Arguments Against Majority Verdicts

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Majority verdicts are a means to reach an agreed verdict by allowing the jury to have eleven to one votes or in the case of a smaller trial, ten to one. There is a lot of controversy about majority verdicts and whether they are an improvement or a diminishment of the original unanimous verdict. Samuel Brownback is an American Politician who believes that our legal system needs to be improved and reformed; one such method of improvement is majority verdicts. Although majority verdicts can sometimes result in an incorrect sentence, its benefits are more beneficial with some benefits being; fewer mistrials occurring, less impact from rogue or stealth jurors and avoid having jurors bribed or intimidated. Majority verdicts are when all but one juror …show more content…

“Other arguments against majority verdicts include that they compromise the criminal standard of proof of "beyond a reasonable doubt", given that at least one juror has a doubt; create a greater risk of convicting the innocent, leading to miscarriages of justice; and reduce public confidence in jury verdicts” (SMH 2005). However, a number of positives that occur after and during the trial largely outweigh the few issues that arise. There are far less hung juries. More than 80 cases resulted in hung juries during 2005. Majority verdicts as opposed to unanimous verdicts to better keep the integrity of the trial by helping prevent juror bribery or intimidation; it may also help stop rogue or stealth jurors (LY Lawyers 2017). One of the most important benefits, however, is the reduced risk of a compromise verdict. The overall benefit of majority verdicts suit the circumstances for all but the commonwealth laws. (Knox 2002) “When a lone ratbag juror can abort a trial, the time-honoured idea of the unanimous verdict starts to look decidedly unsound.” In the book ‘Secrets of the Jury Room’ Knox broadcasts the ideals of jurors acting selflessly and complains about rogue jurors messing up a trial. As the ideals of jurors being high and trustworthy are not always upheld due to the occasional bad juror, majority verdicts are a better technique of ensuring fair and just

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