Jury Tampering, Courts Service Ireland, An Garda Siochana, Garda Ombudsman, Minister for Justice
Traditionally when we think of Jury tampering or interference, we think of hooded criminals attached to criminal gangs, or balaclavaed terrorists trying to stop the prosecution of Garda murderers. However, new evidence is emerging that Jury tampering may be more wide spread than previously thought, and the Jury tamperers are actually members of An Garda Siochana and actual criminals sitting on Jury panels without declaring their hand to the court.
In recent years we have learned that An Garda Siochana has its rotten apples (Morris Tribunal, Smithwick Tribunal) and so forth, however, if we lose faith in our police service, we have lost democracy itself. The Garda Ombudsman was established to investigate wrong doing alleged/or actual by members of An Garda Siochana and it is fair to say that the Ombudsman has taken on some challenging cases and seen them through without prejudice. However, we must ask if the gate-keepers to information about criminal activity, An Garda Siochana are engaging in acts of corruption that are widely known within the body of An Garda Siochana but are not being challenged by the Garda Ombudsman. Is it enough that the Garda Ombudsman has to sit and wait for complaint before investigating wide spread practice of corruption and criminality within sections of An Garda Siochana.
We all want justice, but are we too ready to dispense that justice even if it means innocent people are being sent to prison.
This article is based on a recent conversation with a retired member of An Garda Siochana who has informed me that he was aware that a Jury Foreman in a very high profile case was actually facing serious charges in another court; this matter was never disclosed to the court. The jury Foreman was told:
“Swing this case the right way and we will take care of those charges for you as soon as the case is complete”.
The Jury Foreman done the bidding of the said corrupt Gardai, the Jury Foreman went on to plead guilty to the said serious charges three weeks later and faced nothing more than a slap on the wrist due to the intervention of the corrupt Gardai.
In another case, a man was acquitted of sexual assault and the jury Foreman had a previous conviction for sexual assault which he did not declare to the court.
It now appears that corrupt Gardai acting in collusion with criminals, or criminals acting mute on jury panels can tamper with our system of justice without restraint.
How can anyone be given a fair trial if the jury Foreman or any other member of the jury is in the pocket of corrupt Gardai, how can a victim get justice if the Jury Foreman has failed to declare their conviction for rape. It appears that the Irish Justice system has allowed corrupt practices to manifest under 14 years of Fianna Fail criminality, however, the time for change is now.
Compromised citizens should not be allowed to sit on Jury panels, the Garda Ombudsman and the Courts Service need to be pro-active and not excusing themselves because no citizen has been brave enough to step up to challenge this endemic corruption.
Minister for Justice, Alan Shatter has lead the charge in relation to Fianna Fail’s 14 years of failing to introduce the promised mandatory reporting of child rape, however, much more needs to be done in order to bring our criminal justice system into the 21st Century and free from corruption.