The role of the jury in a criminal trial (Juries consider criminal cases…
The role of the jury in a criminal trial
Juries consider criminal cases in the Crown Court (1)
can consider indictable offences like murder(2)
either way offences such as theft(3)
15 jurors are selected by the electoral register (4)
12 are then randomly selected by ballot for each trail(5)
then they swear on the holy book of choise (6)
the jury are the sole ‘judges of fact,’(7)
they also have to weigh up the evidence presented by the defense and prosecution.(8)
they are advised on point of the law by the judge because they might not be familia with it (9)
they should not be influenced by the judges disision because this jepredises the d right to a free trial (10)
Jurors typically serve for 10 working days but some trials last longer, the trail of Rebekah Brookes who was eventually found not guilty of phone hacking charges took 9 months.
Evidence can include CCTV footage, photographs, visiting the scene of crime, examination in chief and cross examination of witnesses, looking at exhibits etc. In the trail of Arthur Collins acid...
They can only consider the evidence presented in court, they must not do their own research nor must they discuss the case with anyone other than their fellow jurors.
Theodora Dallas was sentenced to 2 years for engaging in internet search on D
if they do this will compromise the Ds right to a free trial
At the end of the trial, they listen to closing speeches by the defence and prosecution and the judge sums up the facts to them. They retire to deliberate their verdict in secret, they must not disclose their deliberations to anyone and no enquiries can be made as to how they reach their decision.
The jury are free to reach a decision based on their conscience, this is known as jury equity i
R v Owen
The jury select a foreman/woman who delivers the verdict (guilty or not guilty) in open court but they don’t give reasons for their decision. If they find the D guilty the judge will sentence. If they find the D not guilty he will be acquitted.
1967 majority verdicts were introduced of 10-2 (or 9-1 if the jury has been reduced during the trial). This is now provided for in the Juries Act 1974.
Arthur Collins was convicted in 2017 by a 10:2 majority. If they can’t agree this is called a ‘hung jury’ and a re-trial can be ordered.