According to the evidence

Well, I’ve just concluded an interesting two weeks serving as a juror. I must admit, this is the first time I’d ever been to a Crown Court, so it was all a bit unusual for me. Saying that, the experience has given me an insight into how the English judicial system works (or doesn’t, as the case might be). It’s given me an appreciation of how difficult it can be for a jury to come to the correct verdict, as they’re constrained to answer on matters of law rather than morality, to come to a conclusion from the evidence presented. Above all, they need to be sure, beyond all reasonable doubt before pronouncing a defendant to be guilty of the charges against the defendant. I can quite understand how someone who is guilty is let off due to lack of evidence, or conviction on the part of the jury.

The experience has shown me how important evidence is in a court of law. It has shown me how one person’s account of events might seem correct at the outset, but upon cross-examination turns out to be fictional. It has shown me that two accounts of the same event might be completely different, without either party attempting to distort the truth, and becomes even harder to judge when someone is trying to distort the truth.

Above all, it has shown me that the judicial system is not perfect. This is not because the law is at fault, but because it is run and regulated by humans beings, and is judging human beings by human beings. Alas, there is nothing which can be done about that, but I think the system is possibly the best on offer.

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