Former Jurors Can Speak!
It is illegal in this country to approach anyone who has served on a jury and ask them questions about how they came to their verdict. It is not, however, illegal for people who have served on a jury to talk about their experiences after the event.
Given that so many jury decisions seem to fly in the face of the evidence before them, the only way these decisions can be studied, and the underlying reasons for such strange decisions identified, is if people voluntarily discuss their experiences.
Any study of the causes of wrongful convictions must, of necessity, remain incomplete when researchers are forbidden to approach jurors, and also when police officers, people working in the CPS, etc, are unable to discuss their concerns for fear of losing their jobs, or breaking rules of “confidentiality.”
Any researcher, myself included, can accept information which is voluntarily offered, and can, and will, assure anonymity for those who are willing to offer such information.Without it, we can never truly understand how our criminal justice system gets it so wrong, so often.
Also, our current system means there is no support or assistance for people who have served on a jury which has wrongfully convicted someone, when that conviction is overturned, or for people who have worked on an obviously flawed case. It’s not hard to imagine how people must feel, discovering that they were duped into believing they were hearing “all of the evidence,” or that they assisted in locking up a completely innocent person, yet all we can do is imagine, because, once again, we have no means of asking directly. Only if people in that position willingly and voluntarily discuss their feelings do we have any real way of knowing.