UK News Prisoners released early, trials without juries and video court appearances could become lockdown reality

17:45  31 march  2020
17:45  31 march  2020 Source:   msn.com

Coronavirus: All jury trials in England and Wales to be stopped

  Coronavirus: All jury trials in England and Wales to be stopped Cases will be paused in a bid to stop the spread of Covid-19In a statement on Monday, the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Burnett, said no new trials will start and that ongoing trials will be paused while arrangements are put in place so they can continue safely.

A jury trial , or trial by jury , is a lawful proceeding in which a jury makes a decision or findings of fact. It is distinguished from a bench trial in which a judge or panel of judges makes all decisions. Jury trials are used in a significant share of serious criminal cases in many but not all common law judicial

A jury is a sworn body of people (the jurors) convened to render an impartial verdict (a finding of fact on a question) officially submitted to them by a court , or to set a penalty or judgment.

a building that has a sign on the side of a road: Glasgow Sheriff Court © Daily Record Glasgow Sheriff Court

Prisoners released early, trials without juries and court appearances via video link could become reality in Lockdown Scotland.

New legislation going before parliament tomorrow will bring in a raft of significant changes to the criminal justice system if passed.

The Coronavirus (Scotland) Bill has been introduced to the Scottish Parliament.

It is set to be debated at an emergency legislation meeting tomorrow (April 1).

The new measures seek to minimise the risk of coronavirus spreading in Scottish court buildings and prisons.

The Bill includes radical reforms such as the early release of some prisoners, trials being conducted without juries and court proceedings being conducted via video links.

Jury trials halted in England and Wales over coronavirus

  Jury trials halted in England and Wales over coronavirus All jury trials in England and Wales have been put on hold to halt the spread of the coronavirus outbreak. © Other Courts are the latest public service forced to adapt to the coronavirus outbreak Courts have been told to use "considerable imagination and flexibility" to work up plans for every person to be two metres apart from each other before trials can begin again.Lord Burnett, head of the judiciary in England and Wales, said social distancing is a "particular concern" to address as the government prepares to rush through emergency laws to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.

New laws meant the trial could be heard by a judge alone after the Court of Appeal ruled there No jury : Barry Hibberd (left) and Peter Blake were also found guilty in a trial which made legal history. Three of the suspects can be seen leaving the Menzies warehouse after the robbery: One of them is

a trial conducted without a jury , in which a judge makes the determination of the defendant's guilt or innocence the list of citizens in a court 's district from which a jury can be selected; complied from voter-registration lists, driver's license lists, and other sources; sometimes called jury pool.

Early release of prisoners will apply either for “the security and good order” of prisons or for the “health, safety or welfare of prisoners, or those working, in any such prison”.

However, the new legislation will not apply to all prisoners.

Exceptions to prisoners being released include those serving a life sentence, convicted terrorists, those subject to the sex offenders register, those subject to supervised release orders or untried prisoners including those on remand.

The exception also applies to cases were a prison governor concludes the prisoner will impose an immediate risk or harm.

Business across courts in Scotland will be significantly altered by the Bill.

The Scottish Courts and Tribunal Service (SCTS) have already significantly scaled back business calling before courts.

Coronavirus in the UK: Jury trials halted in England and Wales over outbreak

  Coronavirus in the UK: Jury trials halted in England and Wales over outbreak No new trials will start and as many hearings as possible will happen using telephones, video calls or other technologyIn a statement on Monday Lord Chief Justice Ian Burnett - the most senior judge in England and Wales - announced no new trials will begin, while ongoing trials will be stopped until arrangements are in place that will allow them to continue safely.

A trial judge who accepts, without formal proof, matters of common knowledge is said to be In capital cases it has become common for the jury first to hear the evidence bearing on the defendant's guilt or innocence and then to receive evidence on whether the death penalty should be imposed.

Without the legitimacy of religion, trial by ordeal collapsed. The juries under the assizes began deciding guilt The practice also, of not confronting witnesses to the prisoner , gave the crown lawyers all The positive belief about jury trials in the UK and the US contrasts with popular belief in many

Only cases deemed “essential” have gone ahead with adjournments to trials and the halt of new jury trials.

However, the Coronavirus (Scotland) Bill would introduce regulations allowing for trials on cases on indictment to be conducted without a jury.

The Bill states that these measures would be taken “the purpose of ensuring that the criminal justice system continues to operate effectively” while compiling with coronavirus safety legislation.

In cases conducted without a jury the power to make any determination about a case would fall to the courts themselves.

The Bill also expands the ability for court business to be done “by electronic means”.

This includes the electronic signature and transmission of documents.

There will also be the suspension of accused persons, witnesses or other people called to court to physically attend.

The Bill states: “Any requirement (however expressed) that a person physically attend a court or tribunal does not apply, unless the court or tribunal directs the person to attend physically.”

Lock 'em up or let 'em out? Coronavirus prompts wave of prisoner releases

  Lock 'em up or let 'em out? Coronavirus prompts wave of prisoner releases Lock 'em up or let 'em out? Coronavirus prompts wave of prisoner releasesLONDON (Reuters) - The rapid spread of coronavirus is piling pressure on criminal justice systems globally and has led to a flood of prisoner releases, with the United States, Canada and Germany joining Iran in releasing thousands of detainees.

© Video - The Hui; Image - Newshub. Kelvin Davis talks to The Hui. Minister of Corrections Kelvin Davis says there is no need to release low risk prisoners during the COVID-19 crisis "because we have the capacity at the moment, we have a buffer".

Trial Without Jury is a 1950 American mystery film directed by Philip Ford and starring Robert Rockwell, Barbra Fuller and Kent Taylor. The film's sets were designed by the art director Frank Hotaling. Robert Rockwell as Police Lt. Bill Peters. Barbra Fuller as Corinne Hollister.

Exceptions to electronic appearance will be made only when there is a risk that failure to physically appear could prejudice the fairness of proceedings or “be contrary to the interests of justice”.

Anyone ordered to attend court who fails to attend via electronic link will be treated in the same way as a failure to physically attend court - meaning warrants for that person’s arrest can be made.

Video links could also come into force for the prison parole board including for the appearance of witnesses or prisoners to give evidence.

The Bill also makes provisions for the extension of time limits to cases including the power to adjourn a case before sentencing for “such period as it considers appropriate”.

Changes to punishments imposed by courts including community payback orders with unpaid work requirements can be extended, for the specified period, for 12 months.

This will apply to orders which were imposed “on or before the day on which the regulations come into force”.

Offenders affected by these measures will be informed by their local authority.

Coronavirus: Five London bus workers die from Covid-19, union confirms .
Unite described the losses as a 'terrible tragedy and said it was working with Transport for London to protect driversUnite, which represents workers from Transport for London (TfL), described the losses as a “terrible tragedy” and said it was doing everything in its power to ensure the safety of bus drivers.

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