Therefore the Plain People of Britain should have no say:
Why do away with one of the fundamentals of a decent justice system? Is the jury system not set up in order to better ensure fairness and justice, rather than relying on a crusty old Etonian in a wig?
Not in rape cases. If jurors were to receive the level of training and awareness-raising necessary to challenge the deep-rooted and highly persuasive myths about rape, the jury system would be more effective in dealing with sex crimes – but this would take more than a few words from the judge at the beginning of a trial, which is how it works at the moment.
That’s Julie Bindel and Julie Bindel can fuck right off.
For she’s missing the very point of the jury system itself. Justice must not only be done it must be seen to be done. And that means that the Plain People of Britain get to decide, each and every time, whether a crime has been committed and whether it was ‘im wot done it.
There is vast evidence from the past that juries would not convict of hanging offences, would downgrade the value of thefts for example. There are cases of jury nullification (I can think of at least one Official Secrets Act one) where it was quite obvious that ‘im done it and bang to rights Guv and the jury simply said fuck off, no crime.
That this happens in rape cases is not a fault of the jury system, it’s the very point. There are those out there, perhaps you know one or two Julie, who insist that any penetrative sexual act is either tantamount to rape or is it. That is not the opinion of the Plain People of Britain and it is both they who sit on the juries and also they for whom the justice system is run.
That is, the entire point of the jury system is to have people who are not in receipt of the level of training and awareness’raising necessary to challenge the deep-rooted and highly persuasive myths about rape making the ultimate decision. Because what is a crime and what is the proof of a crime are, quite deliberately, decided by and defined by what those Plain People generally think.
Yes, meeting 12 random Brits is a horrifying experience, entirely agreed, and to have your life in their hands quite terrifying. But that’s as nothing to having the criminal justice system taken over by the Single Issue Fanatics who then get to impose their standards of evidence, definition and procedure upon all.
In fact Julie, that’s what the jury system is for. To stop the government, or any other fanatic like you, imposing a definition of a crime upon actions which the Plain People of Britain do not think is one.
Juries will happily shout Guilty! at those bang to rights on rape. And not so much where it’s a he said, she said, both boozed up and no one quite recalls. And that’s the point, that’s what the jury is for.