Under The British And Australian Laws The Jury Has No Access To The Past Criminal Record Of The Defendant | Band 7.5 IELTS Essay Sample
Under British and Australian laws a jury in a criminal case has no access to information about the defendant’s past criminal record. This protects the person who is being accused of the crime. Some lawyers have suggested that this practice should be changed and that a jury should be given all the past facts before they reach their decision about the case. Do you agree or disagree?
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Band 7.5 IELTS essay sample
In England and Australia, the jury is not given the previous crime history of the accused. Some lawyers believe that having access to all the previous records of the defendant helps the judges to pronounce accurate verdicts. I completely agree with the statement and shall put forth my arguments in the upcoming paragraphs.
It is pivotal for the bench to have past records of the criminal so that they do not make any prejudiced decisions. Previous history of the accused helps in deciding the severity of the punishment. For example, repeat offenders such as serial murderers and rapists should receive stringent punishment whereas someone who commits a crime under the influence of unfavourable circumstances should be treated more leniently.
Moreover, innocent people are also benefited, if the past records are taken into consideration as they will not be misjudged. For example, a girl may commit murder in order to protect herself from being raped. In other words, breaking the law for self-defense or such circumstances should not be compared with committing a crime intentionally. In this case, the clean history of the girl can save her from life imprisonment or from death sentence. Moreover, the previous history gives insight into the criminal’s social background, upbringing, education, character and mental health status. Therefore, the jury can read the subconscious mind of the convicted and take a well-defined, appropriate, conscious decision.
In conclusion, it is evident from the above arguments that the jury must be made aware of the comprehensive past records of the accused to make judgements without flaws.
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