I was disappointed to hear that the jury in the Michael Lynn trial was unable to reach a decision in his theft case.
The Judge had told the jury that he would accept a majority verdict of 10 to 2 but the jury foreman told the Judge that they were unable to reach a decision, and more time to consider the matter would not make a jot of difference.
In a way, I am not surprised by this development.
The jury were introduced, in the course of the trial, to things with which they would not be familiar, including solicitor’s undertakings in the conveyancing process.
A solicitor will know all about solicitor’s undertakings, what they mean, the consequences of being unable to do whatever you have undertaken to do, when to give one, when to avoid giving one, and so forth.
Solicitors would also be familiar with the usual practice of residential and commercial conveyancing and the responsibilities of the solicitor in respect of the loan monies being advanced, the charge/mortgage to be secured on the property involved, and so on.
But the ordinary person, not being involved in this world, would have difficulty, I believe, in understanding the nuances involved. Nor would they be familiar with what is usually done and expected.
And Michael Lynn’s defence, which he advanced in the course of the trial, would probably elicit different reactions from ordinary citizens on a jury, and someone in the legal profession who would know what the accustomed practice and course.
My view, and it is only a view, is that a jury of solicitors or barristers would arrive at a decision in this case without much difficulty or delay. But our system relies on a jury of peers, members of society, ordinary citizens and so we have this inability to arrive at a decision as to guilt or innocence in Lynn’s case.
That’s our system. For better or worse, warts and all.
The DPP must now decide what he wants to do. Watch this space.