Taking juries seriously

  • Print
  • Comments (4)

Readers' comments (4)

  • What do you think should happen in cases where the law has been quite blatantly disregarded? I'm thinking Clive Ponting, etc. The concept of jury nullification seems to be gaining popularity in the US, albeit in largely fringe areas. Can such a concept be reconciled with the rule of law? What about the right to a fair trial?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • It is my understanding, though admittedly severly limited as a layman, that when a juror is actually knowledgeable about a subject and use that in their deliberations, it results in a mistrial. For example in the matter of computer crimes I have heard more than one tale of those familiar with computers and their functions questioning expert testimony and, as a result, ultimately being replaced by those entirely ignorant of the subject.

    This strikes me as a good place to start since, as a layman, I'm having difficulty fathoming a good reason for this beyond avoiding 'mudding the waters'.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • "jurors are responsible adults"
    I disagree. The definition of a jury is 12 people too stupid to get out of jury duty. In America, where jurors can discuss their deliberations publicly after rendering their verdict, we have had a jury convict based on a passage in the Bible about witches, a jury acquit a defendant because of his Zodiac sign, and at least one jury that convicted a defendant of the non-crime of not being American. How can you trust people like that anywhere near the judicial system?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Cheers Kimpatsu. I'm a lawyer, and I've done jury service. What I saw on two separate juries was extremely encouraging and I'm a great supporter of the current system. My experience was that jurors take very seriously the warnings not to discuss the evidence outside the jury room, and not to research on the internet. The random selection process really does throw together a mixed group of people and whilst there will always be the odd idiot maverick I think we can trust the average, mature and sensible juror to "self-police"

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

Mandatory Required Fields

Mandatory

Comments that are in breach or potential breach of our terms and conditions in particular clause 8, may not be published or, if published, may subsequently be taken down. In addition we may remove any comment where a complaint is made in respect of it. These actions are at our sole discretion.

  • Print
  • Comments (4)