If you think that jury tampering and bribing jurors only happen in telenovelas, movies and fictional books, you should probably think again. In fact, there are a lot of news stories about guilty parties, crime syndicates and popular figures in politics and the society who have been found guilty of bribing judges or blackmailing jury members. Usually judges and jurors are bribed with money, political favours, and one night stands with women you see on sites that feature live girls online, among other things.
In Canada, a woman was convicted for trying to bribe a juror member. According to reports, Erica Levin, the wife of a psychiatrist who was being indicted for three counts of sexual assaults, offered money to one of the jurors. In return, the juror should vote for the acquittal of Erica Levin’s husband.
Bribing and Blackmailing in the Justice System
Based on the California Penal Code section 92, bribing a judge or a juror is only considered as a pay off if a person offered something valuable to the judges or jurors. In return, these people will make a judgment that is favourable to the person who bribed them. On the one hand, blackmail is somewhat similar to bribery. The only distinction is the methods or means of doing it. When blackmailing judges or jurors, there are threats involved.
According to the WND.com, the last federal judge accused of accepting a pay-off was Judge Alcee Hastings. He was the judge for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. Even if Hastings was impeached from his post, he was never sent down for it. In fact, he even got elected as a congressman.
Given that the judges and jurors hold the life of people who are being charged with something, they become the primary targets of briberies and blackmails. Since the primary goal of trials and court cases is to give a fair, honest and impartial ruling, cases of briberies and blackmails must be dealt with force. More so, preventive measures must be instituted in ensuring that jury members will not be blackmailed by anyone. For instance, instigation of bribery in the judiciary can be shunned if strong penalties will be implemented for those who will break their duties.