Juries. What's Your Verdict ?

I knew a chap (now dead) who when he was on trial for gbh met one of the jurors at lunch break and pulled her . I always thought that they should be kept separate to avoid corrupting but he ho .

I also believe that very technical trials such as financial or environmental ones should be held with just ordinary juries so that both sides have to break down the arguments to a basic level so that even the chap on the clapham omnibus can understand whats going on .

Last jury I was on I was sat next to one of the accused at lunch over the road from the courts.

All came a bit unstuck the next day when we found him guilty and a couple of relatives shouted threats to the jury from the gallery.
All worked out in the end though, the judge had the hecklers arrested on the spot. I was quite impressed
They never even made it to the exit. I believe one of them got sent down for six months for it.
 
I’ve never done jury duty, but I don’t like these tales. The defendant’s liberty is at stake. I couldn’t in all consciousness put my name to a finding someone guilty when I was not completely sure of the guilt. Even if it was a Pikey with 30 years’ worth of previous, I’d be there to consider this one crime. if the prosecution proved that he did it, no compunction, guilty, bang ‘im up. But if there’s doubt, then I couldn’t vote for guilty.

In some cases, some jurors’ prejudices against the defendant, witnesses or victim seem to prevail. If I was a dissenter, and they’d gone for guilty when there was still doubt, I’d want to have it known that I dissented. I don’t think there’s a mechanism for that though. The verdict might be 11-1, but they don’t say “juror 6 dissented and wishes to be dissociated from this verdict”.

Don’t think I’d enjoy being a juror. I’d do it out of a sense of duty, but I imagine it would play on my mind for some time afterward, whichever way the result went.
Some US jurisdictions allow polling a jury, asking each juror individually whether or not they concur with the verdict.
 
Army Woke is not the same as civvy woke. I'm talking full moon howler here, not just 'Sometimes reads the Guardian and thinks that splitters should have the vote'.
Army? You think the armed services are the only DV'ed areas? Home Office, FCO, MoJ and so on, not to mention industry. Who do you think builds your Skynet and crypto stuff?

MoJ more woke than t'others in my experience but...experiences may differ.
 
Last jury I was on I was sat next to one of the accused at lunch over the road from the courts.

All came a bit unstuck the next day when we found him guilty and a couple of relatives shouted threats to the jury from the gallery.
All worked out in the end though, the judge had the hecklers arrested on the spot. I was quite impressed
They never even made it to the exit. I believe one of them got sent down for six months for it.
St Tommy of the Milkshakes got a good nicking for upsetting the beak and endangering his verdict, nothing else. Which his supporters don't seem to be able to understand.
 
Technically he could be hit with a contempt of court charge for saying that.

Wasn't there a youngish girl on a jury in a high profile fraud case about 15 years ago who said something along these lines.
ISTR She waited till near the end of the trial then declared that she hadn't really been listening and didn't really understand what was going on.
If I remember rightly she got given a night in the cells for contempt of court and a stern talking to from the judge.

always before, at the “is there any reason you shouldn’t sit on the jury in this case?” stage.
I knew a chap (now dead) who when he was on trial for gbh met one of the jurors at lunch break and pulled her . I always thought that they should be kept separate to avoid corrupting but he ho

We pointed out to our Clerk* that for the first two days we’d gone down the stairs to lunch at the same time as the defendants and isn’t is normal to be kept apart? She went a little pale, and it never happened again

* quite a pretty lass in her 30s I reckon, who one of the other jurors was making some progress with. Good lad.
 

tgo

LE
I got called up for Jury Service in the mid 90's and went in keen to do my civic duty, during the course of events I discovered:

Most of the Jurors were as thick as mince and very easily led. A single charismatic Juror could easily change the entire outcome of deliberations in the Jury Room.

There's so much wasted time, talk about Hurry up & wait.
You had to be there at a certain time (9 ish I think) nothing happens at all until 10, you get trooped down to the Court then, at 12 it all stops, off you fcuk to lunch, Then there's another bit of a session and it again all stops at 3PM*
*Maybe things have changed since then in England.

But in a typical day, between interruptions there's like maybe 4 hours or so of 'justice' Mon - Fri only.

I just found the lack of anything happening in the course of a day frustrating and disheartening.

On the plus side, the Judge was excellent, you were made to feel welcome and everyone was nice to the Jurors, direction was great too, pretty sure we had the 'reasonable doubt' speech but might be mistaken.

I was on 2 cases in the two week period, first was child sex offences, second was GBH with intent.

First was found not guilty, seemingly purely on the fact that the prosecution guy was so shite at his job, and clearly could hardly be bothered to be there, in comparison the defending Barrister was shit hot and managed to inject a whole lot of doubt.

The second case was weird as to why the guy didn't just plead guilty to start with, maybe just a desperation move - guilty.

I left the court thinking to myself two things:

First, I wanted the first guys barrister to defend me if I ever had to go to court.

And secondly, as far as competence and intelligence of the actual Jury was concerned, they'd be as well to spin a wheel of fortune thing instead, it would likely be as reliable.

Even more so these days when you have the taint of Woke/Save the whales/Green/BLM views distorting the picture.

I was 'invited' to do another Jury service earlier this year, but managed to bin it off, once was enough.
 
I've done two stints of jury service, covering three cases. There was a three year gap between stints and work semi seriously considered have "Ex Observer doing jury service" as a risk event since no one else did my job.

First stint lasted six days. Case 1, a bloke escaped from the local mental hospital and tried to snatch a kid off a bus stop. We had to decide if a crime had taken place and is what would now be known as a trial of the facts, and this was the first time that it had happened in Bournemouth. I was jury foreman and got to announce that Yes, a crime has been committed. God knows why they needed us to tell all these clever lawyers. Anyway, bloke got sent to a more secure unit, which had already been agreed upon before we started. As a rather sad postscript, the bloke would later be murdered by another former mental patient. So that was Monday morning dealt with.

Case 2, historic child sexual abuse. Hard working divorced bloke marries stunning divorced woman who has three kids. Youngest stepson is a problem and develops major drug problems. Alleges while stoned that step dad raped him and fellow stoner calls the police and promptly disappears. Basically one main charge, which boils down to raping a boy in a garden centre carpark on a busy Saturday afternoon with no one noticing and eight other people who were there saying that it never happened. Turns out that the stepson had been raped when he was younger but by his now deceased natural father.

The two youngest members of the jury were both supermarket trolley jockeys, but were both switched on and saw straight through the "victim". The phrase "waste of space" may have been used. One bloke was a businessman who just wanted it to finish quickly because he was due to go to Singapore in a week (he'd already had his service deferred once so had to be here this time). I was jury foreman again and although I did joke about finding him guilty so that I could have a pop at the "widow", it was pretty obvious that he was not guilty. However...
We ended up with a 10-2 majority not guilty verdict because of two women. I've posted the phrases before but one came out with "he looks funny so he must be guilty". And the second came out with "my husband is a police officer and he says that they wouldn't bring them to court if they weren't guilty." The trouble is that the 10-2 verdict always leaves an element of doubt. Are they really innocent or did they get lucky?

Case 3 will follow later.
 
How are employers going to feel about staff volunteering? Will it be similar to AR service & possible career death?

Some employers are dead against staff doing any voluntary role. In my last job I had explained to my bosses that I was interested in becoming a magistrate. I was told I would have to use some of my leave to attend. I pointed out that it was classed as a public duty and they couldn't stop me from joining and they couldn't make me use my own leave. In the end I didn't apply but it's something I'm still interested in doing in the future.

Fortunately some companies and organisations positively encourage volunteering. The one I work for does.
 
You would just get professional busybodies, curtain twitchers and those who would hang a shop lifter if he was black/pikey/poor but would give a rapist a "second chance" if he was a good bloke, on the jury.
I'm sure you might get one or two like that but equally you would get plenty of people who are publicly minded and want to do it because they see that it's the right thing to do.
 
Some employers are dead against staff doing any voluntary role. In my last job I had explained to my bosses that I was interested in becoming a magistrate. I was told I would have to use some of my leave to attend. I pointed out that it was classed as a public duty and they couldn't stop me from joining and they couldn't make me use my own leave. In the end I didn't apply but it's something I'm still interested in doing in the future.

Fortunately some companies and organisations positively encourage volunteering. The one I work for does.
How do you apply to be a magistrate then..
 

Polyester

War Hero
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.
I have a family member involved at a fairly high level in the Scottish legal system and they are of the opinion that most advocates and above are absolutely threaders with the Jury system. Obviously they have to work with it and that’s that. My own Jury service mirrored yours.

On a more pressing note, the faculty of advocates are extremely concerned at the level of political interference in trial direction. Particularly with regard to sexual offences. I think if it continues we will start to see the faculty become more vocal about their disatisfaction.
 
Technically he could be hit with a contempt of court charge for saying that.

Wasn't there a youngish girl on a jury in a high profile fraud case about 15 years ago who said something along these lines.
ISTR She waited till near the end of the trial then declared that she hadn't really been listening and didn't really understand what was going on.
If I remember rightly she got given a night in the cells for contempt of court and a stern talking to from the judge.
I remember going into the witness box one one occasion, just going through the usual rigmarole, when there was a plaintive wail from a jury member...

"Need a wee".

In a real very, very low IQ way.

Give the judge his due, he knocked the jury off for 10 minutes and stood me down temporarily to sit in the empty public gallery.

Inner London juries, makes the Jeremy Kyle show look like the Royal Society's AGM.
 
On a more pressing note, the faculty of advocates are extremely concerned at the level of political interference in trial direction. Particularly with regard to sexual offences. I think if it continues we will start to see the faculty become more vocal about their disatisfaction.
Sex offences ? Can't remember if it was historical sex abuse or straight forward rape cases but the conviction rate was something like three per cent which is no surprise if courts constantly bring up cases that are "He said she said" on events that happened three, five or ten years ago. Very difficult for a fair minded juror like myself to find someone guilty of a crime when there was absolutely no evidence a crime has taken place
 

Polyester

War Hero
Sex offences ? Can't remember if it was historical sex abuse or straight forward rape cases but the conviction rate was something like three per cent which is no surprise if courts constantly bring up cases that are "He said she said" on events that happened three, five or ten years ago. Very difficult for a fair minded juror like myself to find someone guilty of a crime when there was absolutely no evidence a crime has taken place
That‘s exactly the point. Cases are being brought to trial, with little corroboration or evidence. Or indeed any realistic hope of conviction (with all the associated costs involved). These very specific types of cases are being preferred for trial by the PF’s due to political pressure from government. Not because they are being diligent about public interest.

Genuine sexual crimes are a nightmare for the victim to live with and difficult to prosecute and that obviously shouldn’t stop the law from punishing those who commit such acts but the way we handle it in Scotland at the moment isn’t working.

As for the the jury system? My own belief is it is undoubtably the best as long as jurors are, as you describe, fair minded.
 
I'm sure you might get one or two like that but equally you would get plenty of people who are publicly minded and want to do it because they see that it's the right thing to do.

Ever seen a parish council?
 

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