Jury age to be raised to 75

  BT 08:27 20 Aug 2013

Jury age limit to be raised to 75

It seems from reading this that many are saying this is a good thing.

People being interviewed on BBC this morning are saying that its a good experience and good for the Justice process.

Good Experience NOT! I have been unfortunate to have been forced to do it 4 times over the years and as far as I'm concerned it most certainly was not a 'Good Experience'. You are put in the position of being identified to criminals which I found to be most unnerving. From my experience the greater majority of people on Jury service do not want to be there and most certainly don't enjoy it. People who are self employed are often severely out of pocket as they are not compensated for their loss of earnings.

I know the system requires juries but it really is very disruptive of peoples lives. Its bad enough having to do your 2 weeks but must be horrendous if you get stuck with a long case. As to getting even older people involved, many of us would find it difficult, particularly if having to use public transport or walk any distance.

The process of selection is totally random. I've been called 4 times but many people have never been called. Perhaps there should be a cap on the number of times you can be called.

  Chronos the 2nd 10:16 20 Aug 2013

At 59 I have never ever been called but this might be because of my youthful indiscretions.

As for being identified to a criminal, sorry is this not just a tad paranoid? I have not read many stories of criminals targeting jury members following their conviction.

  BT 10:49 20 Aug 2013

I have not read many stories of criminals targeting jury members following their conviction.

Its not a myth. One case I was on was a retrial because the accused had tried to bribe a jury member on a previous trial, and he was abusive to some of us outside the court during the current trial. What disturbs me is that your name is announced during the Jury selection at the start of the trial and I have seen the Barristers writing down the names of all the selected Jurors, which means that you could easily be traced if they were so inclined. I feel that you should be given a number but that wouldn't be done as it wouldn't be in the spirit of 'being tried by your peers'.

Regarding your 'Youthful Indiscretions' it depends what they are I suppose but its possible. On one of my stints one chap was so intent on getting out of it he deliberately kept turning up late in the morning and after lunch. He was eventually brought up before the judge and fined for contempt and discharged. He was a self employed person and the fine was well worth it to him in not losing any more earnings by being stuck there for another 2 weeks.

  Quickbeam 11:23 20 Aug 2013

I believe that sufficient jurors would be available if you volunteered to be on a juror's role.

  Mr Mistoffelees 11:46 20 Aug 2013

"I believe that sufficient jurors would be available if you volunteered to be on a juror's role."

If that happened then a jury would no longer be representative of the general populous but, only of those who would like to be on a jury. Fair trial, by a jury of your peers, would be a thing of the past.

  chub_tor 12:00 20 Aug 2013

At a few months over 74 years old I thought that I would never be selected, now I have another 18 months or so to be chosen. Whooppee!

  BT 12:38 20 Aug 2013

..no longer be representative of the general populous but, only of those who would like to be on a jury.

I see your point but when a significant proportion of the people there are there on sufferance and can't wait to get away, there is a question as to whether they are really giving their full and fair attention. In one case I was involved in one of the jurors, an older man, had made up his mind before we even went into the Jury room and totally refused to be involved in any of the discussions.

  BT 12:45 20 Aug 2013

Fair trial, by a jury of your peers, would be a thing of the past.

I think I have been on enough cases to say that there often isn't very much 'Fairness' involved. Witnesses, despite swearing to tell the truth, are often prevented from doing just that by the way questions are presented.

  spuds 13:56 20 Aug 2013

I have never sat on a court jury, but I have attended quite a large number of cases as a prosecution witness on various court levels.

Like most things, there are good and bad, either attending, being part off or just watching any court action, and in some cases, like those being taken in a Crown court can get very confusing or possibly boring for some, while others might get very carried away with the events before them.

If you think about the possible rise in age, then that might have the air of perhaps someone being more experienced with the way of the world. But I do agree, the older you get, there is a possibility that health problems might be a unknown barrier.

With regards about someone being abusive or intimidating to jury member's or witness's outside the court during the trial, then this can easily be resolved. Report the matter to the court staff or any police officer. Twice I have seen and was involved with incidents like this, and the problems were dealt with straight away.

Another point that was suggested earlier, is that an older person had already made up their mind. I was at a case, when the jury consisted mainly of young females. The person before the court was a very charming person in every way and manner. The jury returned giving a not guilty verdict on all accounts, with one 'older' jury member's wanting a guilty verdict. The judge gave the verdict and commenced to dismiss everyone, at which point the previously accused got up and started to bow and blow kisses to the jury. Shock and horror, the jury then realised that they had made a mighty mistake, and then wanted to know what they could do about it?.

Regarding the legal teams, taking notes on the jury, this is usually a standard procedure, because quite a bit of information can be gained if needed. Taking this a step further though, I know of at least one case involving a murder, based on gang involvement, when a witness who had 'guaranteed' protection was being intimidated due to 'leaked' information. "Deepest apologies" or saying sorry, doesn't help much in situations like that!.

  T0SH 20:20 20 Aug 2013

I wonder if they intend to supply incontinence pads or introduce regular comfort breaks perhaps ?

Cheers HC

  Aitchbee 20:23 20 Aug 2013

I can only assume that the raising of the Age Limit to 75 is to neatly coincide with the raising of the age when one receives an old age pension ...ie 'In Through The Backdoor'.

BTW. The male life expectancy in Glasgow is 71.6 years as against 78 years for females ... so maybe, the powers that be, should allow for this mortality difference when applied nationwide, and to differentiate between men and women accordingly.

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