High cost of protection is eroding legal bastion

| 01/04/2010

(Times Online): Jury-less criminal trials have sparked controversy in the legal profession, pitting prosecutors against defence lawyers. The Criminal Justice Act 2003, which made them possible, was introduced amid concerns over jury nobbling. David Blunkett, who was Home Secretary, said that in London alone £9 million was being spent every year on surveillance of jurors.

People who tried to intimidate jurors did so for one reason, he said — “because they think that those in front of the judge and jury will be convicted”. So the Act allows for trial without jury if there is “evidence of a real and present danger” of tampering. The growth of organised crime has made interference with juries an increasingly serious threat to justice.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    An interesting article. 

    If you want an insight into Cayman’s future without the defence lawyers who get the criminals who "shoot up our children" off, see attached from the same newspaper.

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/crime/article7081666.ece

    This occured in a country with (at the time) a properly-funded defence bar.  I wonder how many similar cases will occur in a country without one and where the man elected to lead believes that an accusation is the same thing as a conviction?

    • Anonymous says:

      And how many criminals do defense lawyers get off to roam our streets and "shoot up our children". Who is going to start taking responsiblity for those who are set free to commit other heinous crimes once again? Of course you don’t want to hear that argument. The guilty who are set free by far outnumbers those who are found guilty and punished, and the majority of those are very old cases. I believe in "innocent until proven guilty", but when guilty persons are let off and / or (usually on some irrelevant technicality) and let out to again reoffend then those responsible for assiting them by letting them out and / or defending them must bear some responsiblity.

      • Anonymous says:

        Defence lawyers are there to test the evidence.  People are not acquitted because of the lawyer (the prosecution also has one and there’s a judge too) but because the jury (the ordinary members of the Cayman public) don’t believe the prosecution case.   If there isn’t enough evidence there’s an acquittal.

        Your suggestion that it’s "usually on some irrelevant technicality" reflects a commonly-held but completely mistaken belief.  "Technicality" is generally journalistic shorthand (very rarely used in Cayman, to the credit of the press here) for a judicial decision to stop the trial because it can no longer be fair.

        Of course you’re right –  the guilty should be convicted, and (although it is better that a guilty man goes free than an innocent one is convicted) more should be done to achieve proper convictions.  Equally, repeat offenders do deserve long sentences for public protection.

        However, you may feel, on reflection, that to suggest a defence lawyer is "responsible" for subsequent crimes (most of them also prosecuted outside Cayman) is a perhaps little extreme. 

        • But says:

          The English system is replete with statements to the effect that it is seen as better that 99 guilty men walk free than one innocent man is wrongly convicted.  To me that tips the balance too far in favour of the individual and contrary to the good of the wider community.

    • anonymus says:

      OK! so since the growth of organized crime is an immediate threat to justice, why fall off the edge with no statement of resolution  and greater enforcement.

      You do not have a problem. All you need in faith in your system.

      Just simply stiffen and enforce harsher police tactics and techniques to catch such dangerous criminals  (that defy even the courts and trial by jury) and let that experience for them be so offensive that the very thought of threatening the jury or judiciary is far from the criminal’s mind. Create a scenario for the criminal that he is more worried about what his end may be, than making threatening phone calls or sending threatening letters or attackinga jury member.

      There’s no way out of this the Authorities must step on these dangerous criminals metaphorically speaking,put your foot on their necks and not take it off! Show your power and your authority.