‘Today is going to be rough for you’ warned Emma Watts QC, and boy was she right. Episode 4 of The Jury on ITV was a tying up of loose ends.
The Defendant, Alan Lane, was subjected to a rather robust cross examination conducted by Roger Allam’s Prosecutor. It started off with a very sarcastic comment about how Lane was a lucky man and ought to be in the Guinness World Record book. The content, as one would expect from a TV drama remained very much the same. This culminated in Alan Lane, cracking under the barrage of questions and turning on the Prosecuting counsel in a fit of rage.
What followed next was Counsel making a rather ‘hammed up’ speech about how it was a sad day when he did not respect the family of a victim. It was, one suspects, intended to be rather Shakespearean. It looked ridiculous.
Many criminal practitioners took to Twitter to voice their doubts about the drama in a series of amusing Tweets. ‘She [Walters’ barrister] would not be allowed to conduct a conference in the middle of his giving evidence, Law students take note: it’s not how its done!’ and quite simply ‘Have they actually got a legal advisor on staff?’.
Whilst it was nice to allow Allam’s Prosecutor to come into his own, it did so at the expense of giving Walters less screen time. This in my opinion was a shame, as she had proved to be one of the best things about the programme. Indeed this point wasn’t missed by the jurors: ‘She’s great, we all get a ripple of excitement when she gets to her feet.’
The dreary 12 did not feature as much today with their soap box dramas. The particularly heart warming story of Mohammed who received his Visa to travel to America was a nice break from the bleak lives of the rest of the group. Episode 4 had the dramas of the jurors remaining tied to the trial itself which was rather refreshing for a change. Our fraudulent juror, impersonating her boss on the panel is now herself presenting the evidence to her boss so it is the boss’s verdict that is given via the impersonator. You cannot fault her logic.
The biggest ‘surprise’ was the lunch-date juror was finally compromised by the mysterious woman elaborating on evidence of the previous trial which was ruled inadmissible the first time round. His entire demeanour changed after that revelation declaring ‘well that changes everything’. It didn’t bode well for the defendant when the aforementioned compromised juror was then elected foreman of the jury.
The unfortunate point that we have now reached is that the focus is now solely on the jury which means that the brilliant Walters and Allam are now out of the frame.
With one episode left, it’s likely that heated debates are to follow with some more gaping errors but with the procedure now out of the court and into deliberations, the process here is more ‘rough and ready’ as in real life, we as individuals aren’t aware what does actually happened behind closed doors (unless you’ve served jury service of course). Lane’s fate hangs in the balance;unfortunately so does our belief.
BPTC student at City Law School