If I were one of those people who believed in conspiracy theories I might well imagine that there's something afoot with the smearing of the jury in the terrorism case which concluded yesterday. I don't think that's the case, tempting though it might be to imagine some interference from dark forces. No; I simply think that a considered verdict after 56 hours of deliberations just doesn't sit nicely enough for news organisations who like things black and white, easy delineations, nice neat parcels of good and evil to divide up for the benefit of their readers, so everyone knows whom to boo and whom to cheer.
Farce of the airline bomb plot trial: Jury hit by holidays, sickness and golf ball injuries
Yes, because people on a jury really ought to be more considerate and cancel their holidays, costing themselves hundreds or thousands of pounds with no compensation, for the benefit of newspapers and to avoid the ideas of 'farce'. Personally I reckon the Mail was just pissed off they had to hold their poisonous anti-Muslim bullshit stories for so long, and are getting their own back on the jury for making them wait. But who knows?
A series of bizarre delays hit the jury deliberations in the Heathrow bombs plot trial, it was revealed today.
The eight men and four women were charged with reaching verdicts on eight British Muslim men accused of trying to kill thousands of passengers with liquid bombs smuggled on planes flying from London to North America.
But they WEREN'T convicted of planning to put bombs on planes. The jury did not reach a verdict. That's the point. That's the whole frigging point. Isn't it? They took their time, and couldn't reach a verdict. Isn't that what they're supposed to? Or should they just jump to a kneejerk conclusion because some copper said these men weer all bad eggs, reach a unanimous verdict after 10 minutes and just in time for the newspaper deadlines? Would that be a better example of the jury system? Really? Taking time to decide something is a 'farce' nowadays? I guess it does go against the predominant Mail paradigm, that people should simply act on prejudices instantly in order to achieve the best results.
The jury was unable to decide on the jets blitz allegation after being sent out by the judge, Mr Justice Calvert-Smith, five weeks ago.
They deliberated for only 56 hours during that time - their discussions halted by a two-week holiday, sickness and breaks for other reasons.
"Other reasons". The Mail is trying to trivialise this by pretending it's all silly stuff. But I happen to know what one of those 'other reasons' was. Not sure if I really ought to be publishing it here, so I won't just to be on the safe side, but let me tell you, it's about as serious a reason as you could think of. Is the Mail omitting to tell us because they want it all to seem like a farce? Or because they don't want to identify jurors? But then if they're doing that, why mention the golf ball injury? No. The Mail are attempting to trivialise the deliberations by mentioning what it decides are spurious delays and not mentioning the very valid reasons why one juror needed time off.
And 'only 56 hours' - that's a week and a half of deliberations if we assume the jurors were locked in a room for seven hours a day, five days a week. If they were barristers they'd be racking up thousands of pounds of fees; because they're simply punters, this kind of scrutiny can be laughed off. These jurors clearly did their duty; why should the Mail sneer at them? Just because they didn't reach the 'right' verdict? Just because they didn't give the Mail the "OMG the brown bastards are trying to explode our planes" story they wanted? Or because they (if you'll pardon me saying) blew the Mail's previous coverage out of the sky? Hmm.
To the comments, then, and a couple of nice surprises among the brainless numpties doing just what the Mail wants and taking a sight less than 56 hours to decide that they knew so much more about the case than the jury. Interestingly, in the light of the Mail's previous assertions that it doesn't allow comments on old stories, it adds comments on one story to a new story, thereby rendering them completely out of context. So there are some we saw on yesterday's piece, plus some new treats:
For goodness' sake, let's get our priorities right. These evil men should have gone to jail for ever. Or they should be turfed out . They are not wanted here, and neither are any of their supporters. We have already shown far too much leniency to these would-be mass-murderers.
- ray king, kassel germany, 9/9/2008 14:48
Not wanted 'here' - well no, I imagine they're not wanted in Germany. But as ever, it's the 'deport brown folk even if they're British' argument, that gets trotted out.
Abolish juries and that will ensure a really fair trial for all. Most jurors have made up their minds before the trial gets under way, just by looking at the defendants.
- P.Robinson, Northants, 9/9/2008 14:08
Yes, much better to let the police and security services decide. That'll make our democracy the envy of the world.
Again, a lone voice of sanity:
These jurors could not, on the basis of the evidence presented to them by the CPS, find that the accused had plotted to bomb aircraft. If you don't like the result then don't blame the jury. Blame the CPS for bowing to political pressure. The CPS caved in to pressure from 'interested parties' and allowed this case to go to court where there was plainly insufficient evidence to give a reasonable prospect of conviction. They crossed their fingers and hoped to get the result that would satisfy their political masters.
- james, lewes, 9/9/2008 13:43
But then you get this classy piece of "I know what's really going on":
There is a very good reason there is to be a retrial, and that is the fact that the judge who I am assuming is slightly better informed than you, feels that a conviction should have been found.
- Andrea, Dartford, Kent, 9/9/2008 13:19
Funny, don't see the judge having said this anywhere. Obviously Andrea knows better. What about the jury then? Don't their views count? But that was a response to this:
This trial has cost £10 MILLION. Because not everybody was convicted there is likely to be a retrial. Until they get the verdicts they want (i.e. everybody being found guilty) I imagine the powers that be will continue to retry and retry. So much for democracy.
- Diana, Geneva, 9/9/2008 12:20
Well that's one way of looking at it. I don't see a conspiracy; I just see embarrassment. I see a jury that did its job properly - it didn't get the verdict that certain newspapers, politicians and police wanted, but that doesn't mean we can just keep trying people again and again until we get the desired result. Does it? Or does it? To a lot of Mail readers, it does...
When members of a jury are selected, do they have to prove they are responsible and intelligent, if so, then obviously the powers that be must have been asleep when
choosing this jury!!
- Josephine Capenerhurst, Derby, UK, 9/9/2008 14:56
Maybe the smears are working. Maybe everything is being geared up towards the retrial with handy smearing of the first trial jury now, so that people know which way to vote next time. We'll see.
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