The April Jones trial has started

(369 Posts)

The trial of Mark Bridger for the abduction and murder of April Jones plus some other charges has started today. From what I've read of the initial statements given by the prosecution, it's clearly going to be a very distressing case.
My thoughts are with all in court including the jury but most especially with April's parents who are in court. I don't know how they can bear it.

interalia Tue 30-Apr-13 21:05:49

Of course people are going to want to talk about something so shocking and sad, but the problem for MN here is that it is contempt of court to publish anything which might prejudice a trial - including discussion of evidence, guesses as to guilt etc. Letting stuff stay on the website counts as 'publishing' and it's strict liability, which means you don't have to have INTENDED to publish it or intend to affect the trial. It also doesn't matter whether it actually affects the trial, just whether it has the potential to.

So MN will need to delete anything which may possibly do any of those things.

This is only the case while proceedings are 'active' - once there is a verdict you can say what you like.

georgedawes Tue 30-Apr-13 21:09:23

I guess it's down to the judge to decide what will be admitted in evidence *FairPhyllis"

Spero Tue 30-Apr-13 21:10:57

I am not surprised that some jurors are stupid. But for a trial of this nature I hope there will be some care in how they are selected.

But maybe I am stupid, I can't see how this discussion is in anyway prejudicial to the trial.

It seems to be more about a few people who think they are morally superior to others in the way they do (or do not) express grief.

Jolly well done to them.

Spero Tue 30-Apr-13 21:13:11

In the JY case, I don't think there was a very strong link between what he was viewing and the circs of the crime so my case is the judge excluded it as more prejudicial than probative. But I haven't done any crime in a longtime so maybe off base.

But from what I have read of prosecution opening the link here is very strong.

Growlithe Tue 30-Apr-13 21:16:58

Spero There can be no 'care' taken on selecting juries. It has to be random.

Spero Tue 30-Apr-13 21:38:41

After the recent fiascos in jury trials I hope they are ascertaining at the outset that the jury is prepared to consider the evidence and convict if necessary

Growlithe Tue 30-Apr-13 21:44:13

How would they do that?

lottieandmia Tue 30-Apr-13 21:46:34

I'm sure MNHQ wouldn't delete posts unless there was a good reason.

I had a think about this and obviously the reason we shouldn't talk about the evidence is that we will only have heard bits of what the jury has. To to focus on those could in theory prejudice the case.

Maybe it's best not to discuss this until after verdict then.

AThingInYourLife Tue 30-Apr-13 21:54:08

"I had a think about this and obviously the reason we shouldn't talk about the evidence is that we will only have heard bits of what the jury has. To to focus on those could in theory prejudice the case."

No it couldn't.

If that were the case there would be no court reporting at all.

Spero Tue 30-Apr-13 22:04:39

The duties and obligations of jurors are explained to them before the trial starts. So hopefully those who object to convicting people will then pipe up and can be released.

Growlithe Tue 30-Apr-13 22:16:22

People who object to convicting people should be represented though, just as people who decide that a defendant is guilty even before hearing the evidence.

AFAIK, you can't conscientiously object to jury service.

edam Tue 30-Apr-13 22:42:59

The duties and obligations of jurors include not searching the internet for information about the case or the defendant - someone was sent down for contempt of court for googling to see if the defendant they were trying had any previous (think it was last year).

Horrific that it looks as if the reason no body has been found is that hers was destroyed - if the prosecution are correct, of course.

Spero Tue 30-Apr-13 22:44:32

You cannot sit on a jury if you have moral objections to convicting people. I think this was made pretty clear by the prison sentences handed out to last couple of jurors who tried that argument.

Snazzynewyear Wed 01-May-13 00:25:51

How can you have a moral objection to convicting people in general? Is it actually about objecting to prison as a form of punishment, if you know that will probably be the outcome? Otherwise it just doesn't make sense to me.

Growlithe Wed 01-May-13 06:17:19

I don't understand it either. Surely any juror selected for a distressing case could 'get out of it' by claiming such beliefs?

I know a juror can be done for searching for details online. But the possibility of this happening would not stop every juror doing it. As I said before, stupid people are not exempt from jury service, and neither are dishonest people as long as they have no previous convictions.

But if it is more important to you to tittle tattle about the case online rather than not jeopardise a case (and therefore prolong the agony for ALL those involved), so be it. Because it would be the juror's fault for reading it so that's ok. hmm

AThingInYourLife Wed 01-May-13 07:24:02

"But if it is more important to you to tittle tattle about the case online rather than not jeopardise a case (and therefore prolong the agony for ALL those involved), so be it."

Big fat hmm to that nasty bit of moralising.

The information about the trial that has been reported today is not "tittle tattle" FFS.

And talking about it has zero chance of prejudicing the trial.

You'll have to come up with another reason why people can't talk about a public trial as it happens.

georgedawes Wed 01-May-13 07:26:54

It's not prejudicial to talk about the trial, however much you disagree with it.

Growlithe Wed 01-May-13 07:30:16

Giving opinion on events reported can prejudice a trial.

Spero Wed 01-May-13 07:31:47

Well your conscience is clear Growlithe, so you can sleep easy at night! Gosh, I wish I had your moral courage and strength of character.

But alas I don't, so I will continue to discuss information which was raised in open court and widely reported in all forms of media.

What a naughty little scamp I am. Watch as our legal system crumbles.

Growlithe Wed 01-May-13 07:34:39

Doesn't take much moral courage and strength of character to not gossip.

AThingInYourLife Wed 01-May-13 07:49:19

I think you need to figure out what the word "gossip" means.

Hint: it does not mean talking about current events

If anyone were actually gossiping about the case, we would have a problem.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Wed 01-May-13 07:59:09

Phyllis, perhaps it depends on whether the material itself is illegal.

Growlithe Wed 01-May-13 08:00:13

Which is probably why there were so many holes in this thread yesterday.

Even if you yourself aren't gossiping or giving opinion, you are (perhaps unintentionally) encouraging others to do so.

Why would you do that? Why can't you just read the BBC Website on the progress of the case without coming on here and regurgitating it? As others have said, what's the point?

Animation Wed 01-May-13 08:08:12

Thank yor being our conscience Growlithe!

Will you be staying to police this thread?

wink

AThingInYourLife Wed 01-May-13 08:09:11

I am not encouraging anybody to do anything.

"Why can't you just read the BBC Website on the progress of the case without coming on here and regurgitating it?"

I can read what I like, and discuss it if I like.

That's why we have public trials.

I find your attempts to stop people talking about public information morally reprehensible.

What is the point?

Coming here telling people they should not discuss information they are perfectly entitled to talk about does nobody any good.

Why bother?

Other than to give yourself a little pat on the back for stopping the ignorant masses "gossiping"?

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now