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 layers 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? Give reasons for your answer.
The debate about whether a jury should be authorized a concession to fetch the defendant's past record has been last for a long time. Some people who are against for it argue that it offends one's privacy and affect the judgement of jury. While others (who are for it) believe it is helpful for the court to judge fairly. Personally, I tend to support the attitude that the jury should have access to a defendant's past record.
The most important reason is that I do think it is helpful for the court to judge correctly. No one can deny such a fact that an individual's behaviour will be under the control of his or her characteristics and personality. It is obviously an effective approach for the jury to get the conclusion rapidly and correctly by comparing a defendant's behaviour with the crime in the case, and by check one's past criminal records undoubtedly the jury can abstract the personal information such as habits and acts which are beneficial for the jury to analyse one's personality and behaviour.
Secondly, as for the reason that it influences the judger's judgement proposed by the opponents, it is a conclusion worth of rethinking. Owing to a judgement result is made by the jury ultimately, so it is the jury's responsibility to make an objective judgement, but not the past record's responsibility. In other words, a jury should analyse a defendant's past material objectively. If he could not, then, it is him or other things should be responsible for the case.
In conclusion, I stand for the opinion that the jury should be authorized to fetch the defendant's materials freely, of course, with the prerequisite that they will never leak the individual's any information.