Bribery in the Jury System


On September 30, 2011, Adidja Palmer, popularly known by his stage name Adidja Palmer, started his trial after nearly three years for the murder of Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams. His trial began November 20, 2013 and continued through to March 13, 2014 where he was found guilty. The jury 10-1 verdict shocked many of his fans, especially the ones who went to the hearing of the verdict. Later, other news took the nation and court by surprised; one of the jurors was bribed.

The Director of Public Prosecutions, Paula Llewllyn, identified Cain Williams as the offender of the crime. He was arrested on March 13 on five counts of attempting to pervert justice and one count of conspiring with persons unknown to pervert the course of justice. Mr. Williams was caught on a voice recording offering the foreman $750,000 to sway the other jurors towards a not guilty verdict.

Legal Approach in other Jurisdictions

If the alleged juror is found guilty of this offence in the Adidja Palmer case, what would be the legal position in some other jurisdictions? Here are some examples:

  • In the United States, jury tampering is a crime of attempting to influence a jury through other means than evidence presented in court, offering bribes, making threats or asking acquaintances to interfere with a juror. If juror who goes outside the scope of his requirements by having conversations about the proceedings in an attempt to change the mind of the jury, is guilty of an offence. A recent case in Miami sentenced jurors to 5 years for accepting money for pushing other jurors to acquit two of Miami’s infamous drug lords.
  • The law on jury tampering in United Kingdom allows for a non-jury trial to be held according to the Criminal Justice Act 2008. A recent case in 2007 in Northern Ireland was dismissed for retrial with a judge only, the first of such a ruling.

© Rushell Malcolm 2014

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