Trial Almost Thrown Out After Woman Accidentally Joins Its Jury

A court case in the UK was brought to a screeching halt when it was revealed that one of the women on the jury wasn't supposed to be there.

We all react differently to discovering that we have been selected for jury duty. Some of us jump for joy and hope we get placed on a case that drags on for weeks. Others aren't quite as excited as it potentially means being dragged away from our homes, families, and jobs.

It's probably safe to say most of us would take a way out of jury duty if such a thing was offered to us. What we definitely wouldn't do is wander on to a jury without being specifically asked. That's what a woman in the UK recently did. While sitting with a pool of potential jurors, the unnamed woman "followed the crowd" and wound up in a courtroom.

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via USA Today

The other 11 jurors had been summoned to the courtroom, and for some reason, the unassigned 12th "juror" tagged along, reports The Telegraph. A 12th juror had already been selected for the case but wasn't present at the time. That one of the jurors should not have been there went completely unnoticed by everyone else in the courtroom, and she had to flag her presence to the judge.

Upon the realization that someone was there who should not have been, Judge Seely dismissed the jurors and asked her to return alone. He then explained that a mistake had been made and that he didn't need to discharge her as she was never an official member of the jury. Instead, she just needed to return to the pool from whence she came so she could be assigned to a different case.

While this is all rather entertaining, the consequences could have been far more serious. If the case had continued without the unofficial juror's presence being noticed, the case in question would have had to be declared a mistrial. That would have meant whether guilty or not, the charges against the defendant would have been dropped. Thankfully, she had the where with all to let someone know she shouldn't have been there in time for that not to happen.

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