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Is 19 very young to be juror?

  johndrew 15:23 23 Dec 2011

I was watching the news at lunch time when a report was screened on the subject of a 19 year old who went to a theatre rather than his juror duties. His father also commented that he was only young and should not have been punished.

Given that there are lads and lassies of a similar age who perform this task conscientiously, not to mention those who are in the armed forces who have a more arduous task, What is your opinion?

  Forum Editor 19:28 23 Dec 2011

"There should be some sort of exam before being allowed on a jury."

It's an interesting point.

Legal experts have traditionally championed the system whereby jurors are selected entirely at random from the eligible population,with no criteria being used,other than(currently - there has been talk of abolishing the upper age limit)three simple qualifying factors. Prospective jurors must be:-

  1. Aged between 18 and 70
  2. Registered on a parliamentary or local government electoral roll
  3. Have been resident in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man for at least five consecutive years since the age of 13.

Judges, lawyers, politicians, doctors and members of the clergy used to be exempted from jury service, but that's no longer the case.

You are disqualified from jury service if you have been sentenced for a criminal offence, or you are on bail, or if you have certain mental illnesses.

On balance I think that I'm in favour of the random selection system, even if it does mean that some jurors may be less bright than others. I don't think that a person's ability to weigh evidence is compromised, just because he or she may have a lower IQ than the next juror along.

  morddwyd 19:59 23 Dec 2011

The very bedrock of our judicial system, now the basis of many others throughout the world, is trial by jury, and its (the jury's) composition.

Even the most ineffectual attempt to chip away at this bedrock mus be quickly and firmly discouraged.

This clown didn't just show contempt of court. He showed contempt of his fellow citizens and of society as a whole, including the low lives who depend on him for a fair deal.

  oresome 20:17 23 Dec 2011

including the low lives who depend on him for a fair deal.

It seems like you've judged them already!

  Condom 21:06 23 Dec 2011

The whole idea of jury service is to reflect the general population so any selection on brains etc would skew the results. I'm in my late 60's now and I have never been selected for Jury service probably because my employment meant I was moved around the UK frequently and I was never in one area long enough to get called up. However I have been based in my present local which is a smallish Town for the past 20 years (Although not always living here) and yet again I have never been called. I hope I am not tempting fate saying that.

My mum who lived in Glasgow was forever being called up.

  morddwyd 07:54 24 Dec 2011

Much greater demand in Glasgow!

(Sorry, Glasgow, just in fun!)

  Armchair 09:38 24 Dec 2011

When I was on jury service I missed the explanatory video, because I arrived late (because it took ages to find somewhere to park in the unfamiliar city centre), and consequently was a bit vague about the whole business. I thought I would be in trouble for being late, but nothing was said, and there was no suggestion of me viewing the video.

Over the two weeks I served, I was only on a jury for about three hours in total. The rest of the time I either wasn't needed for the next day, or spent long hours sitting in a smoke filled room with my fellow would-be jurors. My abiding memory of being in court was the lack of legroom on the benches where the jury sate, which was extremely uncomfortable, and distracting.

As for this guy..... He knew what he was doing, he got caught out, tough.

  Aitchbee 21:28 24 Dec 2011

I did jury service when I was 22 years of age. It was an ordeal for me as I was suffering from severe depression.I don't remember anything of it.

A lot of people, who are called up for jury service are 'not fit for purpose'.

  john bunyan 23:32 24 Dec 2011

They are letting him out today! Just in time for Santa Claus.

  bremner 08:07 25 Dec 2011

John bunyan

He was let out on Friday morning and interviewed on the BBC

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

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