A jury: experience and problems

A simulation system of justice in which convulses a vestige of the people’s representatives, as the jury. Says Russian political analyst and human rights activist Mikhail Savva, who left Russia and now living in Ukraine.

The jury is in the Constitution of Ukraine, but in fact, according to human rights activists, jury trials in the country do not. The main difference between a jury trial by an ordinary court (with the participation of one judge or three professional judges) is a separate co-existence in it “judges of law” (the legal profession) and “Judges of fact” (board of jurors , which usually consists of persons who are not are lawyers). If this division is not present and professional judges work together with the representatives of the people should not talk about a jury trial, but the court sheffenskom. Sheffenskie courts adopted, for example, at their home in Germany as well as in Ukraine. Experience and problems of modern Russian jury trials may be useful in case if Ukraine, too, decides to create a jury trial.

The Soviet system of people’s assessors is an option sheffenskogo court, where a judge has unlimited opportunities to influence the decision of the representatives of the people. Sheffenskaya system can be very effective, but only for companies with extremely high legal culture .

In the course of judicial reform 90-ies of the last century, it was created in the Russian jury trials . During the counter-reforms that have been going for fifteen years, created a simulation system of justice in which convulses a vestige of the people’s representatives, as the jury.

Jury trials are traditionally regarded as the “courts of justice”. This is confirmed by the statistics of court decisions in the Russian Federation. Professional judges give less than 1% of acquittals , while the juries – 13-25% in different years.

In 2016, according to the Judicial Department of the Supreme Court, in the first instance are over 239 cases with a jury. From 361 to 60 the defendant was justified, that is 17% , another 85 cases returned to the prosecutor. The number of sentences handed down without a jury, more than three orders of magnitude. According to the Judicial Department of the Supreme Court in 2016 for all formulations of the Criminal Code (CC) convicted 740,380 people (to imprisonment – 206 304 people), is justified by 1493 (0.2% if you count the persons on which the case was dismissed on rehabilitative grounds, – 1.5%).

Scale application of jury trials in Russia is low. In one year, jury trials in Russia in the second decade of this century the average render verdicts to 300 (the maximum number of verdicts in the post-Soviet period – about 600 in 2010). A jury selected only 12% of the accused, who have a right to it. In the US a year by the jury shall be made about 160 thousand. Verdicts. In the XX century in the Russian empire handed down each year about 40 thousand. Verdicts. The reasons for this will be disclosed below, here I call home. This lack of political will for the development of the institute of juries. In the context of the simulation of the justice system the current Russian regime of the jury can not be complete and widespread.

The jury in the Russian Federation has a constitutional basis: according to Art. 32 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, Russian citizens have the right to participate in the administration of justice. One form of such participation – review certain categories of criminal cases in the court of jury. However direct reference to the institution of jury in the Constitution does not.

The introduction of jury trials took considerable time in Russia. Pilot introduction of jury trials in Russia began with the 1993-1994, in 9 subjects of the Federation. The new Criminal Procedure Code, adopted in 2001, did the jury widespread since 2003. In the Chechen Republic the introduction of jury trials actually took place in 2010. An expert on Russian court Sergei Pashin jury, namely the phased introduction of jury trials has led to the fact that he did have in Russia.

The accused has the right to file a petition for consideration of his criminal case by the court of first instance composed of professional judges and a panel of 12 jurors in case he is accused, in particular, murder, sabotage, banditry, genocide, public appeals to the outbreak of war, kidnapping , piracy mercenarism and t. d.

I counted as of July 2017 20 of the Criminal Code articles on which possible jury . At the beginning of the introduction of jury trials in Russia of such items was 47, according Sergeya Pashina calculations, the main initiator of the introduction of jury trials in Russia.

The criminal case, which involved several defendants, the court is considered by jury in respect of all the defendants , if at least one of them said a request for consideration of a criminal case by a court in the composition.

If the defendant has not filed a motion for the consideration of the criminal case by the court by jury, the case is considered by another composition of the court in the manner prescribed by law.

The judge’s decision to hear the case from the jury is final. The subsequent failure of the defendant from the criminal trial by jury is not accepted .

Criminal cases involving jurors of federal courts of general jurisdiction is held in the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation, the supreme courts of republics, territorial, regional courts, courts of federal cities, autonomous region and autonomous districts, the district (naval) military courts.

jury selection jurors is actually a two-step.

According to Art. 3 of the federal law, jurors can not be: persons under 25 years of age; persons with outstanding or previously convicted; persons recognized as incapable or limited in capacity; are registered in the drug treatment or mental hospital.

Such persons are not included in the lists of jurors , drawn up every four years on the basis of the voter list by random sampling. Exclude these people from the list of jurors bodies of executive power of the municipality or the region. Then, after getting acquainted with the citizens of the jury lists, these lists are excluded from the statements of the citizens themselves several categories.

The weak point of this phase of jury selection is a voluntary procedure for submitting applications for exclusion from the jury list. That is, if, for example, the police considers that nothing prevents him to be sworn he did not submit an application for delisting.

During jury selection to participate in a particular criminal case to participate in the proceedings as jurors are not allowed to persons suspected or accused of committing crimes; I do not speak the language in which the hearing is conducted; with physical and / or mental disabilities that prevent full participation in the hearing.

During the trial, the jury task boils down to, to answer three main questions: whether the proven fact of the crime, if that proved his committed by the defendant, and whether he is guilty of the crime. In the case of the issue of the recognition of the defendant’s guilt is put whether he deserves leniency. In this case the judge to the jury formulate lists of issues, which are often a few dozen items.

Jurors “should strive to adopt a unanimous decision,” but if this is not achieved within three hours, the verdict made by voting.

A guilty verdict is adopted, if the majority of the jury votes for each of the three key issues. Acquittal verdict is considered, if not less than six judges gave a negative answer to at least one of the three questions. If the deciding votes are equally divided, the adopted most favorable to the defendant’s answer for each question.

The acquittal is mandatory for the presiding judge, in this case, the court justifies the defendant. Guilty as the jury’s verdict is not binding on the court. If the judge recognizes that a guilty verdict handed down against an innocent person, then adopted a decree on the dissolution of the jury and the criminal case is sent for a new trial by another composition of the court. This decision is not subject to appeal in cassation.

From the jurisdiction of jury trials for the duration of this institution such articles were excluded, such as terrorism, hostage-taking, riots, treason, espionage, violent seizure of power, rape and sexual offenses against children. Some compounds “fell out” of crime from the jurisdiction of jury trials due to the fact that the new Criminal Code of the Russian Federation in 2001 softened for him the punishment and the death penalty or life imprisonment has not been provided (eg high treason). In some cases, exceptions motive was that the jury too often render acquittals. For example, in the discussion in the State Duma in 2013, the issue of the exclusion of such a composition as sexual crimes against children, the author of the bill deputy Spring said that the jury too often justify the accused.

In February 2016 the Russian Constitutional Court found that the criminal case against women in the murder with aggravating circumstances could be considered by a jury of 12 people in the supreme courts of republics, territorial or regional courts. Prior to that, women were deprived of the possibility to be tried before a jury, because the Russian legislation does not provide for life sentences for the women.

December 3, 2015, Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed to extend the role of juries in a possible reduction in their number in the court up to 5-7 people. This was an attempt to respond to society’s demands for justice. At a time when major political offenses removed from the jurisdiction of jury trials, the expansion of the institute of juries are no longer threatened by the authorities. In other words, cases of domestic murder and some other formulations could, according to the authorities, to consider jury trials at district and city levels.

Starting from June 1, 2018 Institute of jurorsIt will be operational in the district (city) and garrison military courts. Established number of jurors for the district and garrison military courts – 6 people, in the courts of the Russian Federation and the district military courts, the number of jurors will be reduced from 12 to 8. district-level court jury will consider the criminal case at the request of the accused, for which there may not be sentenced to life imprisonment, namely, with regard to women, persons who have committed crimes under the age of 18 years, men who have attained to time of the court’s 65-year-olds sentence. Criminal cases on these articles of the Criminal Code in relation to other persons, as before, will be considered by the court of the subject of the Russian Federation. In addition, the district court with the participation of jurors,

Judges of the Russian Federation, according to a discussion at the Congress in December 2016, the judges are extremely skeptical about the prospects for the mass introduction of jury trials . They talk about the organizational unpreparedness and lack of funding. We can assume that in the near future verdicts of the jury will not become a mass phenomenon in the municipal and district courts.

Practical functioning of juries problem is clearly illustrated by the case of the murder of Boris Nemtsov , who was considered by the Moscow District Military Court in 2016-2017. A panel of 12 jurors was in the conference room for three days. She had to answer 26 questions put to them by the judge. The jury could not come to a unanimous opinion, so after three hours of contentious issues have been put to the vote. 10 of the 12 jurors declared guilty of all five defendants.

Eight jurors were replaced during the process. The defendant’s lawyer Bakhaeva Zaurbek Sadahanov said: “There was a sweep of the jury, we have seen. The verdict is absolutely illegal, because no evidence of guilt Bakhaeva investigation did not present. This is only possible in a country where there is no justice. “

In discussing the questions that were to answer the jury, the objections of the accused lawyers were not taken into account, the judge approved the questions in its original version. This version of the problem was that the actions of each of the defendants, the judge invited the jury to assess the aggregate only to the actions of the other four defendants.

At the present time in Russia there was already a jury management practices. Its main elements are:

1. Selection loyal jury on board formation step. Washer courts evaluate the behavior of the jury, and depending on this jury are involved or are not involved in other processes.

2. Restrictions jury taps to participate in a particular meeting: no more than one non-motivated removal of restrictions on issues at the stage of taps (you can ask about criminal records of relatives, but you can not ask questions, the answers to which are characterized by human eyes).

3. Adjustment of the board structure by eliminating disloyal jury. For this purpose the taps on spurious grounds, creating grounds for removal from the board (the jury may hold on his way to a meeting of the traffic police, with the result that the jury is removed from the board).

4. Manipulative or control wording of the jury by the judge.

5. Prohibitions on the provision of the jury during the meeting on problems of the inquiry, such as torture . Random mention of torture, even the hint is the reason for the cancellation of the verdict.

6. Intimidation by jury, as was done during the process in the Supreme Court of the Chechen Republic in the case of citizens of Ukraine and Karpyuk Klyha.

If the jury panel of the control mechanisms do not work, use the cancellation of the verdict by the Supreme Court of Russia. If needed, which is often politically motivated, the Supreme Court cancels the guilty verdict of the jury and send the case for retrial. So it was in the case of the murder Anny Politkovskoy. Grounds for cancellation of the verdict was that, according to the Armed Forces, the panel “go on about the lawyers who reported the identity of defendants in the case, and the jury presented negative information about the investigation.”

I am getting the result. A jury in Russia it is a jury trial, not sheffenskim court or some other form of participation of representatives of the people in judicial decisions. However, the jury as the “Court of Justice” in the Russian Federation operating in simulation mode. This is achieved due to two main factors: the limited scope of application of a jury and the widespread use of illegal jury management.

Summing up, it can not be said about the money. Often mention that Ukraine has no money for a jury trial. But the money in this case is irrelevant. We are talking about saving mode. See what makes the authoritarian Putin regime in Russia – is introducing jury trials at the district level. It costs a lot of money, because in Russia in 2184 the district court. is sorely lacking is the answer mode to request people to justice. Of course, the “political” as a judge in violation of all the rules, and will be judged, and to plant. But in cases of domestic murder people get this same justice in the form of trial by jury. Putin’s regime is trying to prolong its existence. If authoritarian regimes are saving yourself so why democracy in Ukraine should act differently?

Sourse, 23/10/2017

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