4 U.K. Men Face Precedent-Setting Non-Jury Trial, NPR, Jan. 12, 2010.
For the past 400 years, all criminal trials in Britain have taken place in front of a jury. But Tuesday, that precedent was broken as a trial began before only a judge for four men accused of a major robbery at Heathrow Airport. Recent legislation allows non-jury trials in exceptional circumstances. And in this case, the police convinced a higher court that there had been attempts to intimidate or bribe potential jurors.The crime was exceptional: In February 2004, masked gunmen held up a warehouse at Heathrow Airport and got away with $3 million. Since then over $30 million has been spent trying to try the suspects; the third trial ended after the judge found "a serious attempt at jury tampering."
Thanks: Nick Marritz.