This has long been an aim of a certain type of authoritarian, to abolish juries in criminal trials. After all, how can the authorities jug those they dislike if juries won’t convict people merely of being someone the authorities don’t like?
This actually being the entire point of juries from their beginning. The King doesn’t get to jug just anyone he doesn’t like. There must be a crime, on the books, which someone is convicted of. And the jury is there to agree that what is being convicted of happened, it was ‘ee wot dun it, and that it should be a crime to be punished. It’s that last bit which is the protection of freedom – jury nullification as we’re not supposed to mention in the English courts:
Specialist courts in Scotland should be set up to deal with the most serious sex crimes, a review has recommended.
One suggestion is for cases to be heard by a single judge with no jury.
The review, led by Lord Justice Clerk Lady Dorrian, is part of a shake-up of how Scottish courts deal with rape and other sexual offences cases.
The problem diagnosed is that juries just will not convict in certain types of rape cases. He said, she said, is that really rape, is that really consent and all that. The annoyance comes from those insistent that yes, waking up a date with a cop and a feel before a re-run of the previous evening’s rumpy is in fact rape. Which, under the current definitions, it is in fact unless specific consent is given again.
The average juror isn’t going to convict on that. That is, the average folk out here doesn’t think that is rape nor sexual assault.
No, the statement is not that when someone awakes and says no it’s OK to carry on. Rather, the strict definitions of consent these days do indeed say that the half asleep seconds is rape. Which isn’t what 12 men (and women) assembled and true is going to agree to. 7 years for a bird climbing aboard a morning glory? No way…..and thus the necessity of getting rid of the jury.
We have to remember that the purpose of a jury is to protect us from prosecution by the State. Which is why authoritarians hate juries so much.