Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Professional juries?

Today's Dominion Post helps build the argument for professional jurors over our current conscription system:
The Court of Appeal has talked of jurors consulting a ouija board during a trial and leaving deliberations to have sex.

Another juror who left the jury room screaming that they would not go back was grabbed and drawn back into the room, according to three judges.

The unusual legal discussion came up yesterday after the court was told that a juror had complained of being bullied while deciding the verdict against Auckland prostitute Dionne Liza Neale, who stabbed her some-time partner to death.
And we'd expect otherwise when jury duty pays next to nothing, is compulsory unless you have a good excuse, and ability to come up with a good excuse is g-loaded?

Kiwiblog pithily notes:
The sex breaks for jurors is quite novel. Does the Ministry of Justice supply the sex also, or do jurors have to find their own?

The use of the ouija board was the fault of the Judge with his instructions. He told the jury not to discuss the case with any living person. So obviously they concluded seeking guidance from dead people was fine.

And physically restraining a screaming juror who wants to leave is obviously just modelled on the Catholic method of selecting a Pope.

So there’s really nothing to worry about at all.

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