During a murder trial in Limerick yesterday, eleven Catholics were excluded from the jury by the Crown. The case had no political significance, and the crime was a heinous one. There was no apparent reason for anyone in Limerick County to give a biased verdict. However, it raises the question of why these eleven Catholics were excluded from the jury when, at the English Assizes, there hasn’t been a single instance of excluding even one juror since the 1850s. It seems that jury-packing has become a regular practice for ordinary prosecutors, possibly not feeling like they are doing their job properly unless they exclude a certain number of Catholics from the jury.
This practice of jury-packing raises concerns about the fairness and impartiality of the legal system, particularly in cases with no political or religious implications. By excluding a specific group of people, such as Catholics, from participating in the jury, the justice system might be perceived as biased and unjust. Furthermore, this unfair treatment could potentially affect the outcome of trials and decrease public trust in legal institutions. It is crucial to address these disparities and ensure all citizens, regardless of their religious beliefs, have an equal opportunity to participate in the administration of justice. Working toward a fair and impartial legal system will not only lead to more equitable outcomes in individual cases but also contribute to social cohesion and harmony in society.
Northants Evening Telegraph – Thursday 07 March 1901