Monday, January 11, 2010

Another protection destroyed

It seems that yet another traditional British freedom has been ripped away by this fucking abortion of a government: trial by jury—even for criminal offences.
The first criminal trial without a jury to take place in England and Wales in more than 400 years begins on Tuesday after lawyers' legal challenges were exhausted.

John Twomey, 62, and three other defendants face trial over a bungled robbery at Heathrow airport in 2004.

Robbers allegedly tried to steal more than £10m from a warehouse but had misread a flight document and only £1.75m was there at the time, most of which has not been recovered.

Twomey and his associates face the historic trial in the absence of a jury after the court of appeal examined secret evidence and ruled that "the danger of jury tampering and the subversion of the process of trial by jury is very significant". It is the first trial of its kind under provisions in the Criminal Justice Act 2003.

In the last 400 years, trials without juries have taken place only in Northern Ireland, where the Diplock courts were set up to provide justice in the intimidating atmosphere of the Troubles.

The case is being heard at the high court in London and is expected to last three months. The judge, Mr Justice Treacy, will act as judge and jury during the case. Unlike a jury, he will see all the witness statements in the case.

Lawyers for Twomey say the evidence of alleged jury tampering has never been presented to them; instead it was made in court by senior police officers under public interest immunity.

Yet another of our protections from the state—because that is why things like trial by jury exist—has been torn away. And once again the police has been not only complicit, but active helpers. These cunts are not your friends.

For a more detailed description of just what a disgusting and dangerous precedent this is, let me pass you over to Tom Paine, a lawyer.
I despair. The right to trial by jury has protected Englishmen from an over-mighty state since long before democracy was born. Combined with the Great Writ of habeas corpus, it meant you could not be detained without trial and that your trial must be by 12 independent jurors. For most of the last 400 years, those jurors were required to decide unanimously that you were guilty. If they couldn't, you were acquitted. The odds were loaded against the state and in favour of the citizen. Guilty men went free, that's true. But (though nothing human is perfect) the odds of an innocent man being convicted were reassuringly small.

In the last century, in the wake of jury-nobbling scandals, majority verdicts were introduced. Even then, some thought that the state should do more to protect jurors, rather than implicitly accept that criminals could intimidate them. The efficiency of the justice system was put before the ancient rights of free Englishmen. Those who saw it as "a slippery slope" were dismissed as old fashioned.

Now, jury nobbling is again the excuse, but this time to hold trials with no jury at all. Again, those who object are dismissed either as friends of organised crime or as old buffers. Let's not forget however that the jury was designed to prevent it from being nobbled - by the state. The odds of 12 good men and true all being subverted by plain bribery, or by nods and winks or hopes of preferment from the government, were calculated as being too small to worry about. To put it at its lowest, it was assumed that a random sample of 12 Englishmen would contain at least one who couldn't be bought. It's not the highest of national praise, but it's practical.

As for criminals doing the nobbling, that is clearly a smaller problem. Even the mightiest of them does not have anything like the state's resources for corruption or intimidation.

As Tom Paine says, it is one more step towards the abyss—one more step on the road to a totalitarian state.

And David cunting Tennant thinks that Cameron is "a terrifying prospect"?

Yes, David: Cameron is a fairly horrific prospect—if only because he has not spoken out against the needless stream of disgustingly illiberal laws. But it was these Labour cunts that you support that passed them in the first place. Wake up, you stupid Scots cunt!
"I would rather have a prime minister who is the cleverest person in the room, than a prime minister who looks good in a suit."

That's just as well, David, because Gordon Brown doesn't look good in a suit. But nor is he the cleverest man in the room.

And—as you have made abundantly clear—nor are you, David, you thick twat.

22 comments:

VotR said...

Police state. Do everything you can not to cooperate, revolt against the revolting. God bless you all.

Gordon the Fence Post Tortoise said...

And exactly what do you expect from a judiciary presently ruled by some of the perpetrators of some of the most egregious miscarriages of justice is the history of the English legal system ?

Next up law lottery, ooh look - you've been selected on the basis of your database profile for a five stretch for armed robbery - I never bothered to watch "Minority Report" on the basis that I can't stand shortarsed pretend extra terrestrials - so could be making noises from rear mouth.

The judiciary and the legal system are broke - I mean charging wrongly incarcerated folk for their B&B ?? There's a special place of extra torment in hell for Charles "Dumbo" Clarke

indigomyth said...

I confess to being a big David Tennant fan, but am most aggrieved at the level of idiocy he spouts regarding politics. I enjoyed him immensely in Doctor Who and Hamlet; can I still like someone who has unpleasant political views? I am much torn.

VicolaW said...

Every time I think this collection of Labour bastards has plumbed the depths they go and surprise me once again. It's terrifying. God knows what they'll bring in if they get another term.

Captain Ranty said...

I wrote about this last November. Many people called me a dozy cunt, and told me I was exaggerating.

The EU is to blame for this. Not, (for a change), the British judiciary. It's all part of the plan and it was right there in the Lisbon Treaty.

Stand by for more outrageous losses. They are in the pipeline.

CR.

Lallands Peat Worrier said...

One fact is important to bear in mind - even before this change in the law, 90% + of criminal trials in England were conducted without a jury. The same is true up here in Scotland, where sheriffs-only trials predominate to a similar degree.

The idea that this is 'the first trial in 400' years to do so is simply delusional. That said, given your central premise (with which I don't intend to quibble) - that trial by jury represents a core right of process or the like - isn't this my more of an issue, precisely because this change isn't (quantitatively speaking) terribly novel?

I include more detail in my post of last year here:

http://lallandspeatworrier.blogspot.com/2009/06/more-english-jury-delusions.html

Rob H said...

It might also be worth pointing out the importance of the separation of powers as a check on authority/power.

It used to be that the parliamentarians made the laws, the police upheld the laws, the people or a group of your peers decided on guilt and the judges then got to sentence.

Not so any more - with Police as judge and jury, arbitrary powers for the European commission, police, Govt. Executive and our appalling judges now making laws with gay abandon with the Help of the ECHR.

So now we can't get rid of the cnuts who make our laws and those that enforce them can also make them and be judge and jury when they come fuck your already loose behind.

This my friends is what they call "progress"

The Pedant-General said...

"As for criminals doing the nobbling, that is clearly a smaller problem. Even the mightiest of them does not have anything like the state's resources for corruption or intimidation."

Whilst this is true, it's actually irrelevant in anything but a police state.

The power of the criminal to intimidate - credibly and with no fear of comeback - is massively higher than the state's. If the state started to show up on juror's doors with a couple of heavies, we would very quickly start to know about it.

That is, whilst we still have the semblance of a free press.

This is not, however, to let the state off the hook. It has responded to the failure of the criminal justice system (that of failing to lock up enough crims - intimidating jurors is a fairly big criminal act and ought to bring down the forces of law and order fairly promptly) not by correctly the failings, but by further undermining the criminal justice system.

Doh!

The Pedant-General said...

Oh and when the original idea of "a jury of one's peers" was introduced, it specifically meant people who DID know the accused.

They were the ones that would know whether any alleged crime really was within character whilst simultaneously having to live with consequences of acquitting a bad 'un.

Eqaully, they would know the accused's family and would understand the gravity of convicting the breadwinner when the penalty might not just be death for the accused - it could also mean real actual destitution for the dependents.

The jury would have to pick up the pieces after the trial. We have lost this connection between "society" and the accused - probably irretrievably.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm

"I would rather have a prime minister who is the cleverest person in the room, than a prime minister who looks good in a suit."

So that would mean he voted for William Hague and not Tony Blair in 2001 then?

theoldman66 said...

"And once again the police has been not only complicit, but active helpers"

Don't whinge about the Police using legislation passed by Parliament. Get yourself elected and change the legislation.

Beezley said...

You are too polite about Mr Tennant -- and he makes rotten lager.

Nurse Anne said...

Holy hell.

Anonymous said...

It's all very well railing against the system but what alternative do you propose? As the Pedant-General points out criminals can and do pose a serious threat to impartial trials. I doubt you have ever had any dealings with the kind of people involved in this type of case. These are not boy scouts.

Hookers And Gin said...

I'm going to go out on a limb and predict guilty verdicts all round.

Gordon the Fence Post Tortoise said...

"I'm going to go out on a limb and predict guilty verdicts all round."

Regardless of who instituted the procedure (EU) it's the implementation that counts and Hookers and Gin is I think on the money.

I truly hope to be amazed when somebody is acquitted but I suspect that this will be a truly extraordinary event and very likely on appeal - the damage has been done and the innocent party won't receive reparation comensurate with the harm caused courtesy Dumbo Clarke & Co. Millbank.

The record of judicial miscarriages perpetrated by our highest ranking judges extends further than the occasional mistake.

I just wonder when they're going to re-constitute seditious libel - 'cos most of you folk'll be toast.

VicolaW said...

"As the Pedant-General points out criminals can and do pose a serious threat to impartial trials. I doubt you have ever had any dealings with the kind of people involved in this type of case. These are not boy scouts."

I would argue that the answer to a system that can be corrupted by criminals is probably not to make it shit to start with. And anyway, if you can scare 12 jurors into voting how you want them to, surely it's precisely 12 times easier to nobble the judge?

bergen said...

Three previous trials of these people have been abandoned following alleged attempts to nobble the jury.I'm not happy about a non-jury trial but I can see no better alternative if the law is to be upheld.

Anonymous said...

And anyway, if you can scare 12 jurors into voting how you want them to, surely it's precisely 12 times easier to nobble the judge?
Not really. The judge is unlikely to live in the same neighbourhood as the perps and the judge is likely to have 24/7 police protection. The judge is also likely to earn substantially more than the average juror so bribery is commensurately more expensive. If I had faith that the people carrying out the intimidation were prosecuted to the full extent of the law then I would agree with you, but sadly this is pretty unlikely in todays britain.

Richard Wilson said...

The BBC should never have published McChicken's Party Political Broadcast on behalf of the Labour Party. Not impartial at all.

I look forward to them giving equal opportunity to right wing actors and actresses (even bad ones), comedians, comediennes and what passes for celebrity to articulate the opposing view about Brown and Labour.

And I think McChicken was rubbish in Dr Who and rubbisher in Hamlet. A BBC Flavour of the Month celeb with a lean and hungry look who shrieks like a girl.

Robin said...

Why not increase the amount of jurors to 24. Or even 36 ?

Anonymous said...

What's wrong with secret juries? They could be selected from a different area and watch everything in an undisclosed location (another courtroom somewhere) via video-link. Do excuse me if this is really damn obvious...