Friday, June 04, 2010

In defence of the jury system

My jury's still out on its value, but if prosecutors aren't going to exercise some sane discretion in cases like this, thank the traditions of the common law for 12 decent human beings.

Defence exhibit A.

Defence exhibit B.


Jeremy said...

Are you serious? Both of those cases should've been prosecuted. In neither case should the Qld equivalent of our (now fortunately removed) provocation defence have been a complete defence.

There were mitigating factors that should've discounted the sentence in those cases, but in neither case should the community endorse vigilante violence.

Seriously, you think someone should be allowed to beat something they THINK has committed a serious crime almost unconscious, or kill an abusive husband in cold blood (not self-defence) - that society should say "yup, that's a course of action we accept"? Seriously?

Armagny said...

No need for histrionics. We have a different view, apparently. This can be presented without rhetorical overload.

My view is obvious from the post. The arid application of law or dry legal principle can easily be carried out by judges. The strongest argument for the jury system, as Mr Geoffrey Robertson has just asserted in a fantastic book I'm reading, is to cover those situations where such arid application would result in what decent people know to be an injustice.

I'm not interested in relitigating the findings of fact that clearly underpinned the juries' decisions here, suffice to say that one what I've seen (which is all we can every base blog posts on) they seem well founded.

Mindy said...

"kill an abusive husband in cold blood (not self-defence)" - have you seen pictures of this couple? He was much taller, larger and heavier than her. Any attempt to defend herself or kill him in self-defence would have probably resulted in her death. I was surprised that she was found not guilty - I'm guessing that there was a lot of evidence in the court room that didn't make it into the media that brought about that result.