New South Wales is to introduce majority verdicts for all criminal jury trials, overturning a 400-year-old law.
They will be based on a majority of 11 to one.
Mr Debus says the majority verdicts will apply to all offences, including murder and crimes attracting a life penalty.
He says about 80 trials every year result in hung juries.
Some of these trials hang because of the actions of a single unconvinced juror.
Civil libertarian Terry O'Gorman is opposed to majority verdicts.
"We say how can a verdict possibly be beyond reasonable doubt if one juror simply doesn't agree?" he said.
"We say that majority verdicts aren't healthy and they just encourage compromise, and that's not a proper way to run a jury system."Consolation prize
But Mr Debus says juries will have to deliberate for a reasonable period of time before a majority verdict is accepted, so they attempt to come to a unanimous viewpoint on the case.
He says he will consult with the legal profession on the bill before introducing it next year.
Mr Debus says while the Law Reform Commission recommended keeping unanimous verdicts, he has been persuaded by both the Director of Public Prosecutions and the head of the District Court, who want majority verdicts brought in.
Majority Verdicts: Illegal and Dangerous
Crown Prosecutor Mark Tedeschi is one of those pushing for a new law making 'majority jury verdicts' legal, meaning that if one or two jurors believe the person is innocent, they can still be found guilty...
The Bruce Burrell case was brought down by a single juror who refused to be swayed in his conviction that Mr Burrell is innocent.
I salute him for his integrity - not to mention cartooning ability. In the first Hilton Bombings trial, one lonely juror caused a 'hung jury' and that juror spoke publicly on Saturday against majority verdicts - because, as history shows, that lone juror was right - police were lying about the persons on trial. How much easier for police frame-ups to result in a conviction if only 10 jurors need to agree!
Majority verdicts are illegal. They are not the verdict of the Jury, that is, the WHOLE Jury. The Magna Carta refers to "the lawful judgment of his equals"...not, "the verdict of most or some of his equals".
Any legislation to introduce "majority verdicts" is invalid because no Parliament can make laws which take away anyone's Rights...and the Right to a unanimous judgment from a Jury is certainly at the top of that list....but just watch as Parliament passes just such an illegal law, if it is possible to call it that!
Shame, New South Wales government, shame!
By Injustice posted 10 November 05
Ed: What Bob Debus is doing is sinister and he is just bouncing off the task of the government to make it easier to convict people. Not much different than preventive detention either where they threw out the judge and jury. If the government can make people look bad then their hope is the government will look good and that makes divide and conquering the community much easier.
All lined up just to get down.
The government are exploiting Bruce Burrell's case and they don't care less if they break-down a 400 year old law to get their own way at the expense of the communities knowledge and understanding or even our forefathers knowledge and understanding, Debus just wants more control and satisfaction as the government do.
The government are using Bruce Burrell as a pawn just like the 'terrorism fishing expedition' to roll back laws that have served us and built up a very strong and viberant community. Why?
The law has been around for 400 years for a good reason so why change it now in opposition to the 'Law Reform Commission'?
So now just look at the labor government in lots of issues when they can't win and you'll see 'they've just moved the goal posts' to suit themselves, so they can convict anyone they like of a serious crime or take away their rights..
Mark Tedeschi Q.C. What has he been up to?
It seems Crown Prosecutor Mark Tedeschi has been involved in his fair share of highly suspicious prosecutions and police frame-ups.
Mark Tedeschi Q.C. Chalks Up Another Victory
Star Crown Prosecutor Mark Tedeschi Q.C. has had another victory:
Bruce Burrell has been found guilty of murdering an elderly lady.