Channel 4’s ‘The Trial: A Murder in the Family’, a drama-documentary that aims to reveal the inner workings of the British legal system, depicts a fictional murder case tried in a real court by real-life legal professionals and a jury of 12 members of the public. The Trial follows the workings of a criminal trial, with speeches, the calling of evidence and the cross examination of witnesses.
As the show progresses, Corker Binning have been writing a blog series – which can be accessed here – providing legal analysis on each episode of The Trial the day after it is aired. Danielle Reece-Greenhalgh spoke with RadioTimes, following last night’s final episode.
It’s an interesting idea: was The Trial constructed in such a way to demonstrate failings in the jury system? Was it made to show jurors are afraid of convicting guilty men?
Some trained lawyers expected a not guilty verdict. “It had some flaws, but I think the defence introduced enough alternatives, doubt and suspicion that the jury would not be sure of guilt,” Danielle Reece-Greenhalgh, an Associate at leading criminal law firm Corker Binning, told RadioTimes.com.
Some viewers spotted shots of Simon Davis reading notes at home and munching on a sandwich outside, but would he have to be locked up when court wasn’t in session?
Not necessarily. “Whilst it is more difficult for a defendant in a murder case to be granted bail and therefore be allowed to freely walk in and out of court, it’s certainly not unheard of,” says Reece-Greenhalgh.
Could Simon Davis really have consulted with his lawyers after taking the stand?
Simon would not be allowed to consult with his barristers while giving evidence on the stand – even if he did it over a number of days, confirms Reece-Greenhalgh.
Not only has The Trial given us a fascinating look at how the jury operate outside the courtroom, but inside too. We’ve seen jurors nodding to each other, staring suggestively and even there’s even been a gasp or two. Would that be typical courtroom behaviour?
Yes, it’s completely normal, according to Reece-Greenhalgh: “I think that juries do get animated. They do react to pieces of evidence – especially in a case like this. They suddenly realise they’re a player in the process.”
Read the full article in RadioTimes here.