I do not believe we have a racism problem in the jury system in Britain, says Mercy Muroki

Jurors are selected at random from the electoral register, just names plucked out of a hat. There’s no bias, there’s no discrimination.

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There is a good chance that you will one day be called to serve on a jury. About a 35 per cent chance, in fact, if you live in England. It’s something that never crosses our minds before it happens, but it is the pillar of our justice system.

Sir William Blackstone, an 18th century English jurist and professor who produced the treatise on the common law of England wrote this: “Trial by jury is a privilege of the highest and most beneficial nature and our most important guardian of both public and private liberties".

And those words still ring true.

Jurors are selected at random from the electoral register, just names plucked out of a hat. There’s no bias, there’s no discrimination. It’s good old fashioned luck of the draw for everyone registered to vote.

Why am I telling you all this? Well, stick with me.

Yesterday’s Sunday Times reported that a black family who tragically lost their 14-year-old son when a gang of 5 stabbed him in the chest has called for an end to mostly white Juries.

This comes after only 1 of the 5 were found guilty of a lesser charge of manslaughter, rather than murder. The family believe that, because the jury was mostly white, 'justice had not been done'.

Look, nobody should have to lose a child. Especially not in such a heinous way. I commend this family for bravely sitting through that trial and trying to get justice for their son – and I’m sorry that it didn’t go their way.

But I'm afraid to say that I think their assertions on juries are ill-judged.

A local reverend had this to say following the verdict, "we need ethnically balanced juries...the system is not geared up to give black people justice".

Let me put this candidly – I do not believe we have a racism problem in the jury system in Britain. America may be a different story. But I don’t see evidence for that.

Let me repeat, jurors are randomly selected from the electoral roll. And it's one hell of a slippery slope to start bringing in identity politics into that system – is it not?

I mean, where does it stop? Women get to demand all-female juries? Trans people on trial get to demand trans jurors?

God knows where it would all end if we started fiddling with a centuries old system.

Let me use this as a case in point. Late last year, there was uproar when a nearly all-white jury, with only one black member, was seated in a Georgia murder trial of three white men who shot a black jogger. You may remember this case - his name was Ahmaud Arbery.

"This all white jury already tells me the verdict of this trial", one observer said on Twitter. "Is this all white jury capable of convicting white vigilante murderers?", another lamented.

So what was the outcome? Black man jogging through white neighbourhood, 3 white men shoot him dead, nearly all white Jury. Surely surely these white jurors, with all their racial biases, set the killers free?

No, they did not. In fact, that white jury found ALL three white men GUILTY of felony murder, and they were all handed down life sentences.

And that’s in America for goodness’ sakes , the ground 0 for racial chaos – even I was sort of surprised.

And a big piece of research by the Ministry of Justice found that ethnic minority jurors were not underrepresented, and black and white citizens were equally willing to sit on juries.

In other words, there is – quite literally – nothing to see, here.

Identity politics has already seeped into other once-great institutions, please please don’t let it corrupt what is an already shambolic justice system.