Monday, 10 January 2011

How is it a crime for a juror to say they disagreed with the verdict?

The left wing parties who back independence and might take part in any referendum campaign, SSP and its offshoot Solidarity, have ignored the court change just as much as the SNP has. Yet if anyone could do with it now, it is Tommy Sheridan. The one thing that without stating any view at all on his guilt or innocence, it can still be said is self-inflicted in his present situation: is that he is now suffering from the court change not being in operation and from his own ignorement of it.

So the court change was too bourgeois and reforming of the legal system as it already exists, was it, to fit into his agitational dreams for the march of the workers to win evrything only by demos and strikes? How come then was it not too bourgeois to go to court in its present form to sue a newspaper? It seems to be coming out that some of his friends reckoned it was. It always sounded dangerously reckless to me, when after winning his first case, he was full of rhetoric on accepting a jury's verdict! He chose that personal overconfidence in being a winner, which has failed him now, instead of choosing the court change which gives folks more sensible protection against things going wrong in court cases.

Even if he is so doctrinally closed minded even in adversity as to continue not to want the court change for himself, there is someone else on his side who now needs it entirely because his case happened, and whose need he will let down if he says nothing on the court change.

Sunday Herald front page splash, on Jan 9, on the Tommy Sheridan juror who is threatened with prosecution herself for saying on Facebook she thinks he is innocent and hates the other jurors. Where is the crime? The Herald's story is totally factually on the side of stating that she has done something illegal, yet the same story's content nowhere subtantiates so.

It asserts: "it is a criminal offence to reveal a jury's deliberations" and "Under section 8 of the Contempt of Court Act 1981, it is an offence to breach the confidentiality of a jury's discussions."

"In particular it is an offence to disclose or solicit any particulars of statements made, opinions expressed, arguments advanced or votes cast by members of the jury in the course of their deliberations in any legal proceedings."

So how exactly has she done any of those things just by stating her own verdict? It is already a publicly known fact that there was a majority verdict of 8 to 6, which is far too thin a majority to give the confidence in a shared agreed verdict that is supposed to be the whole purpose of juries. It sounds to me like the jury failing to agree, it is not the sort of majority to base a conviction on. It is great cause for any juror on the losing side to feel upset about. Such a juror has an obvious personal need to make known her own innocence of blame for the verdict. Otherwise she could feel tainted by feeling perceived by others as being behind the verdict, when she is not.

By stating that personal position for herself, she has not said anything at all previously unknown about what happened in the jury room or about what any identified other juror did. So what the hell is the Sunday Herald's justification for siding with making a fuss? How the hell has she breached "the sanctity of the jury room", as they quoted a lawyer on, in any way?

If there is any question of prosecuting her, she needs the court change. As she won't get it from the Sheridans or Anwar, I earnestly hope she googles on her own case and finds this page and reads about the court change here. The details are all in the second post in this blog, "this is the submission that was not accepted." But for clarity I will now put up another post that is only about the court change. Someone else in the news who needs it right now is Julian Assange.

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