Christine Nash, barrister has been struck off the roll of practitioners in NSW.
”I don’t know which way to go, so I’m holding a poll,” she announced.
Another sitting on a drugs trial befriended the accused and traded messages with him on Facebook.
But a Californian juror needed no such help. ”Guilty! He’s guilty! I can tell!” he tweeted.
In the age of social media, the only way to guarantee that jurors are not exposed to prejudicial material about their trials would be to abolish juries altogether, according to a report commissioned by the Australian attorneys-general.
The report by the Centre for Law, Governance and Public Policy recommends sending jurors on training courses before trials and constantly warning them against external influences, with written directions, daily reminders and signs in the jury rooms.
It does not advocate the increased use of trials in which only judges delivered verdicts.
Research quoted in the report indicates that jurors have neither the willingness nor ability to disregard material that they regard as relevant, even if they are told to do so.
Jurors admit to checking the internet even when a judge has told them not to, but they more likely to heed written directions than oral ones.
The standing committee on law and justice, which is made up of state and territory attorneys general, is investigating how to mitigate the impact of social media on the right to a fair trial.
The concert was part of a unique outreach that’s the brainchild of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s musical director, the Italian-born Riccardo Muti, who attended the event at the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center on Chicago’s West Side.
The concert included half a dozen of the orchestra’s members. But the center-stage performers were some 10 inmates who participated in a weeklong musical workshop at the lockup. It culminated in the Sunday concert featuring compositions the inmates wrote in collaboration with the professionals.
When one of the organizers announced the inmates and their families will receive CD recordings of the concert, one mother buried her head in her hands.
“Oh my God, this is so special,” she said aloud.
The goal of the outreach, which has included other jail visits, is to impart a wider appreciation for music and to inspire at-risk youth. It seemed to work for at least some of the teens.
“I learned more about classical music,” a teen named Ricky told reporters after the concert. He was identified only by his first name because he is a juvenile charged with a crime. “I’d heard of Beethoven and Bach. I liked it.”
The center’s own 2012 annual report noted that, almost daily, someone either talks about killing himself or tries. The center holds around 250 inmates in total, a few of whom aren’t yet teens.
The Naples-born Muti has taken his act into prison before.
He once performed Robert Schumann’s “Warum?” — which means “why” in German — in a Milan prison. The work, he explained later, was his way of asking inmates what had brought them to such misfortune.
“We will meet again in the future,” he said. He quickly added, “Not here! But on the outside.”
- The accused failed to mention a fact during police questioning that they could reasonably have been expected to mention in the circumstances existing at the time.
- A special caution explaining the nature and effect of a failure or refusal to mention a fact was given to the defendant before the failure or refusal.
- The special caution was given in the presence of the Australian legal practitioner acting for the defendant at the time of questioning.
- The defendant was allowed a reasonable opportunity to consult with that legal practitioner about the general nature and effect of the special caution, in the absence of the investigating officer and before the failure or refusal to mention a fact.
- The investigating officer who gave the special caution had reasonable cause to believe that the defendant had committed the serious indictable offence.
The Criminal Procedure Amendment (Mandatory Pre-trial Defence Disclosure) Act 2013 will amend the case management provisions of the Criminal Procedure Act 1986. It will require the defence to set out in its mandatory response to the notice of the prosecution case:
- The nature of the accused’s defence, including particular defences to be relied on.
- The facts, matters or circumstances on which the prosecution intends to rely to prove guilt, with which the accused intends to take issue.
- Points of law which the accused intends to raise.
- The court, or any other party with the court’s leave, may make such comment at trial as appears proper.
- The jury may then draw such unfavourable inferences as appear proper.
The Bills can be found here: