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It should stay, not guilty and guilty should go.  Proven or not proven should be the two verdicts available.

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Prosecutors hate it. Defence lawyers like it. A second string to their bow.

 

I agree with Bearger #2. One or the other makes sense.

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I have long thought that the 'Not Proven' verdict, along with the principle of corroboration (also recently under attack), helps to prevent miscarriages of justice. Both aspects of the law also help prevent prosecutions on the basis of malicious 'evidence'. One need only consider the recent farrago involving the Metropolitan Police and the pathological liar and serial fantasist Mr Carl Beech, to grasp this point.  To emphasise the potential import,  the current brouhaha seems to relate, principally, to the difficulty involved in securing convictions -or even bringing charges- for rape and sexual assault, where, as often seems to be the case, there is only one witness. 

 

We should condsider the situation of the 'victim', in such cases, particularly, where a 'Not Guilty' verdict is returned: in effect, the jury is dismissing his/her/their evidence, and, if not exactly marking them as "Liar", certainly is not being helpful to the preservation of their good name. 'NP', perhaps, helps in this regard. 

(I often wonder, idly, if, in such cases, when the defendant is found 'NG', a charge of perjury is ever considered.) 

'NP', of course, leaves a question mark, socially, if not legally, over the defendant. On balance, I think it better to suffer the stigma of 'NP', than to endure a wrongful conviction. 

 

I accept that viewed from another perspective, these particular parts of the judicial system  may be perceived as contributing to or causing a "wrong" decision. Perhaps, however, as Blackstone declared, it is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer.

 

The other matters under exercising the great and the good, are the 15 person panel, and the principle of majority rule. 

Having sat on juries in both The High Court, and the Sheriff Court, I would retain both. 

 

I would add that I would never support, unequivocably, a motion proposing that Plod and the PF always get it right. 

 

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23 hours ago, Scott7 said:

Stay with fifteen, majorities and corroboration, the last most of all.

If memory serves, Mr Kenny McCaskill was a leading light, when he was a leading light, in promoting change to the current judicial system. Nuff said, old boy, 'nuff said. 

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