James Miller


Friday, February 10, 2006



My wife is a barrister and our son is a criminal defence solicitor who acts in high-profile cases. Over the years, I have also counted several judges amongst my friends.

Conversation has often turned towards juries and it is surprising how few times, I have heard anybody complain about the result, even in difficult cases. One judge has told me, that juries are often much more sensible than you would think. He quoted cases, where strictly speaking the defendant should have been found guilty, but morally they should not have been. Some cases like this have led to a change in the law.

So whether the government and the public like it or not, if you examine the evidence, you will find that juries on the whole do a good job. Finding a better system will be a very hard job.

At least in this country, if a jury do make a mistake, then their decision can be appealed. And as we have no death penalty, the tragic miscarriages of countries like the United States, China, Iran and Saudi Arabia are avoided.


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