Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Knowing too much

I read the following in the News Digest section of the FT today, but I can't find it on the website. Still, I simply had to pass it along.


A senior barrister was discharged from a murder trial jury after a judge said his presence might be prejudicial to the defendant. Judge George Bathurst-Norman said that the lawyer's knowledge of court procedure would allow him to understand a legal matter that other jurors would not pick up. The lawyer - a Queen's Counsel - had told staff he recognised prosecuting counsel after being sworn in at the Old Bailey. Recent legislation has widened the pool of people who can be required to do jury service, but yesterday the judge said that he did not know how this was expected to work intelligently.

Now, if I read that right (any typos are mine), the idea that having a juror who might know something about the legal system is a bad thing. Can someone please explain the logic in that sentiment?

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