Barrel Strength

Over-Proof Opinion, Smoothly Aged Insight

Barrel Strength - Over-Proof Opinion, Smoothly Aged Insight

IQ test for juries? Yes!

In US this question was settled long ago after the OJ verdict, where it was noted that most of the jurors were unable to understand the scientific evidence that was presented. Now it seems that the same conclusion is being reached in UK.

For example, they asked for a definition of reaching a verdict ‘beyond reasonable doubt’.

This was despite the fact that the judge had already given them guidance on this in writing.

Mr Justice Sweeney effectively threw up his hands in despair, saying that these were ‘ordinary English words’ that he could not define any further.

Bafflingly, they asked whether a wife’s religious conviction would make her feel that she had no option but to obey her husband. But since Vicky Pryce’s religious beliefs had not even been mentioned, this was clearly totally irrelevant to the case.

Equally perplexingly, they asked whether the defendant had an obligation to present a defence. In reply, the judge reminded them he had told them that the defendant did not have to prove anything at all.

Most extraordinary of all, they asked whether they could reach a verdict based on a reason that was not presented in court and had no facts or evidence to support it.

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Category: Culture
  • Dalwhinnie says:

    The Bell Curve and its implications are ever with us.
    Partcularly the back end of the Bell Curve.

    February 21, 2013 at 12:21 PM
  • Dollops - Eric Doll says:

    Is it the quality of jurors or the ridiculous procedures and constraints of the legal guild? Judgement by one’s peers is a wonderful concept – if only we practiced it.

    February 21, 2013 at 1:11 PM

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