Are there any better alternatives to trial by jury ??

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Are there any better alternatives to trial by jury ?? Empty Are there any better alternatives to trial by jury ??

Post by TRUSSMAN66 on Tue 01 Dec 2015, 1:39 pm

Not suggesting Rebekah Brooks or Chris Cairns are/were guilty...........It is conceivable that plenty of people are lying about Chris Cairns approaching them to fix games just as it is conceivable that Rebekah Brooks knew nothing about hundreds of illegal phone tapping incidents that happened under her watch and she was just highly incompetent....

But let's face it jurors aren't legal people.........Do they really understand all the jargon, evidence and smoke screening ???.......Being human do they go "ohhhhhh" inside when some complete t**t pretends to break down on the stand because his lawyer tells him to !!

The world and it's oyster knew that OJ was guilty.....The world also knew there were more than six black jurors too......Same with the corrupt LA cops who beat Rodney King senseless and got off in front of a majority white jury....

Don't get me wrong If I was up on offer I'd prefer a jury instead of tossing the dice and hoping not to get a prosecution-loving judge..

But is 12 people who don't always grasp concepts really justice ????

Can't we get and don't we deserve a better system..


Last edited by TRUSSMAN66 on Tue 01 Dec 2015, 1:41 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : ..)

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Post by Pr4wn on Tue 01 Dec 2015, 1:49 pm

It's tough to explain but...

As a juror, you have to assess whether there is sufficient evidence to prove beyond all reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty. It was widely thought that Brooks was guilty but if there's no evidence a conviction can't be secured.

Also, do you have any suggestions for a better system? Here in Jersey we have Jurats. Trained legal professionals who serve in some cases.

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Post by TRUSSMAN66 on Tue 01 Dec 2015, 1:59 pm

It's that phrase beyond reasonable doubt again......What is.. beyond reasonable doubt ??

Lovely place Jersey by the way......Jurats appear in all cases Pr4wn or are they limited to certain crimes ??

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Post by seanmichaels on Tue 01 Dec 2015, 2:17 pm

Not for Chris Cairns....

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Post by kingraf on Tue 01 Dec 2015, 2:30 pm

Chris Cairns is a lucky lucky boy.
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Post by TRUSSMAN66 on Tue 01 Dec 2015, 2:38 pm

kingraf wrote:Chris Cairns is a lucky lucky boy.

But he's a "Broken man that has been reduced to laboring jobs in Australia!!"

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Post by Pr4wn on Tue 01 Dec 2015, 3:11 pm

They definitely don't appear in all cases, mostly minor ones I think.

I was attacked at a party about six weeks ago, a guy jumped me from behind and ended up breaking my cheekbone. He appeared in our Magistrate's Court yesterday and was immediately referred to our Royal Court. If he pleads guilty he'll just get sentenced at a later date but if he pleads not guilty, he'll face trial with a jury. Grave and Criminal Assault is the charge (our version of GBH.)

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Post by navyblueshorts on Tue 01 Dec 2015, 3:25 pm

Good question Truss. Not sure there's a system I'd trust more than what we have now. Do I think that guilty == factually true? No, not in any way shape or form in too many instances. Not been summoned for Jury service yet but my wife has and some of the snippets she's mentioned re. juror behaviour are a little scary.

One type of case I would like to see more expertise involved in though is for complex fraud/financial crime.
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Post by TRUSSMAN66 on Tue 01 Dec 2015, 3:37 pm

Absolutely.......No way should laymen and women judge on those...

I always find it amusing when normal people are done for stealing wine etc from a supermarket but it's okay for a celebrity to be "forgetful"...

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Post by ShahenshahG on Tue 01 Dec 2015, 4:31 pm

Professional jurors? Lawyers as Jurors?

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Post by Scottrf on Tue 01 Dec 2015, 4:55 pm

ShahenshahG wrote:Professional jurors? Lawyers as Jurors?
Because our legal system is overrun with money?

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Post by kingraf on Tue 01 Dec 2015, 5:10 pm

Scottrf wrote:
ShahenshahG wrote:Professional jurors? Lawyers as Jurors?
Because our legal system is overrun with money?

Well in that case, judges as jurors
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Post by ShahenshahG on Tue 01 Dec 2015, 5:13 pm

Scottrf wrote:
ShahenshahG wrote:Professional jurors? Lawyers as Jurors?
Because our legal system is overrun with money?

Just make it a legal requirement of working as a Lawyer. 4 weeks of jury service a year.

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Post by TRUSSMAN66 on Tue 01 Dec 2015, 5:17 pm

...They'd just find everyone guilty to make other defence lawyers look crap so that they get more work when they've finished !! Cool

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Post by kingraf on Tue 01 Dec 2015, 5:20 pm

Then again, still not perfect. Given the fact that it was mostly circumstantial anecdotal evidence, I'm not sure I'd have backed a group of lawyers to come to a different conclusion in the Cairns case, and that's fair enough. But in something as specific as fixing a cricket game, maybe it would have been better to have had a group of ex cricketers as jurors? Then again, given the stigma attached to fixing, the jury may as well have learnt the banjo during the trial, as they'd probably all have decided he's guilty a day in.
Maybe a group of lawyers who were once cricketers? Even better: a group of lawyers who were once cricketers who've been offered a kings ransom to fix a match. Even better a group of lawyers who were once cricketers who accepted a kings ransom to fix a match.
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Post by ShahenshahG on Tue 01 Dec 2015, 5:29 pm

Laugh


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Post by aja424 on Tue 01 Dec 2015, 11:05 pm

Should women be allowed on a jury, especially when you consider PMT symptoms such as short fuse and irritability.

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Post by Pr4wn on Wed 02 Dec 2015, 9:14 am

Should WUMs be allowed on this forum?

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Post by aja424 on Wed 02 Dec 2015, 11:57 am

Not winding anyone up mate, apologies if it comes across as that.
Just that when it's my Mrs time of the month, everyone is guilty!

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Post by TRUSSMAN66 on Wed 02 Dec 2015, 12:12 pm

aja424 wrote:Should women be allowed on a jury, especially when you consider PMT symptoms such as short fuse and irritability.

Only your wife....

She's always been good at grasping any concept of mine !! Wink Cool

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Post by Adam D on Wed 02 Dec 2015, 12:28 pm

kingraf wrote:Chris Cairns is a lucky lucky boy.

He also has Betty Davis eyes.

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Post by The Fourth Lion on Sun 06 Dec 2015, 2:15 pm

I've been of the opinion, for some time now, that a Judicial Panel system should replace trial by jury.   It's quite simple and it works like this:

Three judges sit during the trial and hear all the evidence together.  They then decide between them on the verdict.  2-1 is a majority verdict and 3-0 is unanimous.  The senior judge then announces the verdict and sentence.  Simple.

Ideally, the senior judge would be experienced in the type of offence being tried (fraud, murder, phone hacking, whatever) but this is not a hard and fast rule.  It would be acceptable to have three judges with non-specialist experience because the basic principles of law are universal to all offences.

Such a system would require the promotion of more legal professionals to the position of Judge, but with at least one experienced judge on the panel, there would be little chance of a miscarriage of justice.... certainly no more than we get with jury trial.

We might also see a reduction of the sort of courtroom theatrics which are prevalent in the system now.   A panel of professional judges is much less likely to be hoodwinked by crocodile tears by the accused, posturing by counsel or dramatic statements from the witness box.  They could also be much more relied upon to give an unbiased verdict based entirely on the evidence heard and not influenced by lurid / sensationalist / inaccurate reporting in the press. Indeed, in my opinion, counsel (both prosecution and defence) would be deterred from trying to pull the wool over the panels' eyes because they would be much less confident of influencing the outcome by dubious means.

If we had such a system I think there would be far fewer miscarriages of justice, mis-trials or  appeals against verdicts.

It would also mean thousands of working people every year don't have to take time off work to sit on juries.
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Post by guildfordbat on Sun 06 Dec 2015, 2:40 pm

Hi Lion,

Good to have you back. Hope all is well.

I appreciate where you're coming from with a Judicial Panel but do believe it would cause other issues.

In particular, the time involved. It can often take weeks and sometimes months for a three man Court of Appeal to sit together and reach a conclusion having heard all the evidence. At least a normal 12 person jury usually comes up with a decision within a few hours. Under your system, what happens to the defendant whilst waiting for the verdict? Bit tough if he has to spend a couple of months or more in chokey before getting a unanimous not guilty verdict.

Connected with the above, I don't foresee professional judges merely saying ''guilty'' or ''not guilty'' and whether it's unanimous or not. They'll expect to put their reasoning down in writing. As well as adding to the time taken, that'll give more potential grounds to challenge the verdict and lodge an appeal. One practical aspect of the current jury system is that you never know for sure what swayed them one way or the other.

Also, a 2-1 verdict would almost seem grounds in itself for an appeal.

All in all, I feel what we've got ain't perfect but maybe ain't so bad.

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Post by The Fourth Lion on Sun 06 Dec 2015, 2:58 pm

Thanks for the welcome Guildford. It's nice to be back and good to see you again, old chap.

I can see what you're saying and quite agree the downside. You're quite right in what you say.

However, do you not think that the points you make indicate that more care would be taken in not only achieving a more accurate verdict, but also, the writing down of the judges reasoning for it would actually obviate almost all grounds for appeal (except where new evidence comes to light, which is fair enough in any case). If the judgement was sound, both according to the evidence heard and within the law, then there would be no grounds for appeal. If it wasn't then the judges concerned should be scrutinised.... but I think such instances whould be very rare. Just an opinion.

As for the individual possibly having to wait a bit longer for a decision, well, if he is not guilty then I think most would be grateful for "the system" taking a bit longer to come to that verdict rather than a rushed jury verdict finding them guilty and having to not only deal with the trauma of imprisonment due to a miscarriage of justice, but also from then having to face possibly years of going through the appeals process. Better to get it right first time in my opinion.

I don't think a 2-1 verdict is, in itself, grounds for appeal if the reasoning for one judge's dissent are fully explained and the legal reasoning for this explained adequately.

I agree that what we have isn't perfect.... is there any such thing as a perfect legal system..? I just wonder how I would feel if I were in the dock for something I didn't do, facing the judgement of 12 people who have all probably read the lurid reporting of the Daily Mail or The Sun which have painted me in the most godawful light and could very possibly be influenced by it before a single piece of evidence has been heard.
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Post by aja424 on Fri 15 Apr 2016, 12:12 am

Jeremy Kyle's lie detector test should be used in all High Courts, with Jezza making an appearance for the more high profile cases in order to give the criminal a good vernal dressing down.

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