Monday, October 24, 2011
Paul McBride QC calls for jury reform, he wants to know personal details of jurors history including employment, Fuck off McBride
I have little time for Paul McBride QC.
However he does have a point that jurors should be made to sit tests before being selected for trials.
At present anyone can be a juror, even if they can’t read, write or reason, there are exceptions of people who can be excused from juror duty because of their profession or past conduct.
An educated juror could improve the judicial system.
Question is what should a juror need?
Well, I would suggest commonsense.
Paul McBride said potential jurors should be interviewed to establish they can “read, write and speak English.”
However in his analysis, he disguises his real reason that they maybe “riven with prejudice”.
Unfortunately, if the jury service isn’t careful then people who simply don’t wish to serve will certainly say things to disbar them.
The only requirement to serve on a jury in Scotland is that a person should be over the age of 18, be registered to vote and have lived in the UK for five years.
Something that McBride says as a measure is certainly not on, he want potential jurors to be forced to disclose their occupation.
None of your fucking business McBride!
Is it, that there are worthy jurors and unworthy jurors?
Is that what McBride is trying to introduce?
And another point, which is none of the State’s business is asking a juror if they have been a victim of crime.
Again none of his fucking business or the State!
He said Scotland’s jury system, in which 15 people can reach a decision on a majority of 8-7, made reform even more important.
Prompting his gripe is the jury’s not proven verdict in the case of Hearts fan John Wilson.
Wilson ran onto the pitch and was seen to grapple with Neil Lennon, the Celtic Manager.
The jury cleared Wilson of assault despite the fact he said he did it.
In other words they chose, not to believe the word of idiot, in this case, the accused.
That is the right of a jury.
It is for them to determine guilt or innocence.
The problem with that case was the furore regarding sectarianism which was fuelled by certain people.
The Crown Office pandering to the ‘will’ of people who stay out of law was to charge Wilson with a sectarian breach of the peace.
The jury threw that out, not willing to be used as political pawns in a court case.
If I was sitting on that jury, I might have come to the same conclusion.
John Wilson is just an idiot, that’s all.
And as an idiot, he deserved to be put in prison for his stupid act but he is still entitled to a fair trial and he is still entitled to be tried by fair minded people.
McBride on reform said:
“The question is, ‘can we improve our jury system?’ and the answer is undoubtedly yes. This is an area that lawyers have been discussing for some time. Judges and lawyers undergo a high standard of training. The only area where there is no scrutiny at all on the people who actually make the decision, which is baffling. You don’t have to be able to read or write or speak English".
“We have got 15 people deciding whether a person is guilty and we know nothing about them”.
Why should he know someone’s history?
They are not on trial; do we know the history of the judge?
Do, we get to know the history of the Police, Court staff and lawyers?
No, we don’t.
“In Scotland, unlike any other country on the planet, a person can be convicted by one vote. Following the Lennon verdict a lot of people, and newspapers were asking about the selection process for juries. In every other country there is some kind of jury selection process to determine whether they have got the basic skills and whether they have committed a crime. A lot of trials are conducted by police statements. If a member of the jury can’t read or speak English that’s a bit of a disadvantage.”
McBride goes to the lowest common denominator to ‘enhance’ his argument which has some merit in that juries prior to trial should at least have some amount of commonsense.
The problem is that there is little commonsense going the rounds even among the ‘educated’.
An idea by McBride was to use the system adopted in America were lawyers use the voir dire system to question jurors.
Check out, the movies The Devil’s Advocate starring Keanu Reeves to see this and also My Cousin Vinnie starring Joe Pesci.
McBride then gets nasty when he says:
“It is supposed to be a jury of peers but you tend to find that most are unemployed or retired because employed people often get out of jury duty It is not a jury of peers.”
Is this clown saying the unemployed and retired opinions are worth less?
Yes, what a fucking arsehole he truly is.
A jury should be given some sort of training which I would support but society needs to draw from all sections in order to get a broad spectrum of views.
Commonsense is the key.
As for knowing the personal details of the jury McBride, that is none of your fucking business.
Will juries get to use the voir dire system to see if they are prepared to accept defence lawyers such as McBride?
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University