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Lower House approves further changes to Jury Act

Published:Wednesday | May 25, 2016 | 3:38 PM
Justice Minister Delroy Chuck (centre) in Parliament today. He is flanked by Daryl Vaz (left) and Desmond Mckenzie.

The Lower House this afternoon approved amendments to the Jury Act which will now allow for majority verdict to be accepted in non-capital cases.

The Jury Act 2015 had reduced the requirement for the number of jurors required to try non-capital murders from 12 to seven.

However, the verdict would have had to be unanimous for it to be accepted by the trial judge.

Speaking in the House of Representatives this afternoon, Justice Minister Delroy Chuck said otherwise, a hung jury would have been declared requiring the matter to be retried.

Chuck said this would have contributed to a further backlog in the court system.

He said with today’s amendment, a decision of 5-2 or 6-1 in non-capital cases can now be accepted.