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« Climate Change Act objectives cannot be met | Main | A prediction »

Trial without jury

The Court of Appeal has passed a historic ruling allowing the first ever criminal trial to be heard without a jury.

Three judges in London, headed by the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge, gave the go-ahead because of a "very significant" danger of jury tampering.

Now correct me if I'm wrong, but the approaches to self-defence of every government in the last fifty years have been predicated on the police being there to protect the innocent. And yet here they are saying that they cannot defend a twelve members of a jury for a short period.

Is the loss of the right jury trial a reasonable price to pay for having a disarmed citizenry?





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Reader Comments (5)

In the US our legal system is highly corrupted. Witnesses are tampered with by police as a matter of practice and police regularly conspire to exaggerate the truth or make exculpatory or even questionable evidence dissappear. Expert witnesses lie on the stand on behalf of the state and are never prosecuted. Guitly verdicts are often pre-ordained as all odds favor the police. At the same time complete criminals get let go in the face of massive evidence due to stupid jury's. The process is quite random.

The reason we don't hear about it is because after a guilty verdict comes sentencing, if you speak out before or during sentencing your going to cost yourself years of your own life. If you speak out after sentencing, the prison adds years to your life. Innmates who know they are innocent also know they must admit guilt during treatment or guessed it ....years of your life.

Sure there are plenty of guilty people but I believe 20% or more are wrongfully convicted. A big number for the country with the greatest per-capita number of inmates in the world.
Jun 18, 2009 at 11:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterJeff Id
Whilst uneasy about this, I (just) come down on the side of the judges here. I would argue that the defendants themselves have abrogated their right to a trial by jury due to their (alleged) attempts to 'nobble' it. I do hope that the judgement is very tightly hedged with caveats and constraints to stop it being used as a precedent in future trials. Despite often well deserved criticism, I prefer my laws to be be made and shaped by judges than politicians.
Jun 19, 2009 at 8:10 AM | Unregistered CommenterToast and Marmite

Isn't that the point though -it's just an allegation of nobbling. Better to prevent the jury being nobbled than to toss away jury trial.
Jun 19, 2009 at 4:19 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

20% seems unlikely to me, although I'm far from the scene. Can you justify the figure?
Jun 19, 2009 at 4:20 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill
No studies, just a bit of experience. - I've never been the focus of it thankfully.
Jun 19, 2009 at 8:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterJeff Id

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