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Retrial By Jury On Trial

Vicky Pryce, the ex-wife of the disgraced cabinet minister Chris Huhne, faces a retrial next week over perverting the course of justice on the grounds of 'marital coercion' in her taking of his speeding points. The eight women and four men of the jury panel deliberating failed to reach a verdict after suffering what the judge described as "absolutely fundamental deficits in understanding". Apparently the Jury sent a list of questions to the Judge, one of which referred to whether religious considerations should be taken into account in their deliberations!
"Would religious conviction be a good enough reason for a wife feeling that she had no choice, ie she promised to obey her husband in her wedding vows and he had ordered her to do something and she felt she had to obey?

Guardian Article

I find it astonishing that one or more of the jurors thought it mattered enough to consider!
I can't tell what motivated the question; whether or not the juror(s) was acting from her own oppressed experience, but does it not at least suggest that one or more of the jurors were 'expecting' religious privilege to 'count for something'? Or maybe had an awareness that religious privilege 'may' count for something, when considering the facts of a case! Is it troubling only to me that a juror may have these 'concerns'? That a juror may consider it pertinent?
I understand that the question may have been asked because of knowledge that a man can pull the God card any time he chooses and the wife, as the second class citizen these religions deem her to be, would have to obey, but isn't that worse? Doesn't that only highlight a widespread knowledge of the subjugation of women, within all religiously based societies, and the widespread acceptance of that subjugation? Acceptance to the extent that the juror considered that the court system may wish to continue that abuse (or privilege depending on their own viewpoint)?
Fortunately, the judge poo-pooed it but a more religious judge may not have.
The judge said the question was not for this case. And Pryce had not suggested any such reasoning was behind her decision to take the points.

As I see it, there is an inherent assumption of coercion from "somewhere" within the "does religion matter" question, assuming that if the husband had invoked 'the god clause' that would mitigate the wife's actions.
But in that case, would it not have been her god that was applying the pressure via it's rules?
And is it the husband's fault for 'believing'? Or the wife's for 'believing' similarly?
Or fault of the text to which they both cleave?
Or of society, for not making it clear that the law of this country is above any mumbo jumbo hokum religious text?

How is it right that a juror could consider it so important, when it was clearly never mentioned in the court?
Doesn't the mere presence of the jurors' question point to a troubling religious influence in places it should not be?

I think so, and I think this is a prime example of the sort of religious influence highlighted in "Trial By Jury On Trial"
This is one of the Too Many Questions

Connected articles

1.Vicky Pryce faces retrail
2.Vicky Pryce 10 Questions

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If you enjoy what you read here
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21 days in May

Please be aware this blog may be considered Illegal almost anywhere!

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