Why Juries are Important

Rachel Lucas talks about an English woman who was prosecuted for assault because she dealt with some hooligans who had been vandalizing a war memorial.  In the United States, I doubt, given the circumstances in the UK in regards to crime, you could find a jury who would be willing to convict this woman of anything.  This is why juries are important to any proper system of justice.

Many people may be technically guilty of a crime, but the rule of law itself is undermined if it’s applications don’t reflect the attitudes and values of the community it’s supposed to be protecting.

5 thoughts on “Why Juries are Important”

  1. Don’t they have jury nullification in jolly olde england? Small “e” intended, as they have become a very small “e”, and are we going to have to go over and save them just from themselves this time?

  2. It’s incredible to me that some of the people over at Rachel’s place are actually defending the prosecution of the pensioner on, “Keep your hands off my kids!” grounds.

    Sorry, folks, but if both you and the police fail to control your kids, then the rest of society has the moral right to do it for you. If that means cuffing around Mommy’s Dearest to prevent him from destroying property, so be it.

  3. Juries in England and Wales work pretty much the same way they do here, except for, in some cases, being able to convict someone with a non-unanimous vote of 10-2.

    In Scotland, juries operate by simple majorities, but if you can get a majority of your jurors to agree with you, you can nullify.

    Jury nullification doesn’t really exist anywhere explicitly. It’s implicit in how juries operate. Their word is final on matters of guilt and innocence.

  4. BC,

    I actually agree she lost her shit, but put me on a jury and I’m not convicting her of squat. If she had beat the kid to a bloody pulp, that would have been one thing, but meting out some corporal punishment that results in no enduring harm…. yeah, it might be technically illegal, but not inappropriate under the circumstances.

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