Judge a crime online

Categories: Forensic Casework experiences, News, Sciblogs

Here’s your chance to judge a real case and decide a sentence. The UK Ministry of Justice has just issued a press release announcing a website that allows the general public to hear the circumstances of a criminal case after a person has been found guilty at a trial and then listen to the information to help determine a sentence.

Although not directly related to science, this is an interesting resource that could have application in New Zealand. It would give people a chance to consider the information and gather an insight into how sentencing works, which would take some of the bias out of people’s views of cases, which are largely driven by information provided to them by the media.

Even though this is an English site based on English law and the Magistrates’ Court (equivalent of NZ District Court), it’s quite realistic in terms of the types of information that are heard. To run through the whole thing takes about 15 minutes plus 5 minutes to read the press release that contains a you.tube video explaining the reasoning behind the establishment of the site. I hope that as the site develops, they introduce more complex cases and maybe introduce some scientific evidence. Give it a try and see what you think: You Be The Judge (once it starts, you can’t skip backwards if you miss a bit but you can pause).

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