Evaluating the use of Juries within the British Legal System

It is high time that the use of juries is re-evaluated as the way evidence is presented in court is in need of a radical overhaul.

Any logically-thinking human being would assume that if twelve people decide to convict a defendant then there can be no possibility of a miscarriage of justice but they do still happen more frequently than the justice system cares to admit. The Jury will have been convinced of the defendant’s guilt ‘Beyond all reasonable doubt.’

So how can twelve people possibly get it wrong?  You may think the British legal system is fair and just until someone you know is convicted of crimes they did not commit.  It may be true that you cannot blame a jury for a miscarriage of justice as any twelve people will convict if the evidence placed before them is damming enough.

The jury is just a pawn in the game: picture yourself as an innocent person, falsely accused. The police want a conviction. They can readily gather together sufficient evidence about you, delving into your past with a fine-tooth comb. They will say that people have ‘Come forward’ when really the police have gone trawling for people to tempt them with compensation packages. Ninety nine people who the police have questioned may say good things about you but if the hundredth person says something bad it is their evidence that will be placed before the jury.

Then when the police have done their ‘Dutiful’ deeds, to the public, the Crown Prosecution Service takes over. They have unlimited financial and legal resources at their disposal, but you, the accused, have only your innocence, the truth and legal aid which is never enough.

If several people bear a grudge against you, the corroboration of these liars and the compounding of their lies and machinations will be enough to convict you if the jury are duped into believing their allegations are totally separate. Quite often the accusers are tempted into making false allegations due to the lure of compensation. They have nothing to lose as their anonymity is protected. They don’t even have to face you in court as they can choose to be screened off. The jury will always be convinced by the lies of many rather than the truth of a few.

Would you think it possible that a jury could convict you purely on the grounds of accusation? It is quite possible to be denied a fair trial. All the people who can vouch for your innocence are excluded on the grounds that there is not enough public funding, with the consequence that you are not allowed an adequate defence. So the jury hear only lies, wrongly assuming there is no other side to the story. The jury can only make a decision on the basis of what is placed before them and if they are only presented with lies, then it is not outside the bounds of possibility to convict a saint on trumped up charges.

Juries will always err on the side of caution and it often happens that an innocent person is convicted rather than risk a guilty one walking free.

The judge is Pontius Pilate in his own court; he can easily wash his hands and say: ‘Don’t blame me; the jury convicted you.’

The police will say: ‘Don’t blame us: we only gathered the evidence together’ and the Crown Prosecution Service say they only acted on that evidence.

So at the end of the day, the jury have been used as a means to an end; a pawn in the game: ‘It was the jury who convicted who you.’

After conviction the prison and probation services will not tolerate pleas of: ‘I’m innocent!’ they will keep on repeating the same old one liner: ‘But the jury convicted you!’

And as for the jury themselves – they can easily sleep soundly at night thinking they have done their bit for truth and justice when really they have just been used as a tool to destroy an innocent person’s life.

It may be too late for some, unless they can find the legal representation to support them whole-heartedly in the fight to clear their name. The jury has made a conviction and the judge has passed sentence even if there are far more people who know the real truth of the matter but are unable to prove it.

The British tax payer now has to pay for an innocent person to be kept in prison at a cost of around thirty five thousand GB pounds per annum. Where is the sense in that?

In order to prevent miscarriages of justice occurring, anyone serving on a jury should question the evidence placed before them so they can make a fair decision. Don’t just accept the general consensus because several accusers have said the same thing – you may be destroying the life of someone who has been falsely accused. If you are a jury member attending a trial where the only evidence put before you is bad then you must surely begin to wonder whether the good has somehow been deliberately excluded.

Often the way the evidence is presented is totally engineered and geared up for a conviction to ensure that a defendant is not given the chance of a fair trial. The scales of justice can be weighted against you from the onset, but justice should be all about fairness so that the jury can weigh things in the balance and reach a fair and just decision as to the defendant’s innocence or guilt.

Injustice thus happens to honest law-abiding citizens every day and it can take years in prison for these innocents to mount a successful appeal.