Juries do get it wrong.

  Cymro. 13:08 14 Jun 2007

There are many threads on this section of the forum today wanting to know what to do with

criminals such as pedophiles and the murderers of policemen etc. Many of them are from

the hang them and flog them brigade. What I want to know is what do these people who are

so ready to send criminals to their death suggest we do about those who would inevitability

be found guilty and hung but latter proved to have been innocent. What possible compensation

could make up for such a serious miscarriage of justice.

  p;3 13:20 14 Jun 2007

you may recall that a jury can only decide on a verdict on the evidence presented in court and from nowhere else ;

  wee eddie 13:26 14 Jun 2007

of Justice in the past.

Men and Women have been hung when they were innocent of the Crime for which they were Tried and Convicted.

There have been cases of Mistaken Identity and also of Lies being told Under Oath.

Would you be prepared to be party to such a thing.

  Jak_1 14:04 14 Jun 2007

No system can be 100%, juries do and will continue to get some verdicts wrong but they can as has been stated only use the evidence presented before them. Capital punishment, once given, cannot be reversed. Chemical castration would seemingly be ideal but, and there is always a but, the giving of drugs to suppress something can in some cases alter things irreversibly! Get the verdict wrong and an irreversible punishment metred out cannot then be corrected at a later date. Think very carefully before advocating punishments that have the potential for being irreversible to what may be an innocent person.

  georgemac © 15:56 14 Jun 2007

Juries have got it wrong in the past - this is not as likely to happen today in my opinion given the advances in forensics, DNA etc, and the skill of appeal lawyers. Also the skill of investigative journalists.

I don't consider myself to be from the "hang them and flog them" brigade but neither am I from the wooly liberal protect human rights at the expense of victims brigade either - we have to find somewhere in the middle, but this will never happen. Lawyers are making too much money from Legal aid and have huge influence and power.

I believe in Human rights but see the need to sometimes have rules and laws that ensure society is protected from evil people, who can hide easily behind human rights laws and abuse them.

  GANDALF <|:-)> 16:03 14 Jun 2007

'Juries have got it wrong in the past - this is not as likely to happen today in my opinion given the advances in forensics, DNA etc, and the skill of appeal lawyers. Also the skill of investigative journalists.'

I am afraid that you are so wrong to be off the scale...you appear to have forgotten the recent cases of women accused of murdering their children by overdosing them with salt and jailed on the supposed evidence of a police expert who was later shown to be a complete fool/numpty.


  Forum Editor 16:09 14 Jun 2007

Often the reason is that a lawyer is particularly persuasive, and convinces the jurors that they should ignore compelling evidence, but often it's simply that the jurors aren't the sharpest knives in the box, and are incapable of making the right assessment, based on the evidence presented.

The jury system is flawed, but it's what we have until something better comes along.....which isn't likely to happen anytime soon. There's a strong body of opinion that says we should have professional jurors - people who are experienced in observing court procedures, and in weighing evidence - but we're not likely to adopt such a system because it, too is deeply flawed.

  wee eddie 16:14 14 Jun 2007

That since she was released from jail, her marriage broke down and she has committed suicide.

If my memory of this is correct, we should all be ashamed, even though we weren't, in any way, directly responsible.

  bremner 16:23 14 Jun 2007

I thinking you are referring to Sally Clarke who was convicted of murdering her children on the say so of a now discredited paediatrician.

She had the conviction overturned and has since died.

  bremner 16:25 14 Jun 2007
  georgemac © 16:34 14 Jun 2007

Surely that case was flawed, no case should ever rely on the expert testimony on "one" expert - it should be backed up by another independent expert. In this case the fact that expert was a "complete fool/numpty" must not have been very evident to the defence - if he was that bad the defence should have found it easy to discredit him.

Persuasive lawyers are part of the reason Juries get it wrong, as are easily led jurors. The judge is there to watch out for this and advise juries if he thinks something is amiss is he not?

The fact that lawyers are forced to defend their clients even although they suspect they are guilty also does not help, although I cannot think of any way around this one. Some of the worst criminals have a lot of money and can hire the very best in the legal profession, and they can run rings round the prosecution.

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