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Colonial Cases

R. v. Moncur and others [1849]

jury, grand, abolition of - jury, majority verdicts

General Court, Bahamas

Lees C.J. and Sandilands J., 17 April 1849

Source: Nassau Guardian and Colonial Advertiser, 18 April 1849

[2] General Court - Easter Term.

The Court met yesterday, being the third Tuesday in April, and adjourned until 10 o'clock this morning, when their Honors Chief Justice Lees and Assistant Justice Sandilands again took their seats on the Bench. The Court was opened with the usual forms, if we except the ceremony of empanelling the "Grand Jury," which body, as our readers are aware, has been abolished by a recent Act of the Legislature.

The Jury having been sworn, Her Majesty's Attorney-General and His Honor the Chief Justice briefly alluded to the facility with which the business of the Court would be conducted under the new law, which required only two thirds of the jury to be unanimous in their decision; whereas the old law made it compulsory on the whole to be of one opinion before returning their verdict. This often occasioned great delay, inasmuch as one juryman, from obstinacy or other causes, had the power of keeping the rest empanelled for several days. By a clause in the new Act, the jury had power of relieving their consciences by returning a verdict of "Not Proven,"   where they found the evidence not sufficiently clear to convict the prisoner, but yet left scarcely a doubt of his guilt.

The informations exhibited by the Attorney-General and tried to day, were as follows -

The Queen vs. Robert Moncur - stealing, in a dwelling house, to the value of upwards of £5 . Verdict - Guilty.

The Queen vs. Archibald Rolls - Larceny - Pleaded Guilty.

The Queen vs. Providence Curtis - feloniously receiving stolen articles - Guilty.

Published by Centre for Comparative Law, History and Governance at Macquarie Law School