On trial: How juries reach their verdicts

The Sunday Times:

The film Twelve Angry Men depicts jurors changing their mind during deliberation (Kobal Collection)

A UNIQUE judicial experiment in which 12 separate juries watched the same trial and came up with different verdicts has led to new calls for an investigation of the jury system.

In the mock trial Alan Johnson, the former Labour home secretary, played the role of an armed robber who stole £68,000 from a betting shop after threatening the staff with a shotgun. Vincent Regan, a film actor, played the role of a firearms expert.

The judge Michael Mettyear, the recorder of Hull and East Riding, who sits on the sentencing guidelines panel, came up with the idea for the experiment and real barristers presented the case. The juries were each put together by the 12 foremen, who were invited to take part by the judge.

“I thought it would be interesting to see if a number of juries listening to the same facts and evidence would come to different conclusions,” Mettyear said.
Continue reading