Under British and Australian laws a jury in a criminal case has no access to information about the defendant's past criminal record. This protects the person who is being accused of the crime. Some lawyers have suggested that this practice should be changed and that a jury should be given all the past facts before they reach their decision about the case. Do you agree or disagree?
As crimes increase day by day and more extraordinary cases rise, the more significant proportions are given to the jury who gives punishments due to his/her own judgement on the seriousness of crime. I fully agree to the suggested statement that the juries should be given all the past facts about the criminal before they reach their decision about the case.
Firstly, it provides more chances for accurate verdict. Past history shows to record or the way how the criminal has lived and the mindset or the values he/she gives importance to. Such information can become very important as currently, crimes are being more elaborated and people often have less evidence. These records can help make easier decisions. Furthermore, there are different habits to all people. Even it might take a long time finding it, through records given the jury can compare the cases and figure out if the pattern of a victim matches with the current case. For example, if a victim has a habit of breaking a pencil in a certain shape, through looking at the picture of a past/ present crime scene, the jury can be sure if the guy is a victim or not. Therefore, if past records are given, the jury can make a wiser decision.
Additionally, the crime rate will decrease and the new criminals will be discouraged.. Knowing that the person's past record will be shown, they will think more before committing crime. Furthermore, Through development of the internet, all the punishments given to criminals will be known to people. Thus, even small crime such as stealing or taking a candid shot would be recorded, and if such crimes are repeated, there will be fear that they could be caught and believed for committing such serious crimes even if they haven't done it.For instance, if there's a man who caused murder and got caught his record will stay. The next time he gets caught he will get twice the punishment as the judges will think that he might repeat the same mistake again. But the next time if he gets caught even if he wasn't the assailant, he will be punished as it's easier to believe. Hence, because the people with a record will be more suspicious resulting in heavier punishment, the crime will decrease and people will hesitate to start.
In conclusion, because it provides more accurate decisions and diminishes crime rate/ first offence, I agree that juries should be given the past record of the defendant.