Sunday, 11 April 2010

Jury Service part two.

I'm glad the Jury Service is over although I really enjoyed it. Not sure I should have enjoyed what resulted in convicting two people quite so much! One's done a runner and avoided arrest, so I haven't contributed to increasing the prison population too much. I did find the whole process fascinating and my confidence in the Jury system has increased as a result. Quite fascinating - you pick twelve randoms, present them with the evidence, stick them in a room together and tell them they don't come out till they get to an agreed decision - hey presto two results, which I have every confidence in as good decisions.
In seems to me the system depends upon two things - a collective decision to base decisions on available evidence & a collective trust in the appropriateness of a higher authority - in this case, the law. What is also interesting to me, and something I now feel the urge to find out more about, is the influence of the Christian story upon our justice system in the UK.
The percentage of jurors requesting to affirm rather than take the oath on the Bible, turned out to be lower than I thought would be the case last week. What's going on there? Is it simply that people take the oath without thinking? I realise I have very little evidence, but I shared in two jury's with people in their 20's through to 60's, we didn't get to know one another very well, but my hunch is they were recognising a higher being and a need to draw a real distinction between right and wrong. My sense is they haven't rejected the Christian story centred in Jesus - most simply haven't heard and seen it expressed in a valid and understandable form ...... yet.
Meanwhile, I'm enjoying my brand new Krups coffee bean grinder - it's an amazing bit of kit and I am loving it!

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