JURIES AND THEIR VERDICTS.
VIEWS OF SIR ROBERT STOUT. WELLINGTON, February 20. The failure of juries'"to agree upon' a verdict in several cases arising out df the strike has been briefly commented upon more than once by the Chief Justice, who remarked when ordering a re-hearing of the sedition charge 1 against W. T. Young, that the present session should be ,a lesson to Parlia-J 1 ment, and, that he had been advocating' an alteration for- 10' years past.
A reporter to-day sought further information from his Honour on this subject. Sir Robert, Stout explained that what lie desired, to see introduced was a majority verdict. In Scotland a conviction or an acquittal was secure^ by eight votes to seven of the jurymen engaged. The majority verdict in criminal cases was also the rule in France, Germany, and several States in America. In some instances the requisite majority was nine to three, and it was this rule which his Honour advocated. "We have the nine to three rule applied in all civil cases after a jury has been out three hours," said Sir Robert, "and the. same law should be adopted in criminal cases. Scotland has got on very well with the bare majority for centuries." Asked if the rule was of general application in that country, his Honour stated that it was applied to all classes of criminal cases, even to murder trials.
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Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIII, Issue 8800, 21 February 1914
JURIES AND THEIR VERDICTS. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIII, Issue 8800, 21 February 1914
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