Perverse Verdict Case Study

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On the other hand, not all the verdicts given by the jury is categorised as a success. The jury in the UK is famous for its perverse decisions. A perverse verdict is the verdict that is entirely against the weight of the evidence or contrary to the judge 's path on a question of law. These kinds of decisions are so contrary to the precedents of law that new trials are usually being carried out. The reason which provided a route for the occurrence of perverse verdicts is the entitlement of the jury to return a verdict without justification. An example of a perverse verdict was seen in the case of R v Randle and Pottle. In this case, two prison officers were accused of helping a spy called George Blake to escape from prison in 1966. Afterwards, …show more content…
The inability of the jury to understand the cases fully leads to complications in the courts as well. The legal aspects of a case can sometimes be so complicated that even the lawyers find it hard to comprehend the exact details. This situation especially applies for fraud trials which are very long and complex. Therefore, a jury’s capacity to handle the density of such cases with little or no legal qualifications is very limited. This can be supported with the results of a two-year research conducted by the Ministry of Justice. One of the key findings of the research report was that most of the jurors thought the instructions given by the judge were understandable whereas a majority in fact were not able to make sense of the specific terms used by the judge in the legal instructions. R v Pryce which is one of the most famous cases that took place in the UK is another illustration of the jury failing to cope with the trial. During the trial, the jury asked the judge, Mr Justice Sweeney ten questions which showed ‘fundamental deficits of understanding’ of the case, resulting in the jury being discharged. The failure of the jurors not only reflected the problems in jury comprehension but also resulted in suggesting the amendment of the Contempt of Court Act 1981 s.8.This is because section 8 of the Contempt of Court Act states that what goes on behind in the jury room should remain as a secret. Therefore, amendments should be done so as to allow more research for jury verdicts in order to overcome the problem of comprehension and to prevent the occurrence of wrong verdicts in UK justice. The probability of these verdicts and the evidences discussed above once again shed a light on one of the weaknesses of the jury

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