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A Theory of the Perverse Verdict
Nexta Journal of Legal Studies (2011)
  • Bethel G.A Erastus-Obilo
The concept of a perverse verdict is one that pervades the Criminal justice system of nearly all common law jurisdictions. The English Criminal Justice system is no exception and the concept has become institutionalised as if it were a true occurrence. This paper challenges the idea and argues that it is, technically, a legal non-event given the system of trial by jury. The theory is that besides the jury, no one else is invested with the power and authority to declare a verdict and this position is supported both by legal custom and the mechanism of the criminal justice system. In this paper, I investigate the concept of the perverse verdict, the position of the superior courts and theorise on who may legitimately declare a verdict perverse. The paper concludes by alluding to transparency in the system by creating a requirement and an atmosphere of jury accountability in the form of an explained verdict as an antidote to the concept of the perverse verdict.
  • Jury,
  • Perverse Verdict,
  • Criminal Law,
  • Court System,
  • Jury Trials,
  • Juries,
  • Jurors
Publication Date
Summer August 1, 2011
Publisher Statement
This is an anomaly and goes against all accepted megal norms. Nonetheless, the paper makes cogent points about perverse verdicts that command a serious jurisprudential consideration by all legal minds. The matter is quite clear. There are a very limited number of poeple who can legitimately pass a valid opinion about verdict following a jury trial where the evidence is contested.
Citation Information
Bethel G.A Erastus-Obilo. "A Theory of the Perverse Verdict" Nexta Journal of Legal Studies Vol. 1 Iss. 1 (2011)
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