Too many families are suffering from perverse acquittals made in our courts by the Jury!
We can’t all be wrong?
Over the past 18 months of our campaigning, we have been contacted by numerous families that have been failed by our justice system due to "Perverse Jury Acquittals". Those are ones which go against the law, against the evidence, or one's which no reasonable jury could of come to.
And this week we have seen the dreadful acquittal decision following Yousef Makki ‘s trial, where a 17-year-old boy, identified for legal reasons as Boy One, has been cleared of murder, manslaughter and a conspiracy to rob, while a second 17-year-old, known as Boy Two, has been cleared of conspiracy to rob and perverting the course of justice.
Theses verdicts mean no-one is criminally held responsible for our loved one’s deaths.
At present, the victims families have no right to appeal these devastating and inhumane perverse decisions!
Injustices happen not only when the innocent are convicted but equally so — sometimes more so — when the guilty are acquitted.
It goes to the heart of the integrity of our justice system, its reluctance to acknowledge its fallibility – and its failure to deal with the victims of miscarriages of justice fairly and humanely.
Why has the wealth of attention rightly given to wrongful convictions recently, not also been awarded to wrongful acquittals?
There is too much at stake to continue to allow juries' deliberations to continue to be lost in the black box of the jury room. If juries make sound decisions, accused people will derive some degree of comfort. If their decision-making is flawed, however, then we can fix it at the appeal stage.
We believe that the jury’s reasons should be made known to a court. How can we be certain that emotion did not affect their decision? We don't actually spend any time asking ourselves and finding out if the jury actually made a mistake in their reasoning process. We don't make any inquiry into what the jury did in the jury room.
We are calling for legislative changes (Ryan’s Law) that would see jurors reveal information about the reasons for their verdict; similar to the current requirement for judge-alone trials.
We may have a jury who completely misunderstood the instructions and frankly doesn't have the first idea whether they're applying them correctly. Or we may have a very intelligent and sophisticated jury who understands those instructions well and applies them perfectly.
The difficulty is we never know in any given case because we never ask the jury, 'How did you reach your conclusion?' We simply ask for the conclusion itself.
Instead of guessing that they might have erred, why don't we have a process that asks a little bit more of the jury, that they reveal their thinking a little bit more? If they did make that mistake, fine, we need a new trial to be fair to everybody.
So as far as we know, they could be flipping a coin in there? "They're of course told not to, but we never check to see what exactly they do."
Its it not now time, in a modern democracy such as ours that we live in today, that Jurors should be asked to provide, "briefly," their reasons for their verdict?
When you sit with a judge alone without a jury, the judge is required to give reasons and we assess whether through those reasons the judge demonstrates that they understood the evidence properly.
You think "It makes perfect sense that you'd ask the same thing of a jury who's doing the exact same task of deciding an important criminal case"?
Too many families are currently suffering from perverse acquittals made in our courts by the Jury!
We can’t all be wrong?
Please help us get “Ryan’s Law” introduced by signing our petition at https://change.org/p/justice-for-ryan-passey-ryan-s-law so that we and other families failed by our justice system can fight on for justice all our loved one’s deserve.