In a rather unexpected turn of events, the criminal cases at the County Limerick Assizes reached their conclusion on a Monday, with Mr Justice Johnson presiding over the proceedings. What sets this session apart from the norm is the fact that not a single case resulted in a conviction, leaving the courtroom in a state of surprise and bewilderment.
In several instances, the juries empanelled for the cases either disagreed on the verdict or acquitted the accused, leading to raised eyebrows among those in attendance. The unpredictability of these outcomes created a sense of intrigue and uncertainty in the legal community.
Remarkably, the situation took such a peculiar turn that Mr Justice Johnson himself felt compelled to address the jury. In one instance, he expressed his dissatisfaction with the jury’s decision, going as far as referring to their actions as a “regular farce.” Subsequently, he took the unusual step of sending them back to reconsider their verdict.
Judge Johnson, seeking to clarify his position and responsibilities in this unusual string of events, took pains to emphasize that he bore no responsibility for any potential miscarriage of justice. He made it unequivocally clear that no blame should be attributed to him for the surprising outcomes of these trials.
The outcome of these cases leaves both the legal community and the public with much to ponder. The County Limerick Assizes have concluded with an air of unpredictability and an unexpected series of acquittals, prompting discussions about the intricacies and uncertainties inherent in the criminal justice system.
Western Times – Wednesday 12 March 1902