The Political Jury
- Extra Reading
Is the jury system the bulwark of individual liberty?
This lecture will look at the role of the so-called “perverse jury” in acquitting defendants where the law, or the charge itself, is deemed unjust. Famous examples are Kempton Bunton (for the “theft” of Goya’s portrait of the Duke of Wellington in the 1960s), Clive Ponting, and Randle and Pottle.
But the jury can also be a bastion of prejudice: white juries habitually acquitted white defendants in the US in race violence cases. Does the jury system need improvement? Should its right to deliver a perverse verdict be curtailed?
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