Publication - Research and analysis

Scottish jury research: findings from a mock jury study

Published: 9 Oct 2019
Directorate:
Safer Communities Directorate
Part of:
Law and order
ISBN:
9781839601941

The study is the first mock jury research to consider the unique nature of the Scottish jury system with 15 jurors, three verdicts and a simple majority.

Scottish jury research: findings from a mock jury study
Annex D - Summaries of content of trial videos

Annex D - Summaries of content of trial videos

Assault trial synopsis

The complainer (C) and accused (A) had both been drinking in a bar in which they were both regulars. They knew each other by sight. On the night in question, both had been drinking for several hours. The accused attended the bar with three friends. The complainer was with his partner (W). The accused left the bar to smoke outside. There was no-one else present. The complainer left the bar to go home with his partner, but she stopped to speak to a work colleague, meaning that he exited before her. Once outside, he collided with the accused, spilling the accused's drink. What happened afterwards is unclear. The complainer's account (and the prosecution case) is that the accused took a knife from his pocket, lunged at the complainer and stabbed him in his left shoulder. The accused's case is that it was the complainer who produced the knife, which he managed to grab from the complainer during the course of a stuggle and which he then used on the complainer in self-defence. The complainer's partner testified that she saw the accused push the complainer to the ground, but on cross-examination admitted that she could not have seen this as she had not left the bar at that point. She was adamant, however, that she saw the accused produce the knife. It was agreed in evidence that both sets of fingerprints were found on the knife, which the complainer explained by testifying that he had picked up the knife after the accused fled the scene. It was also agreed that the complainer sustained a knife wound to his left shoulder that required surgery, leaving a permanent scar of 10cm in length and permanently impairing the movement of his arm.

Sections of Video: Judicial Introduction to Jury; Prosecution Evidence (examination-in-chief of C; cross-examination of C by defence; and re-examination of C; plus examination-in-chief of W and cross-examination of W by defence); Defence Evidence (examination-in-chief of A; cross-examination of A by prosecution; and re-examination of A); Closing Speeches by Prosecution and Defence; Judicial Summing Up and Instructions to the Jury.

Rape trial synopsis

The complainer (C) and accused (A) had been in an eight-month relationship, which ended approximately two months before the alleged offence took place. The accused called at the complainer's home (which they previously shared) to collect some possessions. He and the complainer each drank a glass of wine and some coffee as they chatted. A few hours later, as the accused made to leave, the two kissed. It was the prosecution's case that the accused then tried to initiate sexual intercourse with the complainer, touching her on the breast and thigh, and that the complainer made it clear that she did not consent to this by telling the accused to stop and pushing away his hands. The prosecution alleged that the accused ignored these protestations and went on to rape the complainer. When the accused was questioned by the police, he admitted that he had had sexual intercourse with the complainer, but maintained that all contact was consensual, and this was the approach taken by the defence. A forensic examiner (W) testified that the complainer had suffered bruising to her inner thighs and chest and scratches to her breasts that were consistent with the application of considerable force, but that - as was not uncommon in cases of rape - she had sustained no internal bruising. The forensic examiner advised that the evidence available following her examination of the complainer was consistent with rape, but that she could not rule out alternative explanations for the injuries.

Sections of Video: Judicial Introduction to Jury; Prosecution Evidence (examination-in-chief of C; cross-examination of C by defence; and re-examination of C; plus examination-in-chief of W; cross-examination of W by defence); Defence Evidence (examination-in-chief of D; cross-examination of D by prosecution; and re-examination of D); Closing Speeches by Prosecution and Defence; Judicial Summing Up and Instructions to the Jury.


Contact

Email: catherine.bisset@gov.scot