‘A scary insight into our justice system’ - Viewers react to Channel 4’s The Jury: Murder Trial

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27 Feb 2024, 13:10

Channel 4’s The Jury: Murder Trial

Credit: Channel 4

A new social experiment programme on Channel 4 is looking into how the British jury system works, and just how reliable it is.

The Jury: Murder Trial - showing across four consecutive nights on Channel 4 - examines the jury system for the first time on British television by recreating a real murder trial using original transcripts, while two randomly selected juries -  neither of whom are aware the other exists - are required to make a verdict. 

In the new show, which was filmed over ten days in a former courthouse in Essex - the two juries are asked to judge on the real case of a man who admits he killed his wife with a hammer, but whose defence says that he lost control, and is therefore not guilty of murder. Actors recreate the trial in front of the two juries, but will they come to the same conclusion based on the exact same evidence, presented to them in the same way?

Watching the opening show on Monday 26th February, viewers took to social media to share their thoughts. One person wrote: “My worst fears of the jury system are confirmed by #TheJury. It's like appointing VAR officials who have never seen a football match before.”

Someone else added: “The middle aged men scrabbling around to find justification of a man beating his wife dead with a hammer is mind boggling and quite a scary insight into our justice system.”

Another X user wrote: “Already irrationally angry at #TheJury. One day into a six-day murder trial and half of them have already rushed into judgement.”

One viewer said: “Blimey, there are some men on that jury who need a good talking to about misogyny and victim blaming. Also, nobody can make a decision until they've heard all the evidence #thejury”

Meanwhile, other viewers complained that aspects of the way the case was portrayed was unrealistic. Someone wrote: “Seriously @Channel4 you have the prosecution barrister WALKING AROUND during his opening speech? This is not America."

The Jury continues tonight (Tuesday 27th February 27) on Channel 4.