Is it time to reveal the previous convictions of an accused to a jury at a serious trial?

General Urko

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In the wake of the not guilty verdict in the tinder Dublin Mountains case, it was revealed subsequently that the accussed had a number of convictions and served time for attacks on women.

I don't know, if a judge in a case has details of prior convictions or not, but obviously, the jury is not allowed any access to such details. Is there any justification for informing the jury of convictions related to a similar case that an accussed is on trial for?

The guards, according to the report below, have said they fear he will remain a danger to women.

https://www.thesun.ie/news/1084485/man-who-threaten-gardai-after-acquittal-in-tinder-rape-case-is-convicted-@rapist-with-a-history-of-violence-against-women/
 


Lumpy Talbot

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No
One of those rules borne out of a patronising assumption that the average jury are drawn from the accused's peers and therefore cannot be entrusted with a sophisticated question such as 'is this person's previous record preventing me from assessing guilt or innocence in this particular case?'

It is right up there with the arrogant assumption that only lawyers and judges are immune to 'prejudice'.

In this case, as with others in the same vein, the law makes an ass of itself.
 

The_SR

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No. You are on trial for what you are accused of. Not what you were on trial for before.

The Gardai would just charge vermin with everything, list out their convictions and get a 100% cleanup rate
 

Lumpy Talbot

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No
Curious then how a victim in a rape or indecent assault case can have their reputation questioned in an attempt to dismiss their credibility as a witness or victim and quite often be questioned by the attacker themselves in the courtroom.

Something of a paradox here.

If someone has through great commitment to crime managed to amass a considerable record then why should they have a greater presumption of innocence about them than a witness or victim in a rape trial?

The latter can be guilty of no charge and still have their reputation attacked by a defendant's legal team while the defendant can't have what may be a very relevant record disclosed at all to the court.

Where's the judicial equity in that?
 

Analyzer

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Yes.

It is like a CV. It indicates the scale if ability of a criminal and leads to quicker ptogression of examination of what actions were involved in the crime - and whether or not the suspect was capable of foing it.
 

silverharp

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apparently she lied to police and was back on Tinder the next day, the guy might be a scumbag but that is a different issue. Previous convictions should only be taken into account when it comes to sentencing
 

Old Mr Grouser

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It's said that in the UK about 10% of the prison population are in prison for crimes of which they are inninocent.

Somebody of low intelligence can acquire a long criminal record by regularly confessing guilty to whatever he's accused of.
 

Gibby

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No. You are on trial for what you are accused of. Not what you were on trial for before.

The Gardai would just charge vermin with everything, list out their convictions and get a 100% cleanup rate
You make it sound like a bad thing :roll:
 

ShoutingIsLeadership

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One of those rules borne out of a patronising assumption that the average jury are drawn from the accused's peers and therefore cannot be entrusted with a sophisticated question such as 'is this person's previous record preventing me from assessing guilt or innocence in this particular case?'

It is right up there with the arrogant assumption that only lawyers and judges are immune to 'prejudice'.

In this case, as with others in the same vein, the law makes an ass of itself.


That makes no sense. You are arguing that the jury should be told, because it would be clever enough to disregard that knowledge when assessing this case.

Why tell them, other than to influence this case? Which is exactly why the jury shouldn't be told.
 

Glenshane4

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All relevant facts should be made known to the Court, judge and jury. That includes any criminal record. I think it disgraceful that a person with a totally clear record should have to face the court on the same terms as a person with a history of criminal convictions.
 

Orbit v2

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The case referred to by the OP was horrendous. The judge when summing up said words to the effect of "this case comes down to one person's word against another". A lot of people, could have interpreted that as almost an instruction to acquit. It's a phrase that is commonly used to mean that it's impossible to know who is telling the truth, and in a criminal case with a high burden of proof, that has to mean acquittal.

Maybe some kind of exception should be made in rape cases. While the burden of proof is rightly on the prosecution, and it's impossible to remove the close scrutiny that the complainant is subjected to, I think something needs to be done, to redress the balance slightly and revealing previous relevant convictions could be a reasonable compromise.
 

EUrJokingMeRight

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'Beyond reasonable doubt' is not something that modern twitterati ascribe to.

More like 'knee jerk reactionism'.

Past performance of stocks are no guarantee of future performance.

The law is the law, it works 70% of the time.....at best.

If you have a better solution, let's hear it.
 

Sister Mercedes

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It's said that in the UK about 10% of the prison population are in prison for crimes of which they are inninocent.
Which is within accepted parameters. Blackstones Formulation is 1 in 10. "It is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer".

There's a balance. Guilty people walking free is also an injustice.
 

EUrJokingMeRight

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Which is within accepted parameters. Blackstones Formulation is 1 in 10. "It is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer".

There's a balance. Guilty people walking free is also an injustice.
Mayo not winning an All Ireland in fifty attempts is also.

Does not mean it should be handed to them.

God knows it's,their asses, have been handed to them often enough, it's beyond pitiful (and statistics!) at this stage.
 

EUrJokingMeRight

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I might add that MOST criminals have no conviction. ie most people who have committed crime have simply not been caught.

There is a reason that most criminal convictions are from the less mentally blessed. In my honest opinion it has little to do with socio economic factors.

So Criminal record checks just highlight those who have had the opportunity to learn from their mistakes :D

Just ask Bertie.

Is he still in hiding?

Technically he's not a criminal, which tells you all you need to know.

And just proves my point.
 

Orbit v2

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Which is within accepted parameters. Blackstones Formulation is 1 in 10. "It is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer".

There's a balance. Guilty people walking free is also an injustice.
In most criminal cases, when a guilty person gets off, there isn't really any substantial additional injury to the complainant. It's only in a fairly nebulous sense that society suffers. With rape cases however, it's fairly catastrophic for the complainant when a case is lost, with reputational damage. The fact that identities aren't disclosed does help, but there are presumably always some people, who know what has happened.
 

de knowledge economy

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The purpose of a trial is to try to ensure that an innocent person is not convicted, not to ensure that a guilty person is convicted
 


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