Hard News by Russell Brown

Read Post

Hard News: Behaving badly at the bottom of town

124 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 5 Newer→ Last

  • Jackie Clark, in reply to andin,

    I really enjoyed doing jury service. I was called once when I was 21 but never sat on a jury, never got out of the jury room. Then I did it a couple of years ago. At the AKA, we get full pay, and just send them the cheque that the Dept of Justice gives us. I did get on a jury this time - so basically I had the whole week off, and just went in for a couple of days. The case I was sitting on was simple and elegant, and the person concerned was obviously guilty so we had no trouble or argument about our verdict. It was a stupid crime she had been part of - no violence or anything, she was just the idiot driving the car. The one thing I have to say I was most impressed with were the defence's witnesses. One of them was a young boy who had been in the car with this person when the crime was committed. He had obviously been let off with a warning or something. The prosecution kept trying to trip him up - and their questioning of him made it very clear that they thought he was just another unintelligent, inarticulate young man on the wrong track. But he proved them wrong, just by being articulate, and very clear with his answers, and he was obviously telling the truth. He was so, so sure of himself. So indignant - and justifiably so - when they intimated that he was lying. They were so smug, and he blew everyone away with his complete lack of guile, and his openness. I was most impressed with him.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    it seems to be only an option for the very rich (who can ignore a few days loss of wages) or the very poor

    Or the people like me, lucky enough to work for employers (both my current and previous) who will continue to pay you, as long as you hand over the MoJ cheque.

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1165 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    You are a perfect example of how broken the “random” selection is, though. I know many people who’ve never been summonsed,

    I'm one of those, and I'd happily do jury service. Last ten years in Wellington, no call up. In that same time, my ex was called for trials almost immediately after the 2-year reprieve. 3 or 4 times, I think. And we have concerns that it difficult to get jurors, with too many people opting out with excuses. There is something wrong with their system, for sure.

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1165 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    I've *never* been called for jury service...maybe it's because I live in a remote area (but there are jury trials in Greymouth.) Maybe it's because I'm an ex-law student.
    Maybe it's just the luck of the draw...

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Austin,

    I was called up at university, but it was a week that I either had a load of exams or a thesis due (I forget), but either way, it was a straight forward process to withdraw from the process weeks before.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 1027 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    Is there a limited number of challenges for each side

    I believe it’s six per side, but whatever it is can be varied by the judge with the agreement of counsel – as is the case with the majority of the rules that apply to running a trial.

    It changed reasonably recently. It's now four per defendant per side without cause (but the prosecution never gets more than eight). And I'm pretty sure it can't be varied.

    There are also an unlimited number of challenges for cause, but these are rare (they could be used for things like "the defendant was at high school with this guy" or "we are aware that this person is the partner of a mongrel mob member, and the victim was a mongrel mob member").

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3207 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    I’ve *never* been called for jury service…maybe it’s because I live in a remote area (but there are jury trials in Greymouth.)

    As at the middle of 2009 (for when I have the stats) 53% of New Zealanders 18+ resided outside High Court jury districts, and 23% outside District Court jury districts.

    These numbers will be somewhat lower now (the distance was increased from 30km to 45km in the same legislation that lowered the number of challenges and brought in majority verdicts etc. ) - somewhere around 49% and 17%.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3207 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Thanks Graeme! My exclusuion from jury service now makes perfect sense.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • linger,

    Since moving to Japan I’ve been called up for jury service three times. For some reason, nobody ever notices anything odd about the postal address. (I’d be perfectly happy to serve if they paid the airfare!)

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1932 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Matt McCarten on the Urewera trial.

    The special terrorism task force co-ordinated the round-up and breathlessly informed us that they had smashed a home-grown terror plot by hardened Maori radicals, diehard communists, revolutionary anarchists and wild environmental activists. Anyone who knows anything about politics knows any such combination is the opposite of the tightly-wedded force necessary for a terrorist cell. They don't even believe in the same things.

    ...

    The Urewera defendants are unlucky because their case has too many careers and reputations in the state bureaucracy riding on them being convicted and jailed to get a fair trial. I'm not saying the people arrested for attending a camp, where perhaps firearms were involved, haven't broken certain laws. But I'm sure the whole silliness could have been fixed at the start with the iwi liaison cops in the area being sent up to Tame to pick up any weapons and give him a kick up the backside.

    But vested interests need to embellish the threat for their own reasons. It gives an excuse to introduce laws so the state can spy even more on its citizens, increase funding and powers for our paramilitary police and deny legal defence rights for anyone charged under these new laws. In the past four years this is exactly what's happened. If I was a conspiracy theorist I'd think the whole thing was a set-up. At the very least the state has milked the situation for all it's worth.

    The last thing the establishment wants is a jury trial where ordinary citizens see this nonsense for what it is and laugh it out of court.

    That's the real crime.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19729 posts Report Reply

  • Yamis, in reply to linger,

    I got called up when I was in Korea, though they mailed it to my NZ address and I found out from mummy. Been called up at least twice more in the past 5 years but it's been at times in the school term when there's been NCEA assessment on and if the poor wee buggars have a relief teacher floundering through a topic they know nothing about and assessment (not really allowed anyway) then goodbye credits. So was let off it each time. I'm quite keen to do it but not when others are going to suffer while I satisfy my curiosity and other public service.

    Since Nov 2006 • 903 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Sacha,

    The last thing the establishment wants is a jury trial where ordinary citizens see this nonsense for what it is and laugh it out of court.

    That's actually a pretty nasty veiled slur on the judiciary, to be quite frank. Casting aspersions on senior cops and prosecutors is one thing, and probably merited to some degree, but the implication that a judge will come to a conclusion that is supported only by a vast conspiracy of the upper echelons of the establishment is going too far.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    My university pretty much tells you that you have to do you duty (obligations to lectures, exams etc are not a valid excuse), and then they demand you hand over the daily fee.. Bastards!

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2560 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    . . . the implication that a judge will come to a conclusion that is supported only by a vast conspiracy of the upper echelons of the establishment is going too far.

    Too far for what, genteel sensibilities? The Peter Ellis saga proves that justice in NZ can all too easily become an exercise in arse-covering. The inflammatory term "vast conspiracy" could just as easily be interpreted as a slur on the jury system. I'd have thought that was every bit as important to our legal system as the integrity of the judiciary.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    Peter Ellis was convicted by a jury who got bamboozled by what's looking more and more like a metric butt-load of bullshit. Were they part of a conspiracy too?

    Judges are supposed to be somewhat harder to baffle than juries. They have the time to examine the intricacies of scientific evidence, and are meant to be less hesitant at calling out expert witnesses. There's a reason behind the saying "If you're guilty, go with a jury. If you're innocent, go with a judge."

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    the implication that a judge will come to a conclusion that is supported only by a vast conspiracy of the upper echelons of the establishment is going too far

    I swear New Zealanders are fucking adorable. How do you get off living in a country where such presumptions aren't the norm, backed up by reams upon reams of historical precedent?

    I'd observe that suppressing the case for why the defendants are not getting a jury trial is troubling, and that putting pressure on one judge ought to be easier than on twelve citizens - but maybe you're right and it's just not how it works.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    I’d observe that suppressing the case for why the defendants are not getting a jury trial is troubling

    The suppression of the reasons for the decision is at the request of the defendants.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3207 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    When did that transpire?

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    I've been called up for jury duty 3 times, of which I actually served once. That particular time, we, the jury, threw out an assault case because we all concluded that the plaintiff pressed charges out of spite.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5434 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    The suppression of the reasons for the decision is at the request of the defendants.

    Are we allowed to know/say that?

    Without having seen the suppressed material, I guess this fact might suggest that there is some reasoning in the decision that could affect the reputation of the defendants?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19729 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    How do you get off living in a country where such presumptions aren't the norm, backed up by reams upon reams of historical precedent?

    We don't have reams of historical precedent for anything here.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10655 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    When did that transpire?

    Throughout. I don't have the facts on hand to responsibly assert that all of the suppression has been at defence request, but I know of no suppressions in this case that have been imposed in the face of defence opposition.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3207 posts Report Reply

  • recordari, in reply to BenWilson,

    Anyone else watch Sleeping Dogs on Maori Televison last night?

    Found myself laughing ironically at how completely implausible it all was. Especially now our Skyhawks are in mothballs. Can you even imagine an air strike on a bivouac in one of our national parks?

    We don't have reams of historical precedent for anything here.

    So we keep borrowing everyone else's, or getting Weta Workshop to digitally enhance the one's we've got.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    I don't have the facts on hand to responsibly assert that all of the suppression has been at defence request

    Isn't that exactly what you asserted about fifteen centimetres above? (Although yes, that does change the complexion of things)

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    I know of no suppressions in this case that have been imposed in the face of defence opposition.

    But the whole suppression process has been.. suppressed, hasn't it - except two clauses.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19729 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 5 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.