The Trade-off: Reduced juror numbers in criminal trials
The backlog of criminal cases (especially for those relating to fraud) has increased considerably. It is reaching worrying levels resulting in administrative difficulties and substantial cost, both in financial and emotional terms.
In the past year, the number of outstanding Crown Court trials has risen by over 40% with trial dates now being fixed up to four years after the time of the alleged offence. With the delays causing significant evidential difficulties – not to mention the toll it takes on all parties who are left in limbo for prolonged periods of time – a proposal to reduce the number of jurors has been put forward as a solution to addressing the backlog.
In this episode, Professor Michael Saks joins us to discuss whether this proposal really will solve the problem, what the unintended consequences might be, and whether it is worth the trade-off.
Professor Michael Saks, a professor of both the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law and the Department of Psychology at Arizona State University, specialises in decision making in the legal process.
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All information is correct at the time of recording. Taxing Matters is not a substitute for legal advice. Opinions of the speakers are their own and do not necessarily express the views or opinions of RPC.
- Parliament report on backlog
- Bar Council response to proposal
- Ballew v. Georgia (1978) (U.S. Supreme Court)
- Smith & Saks, The Case for Overturning Williams V. Florida and the Six-Person Jury: History, Law, and Empirical Evidence, Florida L. Rev. (2008)
- Closing Death's Door: Legal Innovations to End the Epidemic of Healthcare Harm by Michael J. Saks and Stephan Landsman