across as such a cúnt that he destroyed his own case. Not guilty. Think i had another, cant recall, and one rentboy/drugs one that kept being stopped on a point of law (thats what the objecting solicitor called it) enough times that eventually we were dismissed. I'd love to do it again, especially a juicy financial crime or a locked room murder
 
I've done jury service once, historic sex abuse case brought by two sisters against an uncle, I listened hard to everything that was said by all the witnesses and came to a conclusion that the older sister was telling the truth, but the younger sister was lying that it happened to her just to back up her older sister, when the jury retired they made me spokesperson as it was soon clear none of the other jurors had been listening to the case, one, an old fella in his 70's who just wanted all three charges as "not guilty", was guilty himself of snoring during the case being read. Jurors need to be shown where they haven't listened and heard valuable information on which they could make an honest judgement, all the female jurors wanted a guilty on all charges, and the males wanted all charges not guilty. In the end they all had to admit they hadn't been able to concentrate on the case for the three days and took my advice, we went with guilty on count three only.
 
when the jury retired they made me spokesperson as it was soon clear none of the other jurors had been listening to the case, one, an old fella in his 70's who just wanted all three charges as "not guilty", was guilty himself of snoring during the case being read. Jurors need to be shown where they haven't listened and heard valuable information on which they could make an honest judgement
Strange you mention that because in the jury I was on most of the members took notes when both the prosecution and defence were summing up their evidence but very few of the jury were taking notes for the rest of the cross examinations. Mind you as I said a few of them probably had the accused down as guilty before the trial began
 
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