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Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Evidence that jury were hopelessly confused by judge's directions and grounds for appeal, I would have thought

'We would like some clarification,' the note began, before going on to query if they could discuss the legal directions they'd been given 'as there seems some confusion'.
The note raised five points, including whether the jury was 'to judge each count independently'.

Harris is charged with 12 counts of indecent assault against four girls in the UK between 1968 and 1986.

The Australian's main accuser is a childhood friend of his daughter Bindi.

She claims Harris abused her from the age of 13 but he insists the pair had a 10-year consensual affair that started after she turned 18.

Jurors on Thursday asked: 'Is it allowed to stereotype what the victim should have done prior to an alleged offence taking place in more than one count or using it against them?'

Justice Sweeney responded by reminding the six men and six women of the lengthy legal directions he'd given them both in court and in writing.

They could, if they decided to, consider evidence from other complainants or witnesses when deciding each indecent assault charge, he said.

The judge also reiterated there was no classic or typical response to abuse.

'A late complaint does not necessarily signal a false complaint any more than an immediate complaint demonstrates it's true,' he said.

Justice Sweeney reminded jurors there was no stereotype for a sexual offence, a sex offender or a victim of sexual abuse.

- See more at: http://www.skynews.com.au/news/world/europe/2014/06/27/harris-jury-seeks-clarification.html#sthash.Z76aaB5m.dpuf

Are you any the wiser after reading this? If you think you are clear, then write me a point by point explanation of all the questions the jury asked and what you thought Justice Sweeney's directions were. Go on, I dare you.

This should be next year's exam question for law students.  Wouldn't this be fun? NOT.

Even better, why don't we get all the judges of Criminal Appeal to do this too and fucking PUBLISH WHAT THEY MAKE OF IT ONLINE, in terms a lay jury can understand?

Then we can get all the academic lawyers and philosophers to write papers on what they make of the crap they are bound to read.

What were those lengthy legal directions Justice Sweeney gave the jury? Therein will lie the grounds for appeal.  

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