The coalition government has unveiled plans to replace Britain’s existing system of trial by jury, and replace it with the privately-operated ‘Court of Public Opinion’, a media-based, virtual system that democratises the way punishment is arrived at.
“Public Opinion is about giving the Big Society a say in the way we arrive at prosecutions’, said Justice Secretary Ken Clarke this morning.
“Given the difficulties the present system has, what with jurors gabbing to each other on Facebook and super-injunctions meaning that no-one is really sure who has admitted what, we thought it best to rip up the whole system and start again.”
“From now on, if a sufficient number of the general population agree with the statement “oh he’s guilty alright, he looks dead shifty, look at his eyes”, that will be deemed sufficient to impose a life sentence, irrespective of the crime.”
“I mean, look at the jury system we have now - twelve is such an arbitrary number. The evidence of people who like to add comments at the end of newspaper articles online is a clear indication that the general public are much more open-minded about someone’s guilt based on the colour of his hair than a judge who may have some hypothetical, intellectual understanding of concepts such as ‘fair’ and ‘right’, and some bunch of randoms laughably called a jury of peers. Who wants to have a paedophile judged by twelve other paedophiles?”
The Court of Public Opinion will be available via the internet as a YouTube channel showing real or recreated crimes, and members of the public will be allowed to vote for their favourite outcome. The system will be self-funding, thanks to premium-rate number.
“Also, a system of checks and balances will be in the hands of newspaper editors, the ultimate arbiters of public opinion, without whom many of these knee-jerk, spontaneous cries of ‘string-im-up’ might never have been heard,” confirmed Mr Clarke.