Wednesday, 27 February 2013

What's the point ?

The re-trial of Vicky Pryce is not yet over.  Readers will hopefully know that she is accused of perverting the course of justice by having taken speeding points for her husband Chris Huhne. 

Her defence relies on the unusual defence of marital co-ersion.

It seems odd to me that Chris Huhne has not been called as a witness to the trial by either prosecution or defence, as it would seem to me that his conduct is central to the defence and at the moment, the jury largely have his ex-wifes account of his conduct.

Much has been made of the questions the jury asked of the Judge in trying to help them reach a verdict.

It raises another point, about what role juries might play in getting to the truth.
As I understand it, juries can only go on the evidence presented before them, they cannot ask their own questions of witnesses, the judge, prosecution or defence.

I suspect many members of the jury would like to know why if Vicky Pryce had been living with the dreadful burden of taking points for her husband, she did not go to the Police shortly after he left, rather than make repeated efforts to leak the story to the press.

It is clear that Vicky Pryce would often bring up the speeding points issue in arguments with her husband - was that using it to coerce him ?

Can one be both coercer and coerce ? 

Juries have a habit of sometimes doing not what is legal but what they percived to be right. Thus they might think that legally Vicky Pryce is guilty, but that she ought not to be, and thus find her innocent. This is I beleive known as being both judge and jury.

Personnally I am very uneasy about the huge expense of time and money that this trial and investigation has cost.  Part of me knows that no one is above the law, but another part knows the law ought to treat everyone the same and if as the AA claim, 200,000 a year take points on behalf of someone else, it does seems both Chris Huhne and Vicky Pryce have been treated unusually.

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