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Felix: Speaking out

8 January 2008

Just before Christmas there was a newspaper overage about the recent conviction in the Henderson case tried at Reading Crown Court concerning the death of an 11-month-old child. Two of the jurors appear to have voiced their concerns over the safety of the guilty verdict in that case. As the verdict was by a majority of 10–2 the potential for confusion and upset is considerable. Quite where it leaves an appeal is also a potentially complicated issue. Quite where it leaves the two jurors who have spoken out in terms of any enquiry into their own conduct is also potentially complicated. And quite where it leaves our jury system, and whether we support the system enough, is also complicated.

We do not expect our jurors to be interviewed after the event and to hear of their concerns or their own assessment of the merits or otherwise of the trial, the issues, and the safety of the verdict. We rely on the very uniqueness and collective individuality of each jury to go abou...

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