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NCJ Number: 63214 Find in a Library
Title: RESEARCH AND THE JURY
Journal: JUSTICE OF THE PEACE  Volume:143  Issue:10  Dated:(MARCH 10, 1979)  Pages:127-130
Author(s): J BALDWIN; M MCCONVILLE
Corporate Author: Justice of the Peace, Ltd
United Kingdom
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 4
Sponsoring Agency: Justice of the Peace, Ltd
Sussex, England
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: RESULTS ARE REPORTED FROM A BRITISH SURVEY OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE PERSONNEL ON THE PERCEIVED CORRECTNESS OF JURY DECISIONS IN CRIMINAL CASES TRIED IN LONDON AND BIRMINGHAM.
Abstract: A TOTAL OF 370 JURY TRIALS HELD IN THE CROWN COURT CENTER AT BIRMINGHAM OVER A 21-MONTH PERIOD IN 1975, 114 (31 PERCENT) OF WHICH RESULTED IN ACQUITTALS, MADE UP ONE PART OF THE SAMPLE. THE OTHER INVOLVED 358 JURY TRIALS HELD IN LONDON DURING THE STUDY PERIOD, 171 (48 PERCENT) OF WHICH ENDED IN ACQUITTALS. THE BIRMINGHAM VERDICTS WERE EVALUATED BY THE JUDGES, PROSECUTORS, DEFENSE ATTORNEYS, AND POLICE OFFICERS INVOLVED IN THE CASES. THE LONDON EVALUATION CONSISTED OF INTERVIEWS WITH POLICE OFFICERS CONNECTED WITH EACH CASE. ONLY ABOUT A THIRD OF THE ACQUITTALS IN BIRMINGHAM WERE CONSIDERED JUSTIFIED BY ALL RESPONDENTS, AND AS MANY AS A QUARTER OF THE VERDICTS WERE DOUBTED BY AT LEAST THREE OF THE GROUPS INTERVIEWED. REMARKS WERE CLASSIFIED AS CRITICAL OF THE VERDICT ONLY WHEN EXPLICIT. FOR BIRMINGHAM CASES, CONVICTIONS WERE CLASSIFIED AS 'DOUBTFUL' ONLY IF TWO OR MORE RESPONDENTS UNAMBIGUOUSLY RAISED SERIOUS DOUBTS ABOUT THE VERDICT. THIS MEASURE PRODUCED 15 DOUBTFUL CONVICTIONS, 13 OF WHICH WERE DOUBTED EVEN BY THE POLICE OFFICERS INTERVIEWED. TEN OFFICERS RAISED SIMILAR DOUBTS ABOUT CONVICTIONS IN LONDON. THE JURY TRIAL IS AN INACCURATE METHOD OF DISCRIMINATING BETWEEN THE GUILTY AND THE INNOCENT IF THE EVIDENCE IS TAKEN AS TRUE; HOWEVER, OTHER METHODS OF RENDERING VERDICTS IN CRIMINAL CASES MAY ALSO BE TAINTED WHEN SUBJECTED TO THE SAME EVALUATION PROCESS. FOOTNOTES ARE PROVIDED. (RCB)
Index Term(s): England; Evaluative research; Juries; Verdicts
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=63214

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