Those who hanker for the long-held principle of trial by “12 good men and true” are caught in a time warp. Just as equality has made such a twee saying redundant, patterns of criminal offending are making the jury system redundant for certain trials.
This week’s case has shown that a judge-alone trial is quicker, cheaper and does not carry the risk of jury nobbling. It is time to wake up to reality — and accept that sometimes “one good judge and true” is the answer .
Yes, trials without juries would be quicker, cheaper, more efficient and so on. But that isn\’t the point about having a jury at all.
The actual point, whisper it quietly, is jury nullification.
You can be bang to rights. Yes, the evidence conclusively proves that you are guilty as charged. The State is absolutely correct, you did the crime and now….the jury says \”Fuck off, we\’re not jailing someone for that\”.
That\’s the point of having a jury.
Oh sure, it\’s rare that this actually happens quite so obviously and brutally as all that. But it is the point all the same. Whatever the arsewipes in Parliament insist is the law, it still comes down to 12 entirely average and normal people considering \”is that a crime or not?\”.