I'm feeling a bit sorry for Huhne at the moment. Vicki Pryce's defence depends upon her successfully arguing Huhne was a cunt- at least a bigger one than he is. He can't defend himself in the media because we'd say "Piss off, cunt". So he's reliant on the prosecution in Pryce's case putting his side.
Who's the defendant here? Maybe we're all defendants, mannnn!
Is she claiming duress as part of her defence? It seems to include Huhne trying to force her to have multiple abortions. Still looks pretty weak.
Author-judge Constance Briscoe and hack Isobel Oakeshott have been involved, allegedly helping VP to smear CH in various media. Might be interesting to see Oakeshott squirm, she's a bit too smug for my liking on Andrew Neil's show.
BBC legal affairs correspondent Clive Coleman said it was unusual for a jury to ask so many questions, including one in which they had asked whether they could speculate on what had been in Ms Pryce's mind.
He said another question was: "Can a juror come to a verdict based on a reason that was not presented in court and has no facts or evidence to support it either from the prosecution or defence?"
Why good grief? They seem perfectly reasonable questions to ask of a judge, given they're ordinary people being asked to judge a case in which the facts of the case don't appear to be disputed, but the issue is whether martial coercion was a factor; if it was, not guilty, if it wasn't then guilty.
In other words, deciding a judgement which depends on interpreting a law from the 1920s in which very, very different assumptions about men, women, marriage, obligation, duty etc pertained seems to me very hard indeed.
Bet Huhne's kicking himself though. He could have survived, he'll be thinking now.
8. Would religious conviction be a good enough reason for a wife feeling that she had no choice, ie she promised to obey her husband in her wedding vows and he had ordered her to do something and she felt she had to obey?
The judge said the question was not for this case. And Pryce had not suggested any such reasoning was behind her decision to take the points.
Is it reasonable to ask something as utterly random and unrelated as this?
My thoughts entirely ursus. It seems highly likely to me that some of the questions are the outcome of a bunch of sensible jurors having failed to persuade some idiot on the jury of the (obvious to most people, especially jurors who will have just had judge's general guidance) principle that you can't, as Central Rain puts it, just make stuff up, and thinking "well we can't talk sense into him/her, but perhaps he/she will get it if we get the judge to spell it out".
Last Edit: 20 Feb 2013 20:10 by Evariste Euler Gauss.
A legal question about the VP thing. Her legal team made claims that her husband coerced her into having abortions as part of the framework of bullying behaviour that would tally with taking the points thing, does she have to actually provide medical evidence if asked to back up this assertion at all?
As Chris Huhne isn't a defendant and can't confirm to deny this story then I'm wondering if it should be considered admissible without such evidence?
The defence must establish marital coercion on a balance of probabilities. I should imagine lack of corroboration would somewhat weaken the claim, and that juries may take such lack of corroboration into account, but that it falls under "matters of fact" and is therefore up to them to determine using "reasonable inference".