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#1
just been reading the Guardian about a robbery of a large amount of cash. Now what makes the upcoming trials for the defendants so different is this: there's no jury.

So, my question: would you, if on trial for a really serious offense, be happy in seeing proceedings done by the judge and no jury?

Bearing in mind that in the UK and other countries right to trial by jury is enshrined in some form of constitution.
#2
it depends, there are some circumstances where a bench trial is preferable, bt it's pretty rare for that to be the case.
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#3
There's a lot of room for criticism though, especially given that in judge-led trials, the chance's you're convicted will be a LOT higher.
#4
Quote by Fassa Albrecht
There's a lot of room for criticism though, especially given that in judge-led trials, the chance's you're convicted will be a LOT higher.



not necessarily. depends on the judge. there is peer pressure involved in jury trials, and also the infamous "jury is out" situation, where eventually some will simply convict you to get it over with.
#5
well, I don't know how it works in the UK, but here the only way for there to be a bench trial for a felony offense is for the accused to request one, that generally only happens in extremely rare circumstances.
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#6
Quote by Fassa Albrecht
There's a lot of room for criticism though, especially given that in judge-led trials, the chance's you're convicted will be a LOT higher.


If there is evidence to implicitly show that the defendant is guilty beyond all reasonable doubt, then I don't really see a problem with it.
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#7
Quote by Fassa Albrecht
There's a lot of room for criticism though, especially given that in judge-led trials, the chance's you're convicted will be a LOT higher.


The fact that their is no jury probably means that if there was their lives would be in danger.

I'm guessing they have pretty good evidence against these guys and so I don't really see what the problem is.
#8
Quote by Kid_Thorazine
it depends, there are some circumstances where a bench trial is preferable, bt it's pretty rare for that to be the case.

For example, when you're a public figure it is often preferable. Juries are everything the people are, which includes misinformed about law. That can work for you or against you.
#9
Quote by Kid_Thorazine
well, I don't know how it works in the UK, but here the only way for there to be a bench trial for a felony offense is for the accused to request one, that generally only happens in extremely rare circumstances.



If I remember A-Level Law correctly;


you can only request a specific trial type (bench or jury) for a 'triable-either-way' offense. These types of crime sit on the border between a felony and a misdemeanor offence, and so you can request for it to go to either the magistrates' (where the sentences are lower but conviction rates are higher) or the Crown Court (where sentences are unlimited but the conviction rate is lower).

In the case of the trial I talk about in the OP, it's mostly to deal with jury-fixing.
#10
Quote by Fassa Albrecht

In the case of the trial I talk about in the OP, it's mostly to deal with jury-fixing.


so wait, they just said, "you might intimidate the jury, so no jury trial for you", that's a load of crap.
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#11
Quote by Kid_Thorazine
so wait, they just said, "you might intimidate the jury, so no jury trial for you", that's a load of crap.



in this case, there was evidence of FOUR trials where the defendants were on trial only for the judge to declare evidence of jury-tampering.


This kinda thing was common in ireland during the Troubles...
#12
Quote by Kid_Thorazine
so wait, they just said, "you might intimidate the jury, so no jury trial for you", that's a load of crap.

That is ****ing nuts. I'd not accept it, I'd countersue the government for that misstep. But I think it's more likely due to something else, like perhaps the case was famous etc.
#14
Quote by Fassa Albrecht
in this case, there was evidence of FOUR trials where the defendants were on trial only for the judge to declare evidence of jury-tampering.



Doesn't matter, the right to a jury trial doesn't mean a whole lot if they can take it from you like that, haven't they heard of jury sequestration?

also it said that the court "examined secret evidence" what kind of bullshit is that?
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Last edited by Kid_Thorazine at Jan 11, 2010,
#15
Quote by Kid_Thorazine
Doesn't matter, the right to a jury trial doesn't mean a whole lot if they can take it from you like that, haven't they heard of jury sequestration?



Bearing in mind almost £2m was taken, by a highly organised gang, who were armed, then the benefits of a non-jury trial must seem to outweigh the benefits of a jury trial.
#16
Quote by Fassa Albrecht
Bearing in mind almost £2m was taken, by a highly organised gang, who were armed, then the benefits of a non-jury trial must seem to outweigh the benefits of a jury trial.


still irrelevant, rights are rights, maybe the UK has some loopholes for this sort of thing, but that would never fly here.
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#17
Quote by Kid_Thorazine
still irrelevant, rights are rights, maybe the UK has some loopholes for this sort of thing, but that would never fly here.


put yourself in the judge's shoes.

Given the gang's influence, surely getting ANY conviction, jury or not, would be better than letting several defendants go based on what is little better than a technicality?
#18
Quote by Fassa Albrecht
put yourself in the judge's shoes.

Given the gang's influence, surely getting ANY conviction, jury or not, would be better than letting several defendants go based on what is little better than a technicality?


it still doesn't matter, the right to a jury trial is rendered absolutely meaningless by this.

To put it in perspective, we've managed to put mob bosses in jail without resorting to this kind of crap, and they are probably much more connected than this robbery ring is.
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Last edited by Kid_Thorazine at Jan 11, 2010,
#20
Quote by Fassa Albrecht
Bearing in mind almost £2m was taken, by a highly organised gang, who were armed, then the benefits of a non-jury trial must seem to outweigh the benefits of a jury trial.

It's about setting precedent. If they take away this guy's right to a jury, it's that much easier to do it to the next person.
#21
Quote by Kid_Thorazine
it still doesn't matter, the right to a jury trial is rendered absolutely meaningless by this.

given the history and nature of the case, the chances of an ordinary trial are impossible.


the CPS has no choice unless it wants to see a few million in costs head down the pan.
#22
Quote by Fassa Albrecht


the CPS has no choice unless it wants to see a few million in costs head down the pan.


Oh yes, it's totally ok to trample basic rights because it would cost too much money. What part of "rights" are you not getting here?
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#23
During the first trial Twomey suffered a heart attack in Belmarsh prison and was severed from the indictment. His six co-defendants were acquitted. At the second trial the jury was reduced to nine and was unable to reach a decision.

Sounds to me like the evidence is not sufficient. If the other 6 get off, so should he...

Not to mention this.

Twomey, who faces trial with Peter Blake, Barry Hibberd and Glen Cameron, has told the Guardian he feels the police have borne a grudge against him after he gave evidence against officers in 1982 in an anti-corruption inquiry.
#24
Quote by Kid_Thorazine
Oh yes, it's totally ok to trample basic rights because it would cost too much money. What part of "rights" are you not getting here?



The victims also have a right to see the defendants on trial.
#25
Quote by Fassa Albrecht
The victims also have a right to see the defendants on trial.


what does that have to do with anything? And actually, from a legal perspective they generally don't.
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#26
Quote by Kid_Thorazine
what does that have to do with anything? And actually, from a legal perspective they generally don't.



Here's a question for you.


Let's say you're the District Attorney for this case. What would YOU do?
#28
Quote by Fassa Albrecht
Here's a question for you.


Let's say you're the District Attorney for this case. What would YOU do?


I wouldn't even try to force a bench trial like this. Of course here in the states it would be uterly pointless since the verdict would get immediately quashed on appeal (if it even got that far without the judge being brought up for misconduct and thrown off the bench) and there would be a jury trial anyway. In any case I wouldn't do something that makes a mockery of the legal system like this.
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#29
Quote by Fassa Albrecht
Here's a question for you.


Let's say you're the District Attorney for this case. What would YOU do?


If you believe in the concept of rights, then you believe that they're inalienable. Anything else is inconsistent. Then again, look at who I'm arguing with.
#30
Quote by captaincrunk
It's a botched robbery not a dual rape murder...



someone had a gun pointed at them. Chances are that to get the money, the robbers WOULD have killed someone.
#31
Quote by Fassa Albrecht
someone had a gun pointed at them. Chances are that to get the money, the robbers WOULD have killed someone.


Even if it was a double rape/homicide, it still wouldn't detract from the fact that the accused have rights, and generally a jury trial is one of them.
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#32
Quote by Kid_Thorazine
Even if it was a double rape/homicide, it still wouldn't detract from the fact that the accused have rights, and generally a jury trial is one of them.



Well the CPS seem to think it's a good idea...
#33
Quote by Fassa Albrecht
Well the CPS seem to think it's a good idea...


And they clearly care more about convictions than they do about human rights. I don't really think I need to go any further with that.
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#34
Quote by Fassa Albrecht
someone had a gun pointed at them. Chances are that to get the money, the robbers WOULD have killed someone.

So? That means nothing, we don't even know he did it.
Quote by Fassa Albrecht
Well the CPS seem to think it's a good idea...

Sounds like they've got their heads up their asses, whoever they are. This is a huge breach of the rights of the accused.

Give us all this shit when you're in the wrong place at the wrong time, and don't get a jury.
#35
Quote by Kid_Thorazine
And they clearly care more about convictions than they do about human rights. I don't really think I need to go any further with that.



What would you like them to do?

Tbey can try the 'no-jury' trial and then have the conviction overturned due to some judicial stuff.

OR

They can have a jury-trial, when in all likelihood the defendants are going to get off because of jury tampering.
#36
Quote by Fassa Albrecht

They can have a jury-trial, when in all likelihood the defendants are going to get off because of jury tampering.


how do you know what the liklihood of that is, like I said before, we've put away mob bosses that where wealthier and far more well connected than these guys are at jury trials.
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#37
Quote by captaincrunk
So? That means nothing, we don't even know he did it.


There's also a possibility of freeing a guilty man.


Sounds like they've got their heads up their asses, whoever they are. This is a huge breach of the rights of the accused.


CPS= Crown Prosecution Service. They essentially decide which cases go to the Crown Courts.


Give us all this shit when you're in the wrong place at the wrong time, and don't get a jury.


If having no jury meant I got a fair trial with someone who knows the law presiding, I'd be willling to take that risk.
#38
Quote by Fassa Albrecht
There's also a possibility of freeing a guilty man.


If having no jury meant I got a fair trial with someone who knows the law presiding, I'd be willling to take that risk.

I'd rather see a few guilty men go free than a lot of innocent men hurt. The guy is older than dust anyway.

And in regards to the second part, you aren't able to decide that for others. Juries are important, and add a human element to the law.
#39
Quote by captaincrunk
I'd rather see a few guilty men go free than a lot of innocent men hurt. The guy is older than dust anyway.

And in regards to the second part, you aren't able to decide that for others. Juries are important, and add a human element to the law.

Guilty man free = chance of innocent people getting hurt still
#40
Quote by Nano556
Guilty man free = chance of innocent people getting hurt still


If we lock absolutely everyone up then all the guilty are guaranteed to be in prison. However you throw in innocent people too. obviously there's a balance to be struck between public safety and personal liberty - one which the UK is failing miserably at.
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