8 Jul 2010

Conviction may not have disqualified juror

4:08 pm on 8 July 2010

A criminal law expert says a conviction for dishonesty need not disqualify a juror from court proceedings such as last year's retrial of David Bain.

Crown Law has confirmed a complaint was laid over one of the jurors in that trial having a criminal conviction. The complaint was made after David Bain was found not guilty of murdering five members of his family.

Law Society criminal law committee convenor Jonathan Krebs says some people with convictions may serve as jurors, but even if a juror was later found to be ineligible that wouldn't necessarily affect the verdict.

"The law changed recently to allow, in very limited circumstances, for a person who was acquitted to be retried [if a juror was found to have been ineligible], but I don't think that the circumstance where a juror served and was, at law, ineligible would fit into either of those categories."

Mr Krebs says the Crown does not always check the criminal history of jurors, but those who are ineligible are not supposed to be summonsed as jurors.