James Delingpole asks a pertinent question;
Should juries in criminal trials be allowed to consult ouija boards, chicken entrails or tea leaves before deciding on their verdicts? Is it OK to convict someone on the basis that he looks a bit funny?
This relates to the collapse of the trial of Vicky Pryce at Southwark Crown Court which has cost the taxpayer a cool £6 million. Sure it’s only money, right?
“After 30 years of criminal trials I have never come across this at this late stage. Never,” said Mr Justice Sweeney after reluctantly discharging a jury which had told him it was “highly unlikely” to reach a verdict on whether or not Vicky Pryce had been guilty of perverting the course of justice.
You can appreciate his exasperation. The judge no doubt had delivered as comprehensive and balanced a summing-up of the case as anyone is capable of after three decades as a lawyer.
And here were the supposed bedrock of the English legal system – 12 jurors – telling him after all that time, effort and cost to the taxpayer that they didn’t even understand basic concepts such as “reasonable doubt”. “A reasonable doubt is a doubt that is reasonable. These are ordinary English words that the law does not allow me to help you with,” replied the judge to question four (out of 10 the jurors had submitted). Then there was arguably the most stupid question of the lot which the jurors had asked in all seriousness:
“Can a juror come to a verdict based on a reason that was not presented in court and has no facts or evidence to support it?”
In other words: is it OK if we just guess? “The answer is a firm no,” responded the judge, “because it would be completely contrary to the instructions I have given you.”
The fiasco has inevitably prompted much debate as to whether it’s finally time to call it quits on the jury system.
I think the Jury system has been horrendously compromised in the name of “equality” and so we now face judgement by people incapable of distinguishing between evidence and stuff they just think up. Further, their grasp of the nuances of English are a concern. . There has been a rush by our liberal intelligentsia to suggest this Jury has been supernaturally stupid and is purely a one off.
I don’t buy that. And, when liberals get their way and the voting age is reduced to 16, you can look forward to your fate being placed in THEIR hands. Feel good?