THE CHRISTCHURCH RIOTERS’ TRIAL.
(by telegraph.) Christchurch, Jan. 9. The trial of the rioters has for the present come to a deadlock, between the Crown and the jury. The whole of the jurors were exhausted without getting a 'panel, and his Honor ordered the doors to be locked while the situation was considered. No one would pray for a tales, and the judge adjourned for further consideration, and decided to do nothing until he had communicated with the other Judges by telegram. An adjournment was then made till two o’clock, and the doors unlocked. On resuming His Honor said—Since I left Court I have been thinking over the little point involved in the curious combination of circumstances, and have come to the conclusion that I shall not give my opinion now. I shall adjourn tfio Court till to-morrow morning, in order to consider which of the two courses I shall take. I shall show the authorities in order that counsel on both sides may he prepared when the time comes. Of course, if necessary I shall reserve the matter for the Court of Appeal. As at present advised I think it is perfectly competent for me to order orally forthwith a jury to bo empanelled. [His Honor quoted the Juries Act and the Jury Act of George IV.] Ihave some difficulty in tracing authorities on the subject, though I have found sevei-al, but I don’t think it necessary to go into them. I will read one case however, which I think is singularly appropriate. It occuiTed 191 years ago. Some of the circumstances of this case lender it singularly appropriate. Mr. Joynt—May I ask your Honor to say again what is the course you intend to take 1
His Honor—l am not giving judgment, Mr- Joynt. lam merely saying what my view is at present as to the courses open to me. I may io-aioirow morning take an entirely different view. As at present advised, 1 may cither order the accused to be tried by a jury taken from this panel, or by a jury which I shall order to bo empauuellod, cither for the trial to proceed at once, or on some future day. [His Honor then read the case of Salisbury and others, a trial for murder, held in the first year of the reign of William and Mary, and quoted other cases from Plowdcn, Blackstonc, and Foster.] I now adjourn the Court till to-morrow morning at 10 o’clock.
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