Thursday, March 29, 2007

The Pointy Finger of Justice

Don't mess with me - I'm a juror and I'm not afraid to say 'Guilty!'. So watch out.

Actually that's a lie. I've just finished jury service and it was 'orrible. Very interesting, but strangely upsetting. If it wasn't being forced to constantly stare at pictures of bloody faces and bruised and broken backs, it was having to listen to Counsel 1 (Miss Mustapha in an obviously newly qualified wig) being zombifyingly boring, or developping a desperately awkward crush on the Prosecutor (it was the voice and him saying "Don't fence with me!" to a snotty witness. We all knew he meant 'fuck').

The whole way through we thought that there simply wasn't enough evidence to convict, but when it came to the deliberation it became evident that for some of the defendants on some of the counts, there, well, was. We came to our conclusions, then had to wait over an hour for the court to come free to deliver our verdicts. We sat in silence, we 12 who had nothing in common other than increasing depression over convicting someone, and waited, and waited.

So, we entered court, and started delivering the verdicts. Unfortunate coincidence in placing meant that all the 'not guilty's came first leading the defendants to think they were in the clear. Then came the 'guilty's. At that point the court went stellar. People crying, defendants grey-faced, and family members shouting at the jury 'Well I hope you're happy now!'.

What?!?! Yes, of course missus bleach-blonde, white stiletto boot-wearing lady. I can think of nothing more conducive to happiness than hearing for nine days how a bunch of idiot chavs beat the shit out of each other, in which no-one came out credibly unless it was in pursuit of the Annual Wanker Award. This not only robbed me of 2 weeks of my life that I will never get back but cost the tax payer Half a Million Quid. FOR A FUCKING PUB BRAWL!!!

And relax. It was really good to see how our judicial system works first hand, and is probably the best option out of a not-particularly-inspiring bunch, but my god! Some of the cases that get this far are so stupid. Apparently, when talking to one of the ushers, half of the cases should have been sorted at Magistrates, but in today's litigious society (bloody US) people push and push until they get as far as they can. What's the betting that one of the lawyers will find a loop-hole in this case and redo the whole bloody thing at Appeals, eh?


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