ScreenDog's upcoming documentary about the justice system to air on Channel 4

"The Jury: Murder Trial" will be broadcasted on 26th February and takes audiences behind the scenes, with real jurors deciding on a real UK murder case.

21 FEB 2024

"The Jury: Murder Trial"

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ScreenDog upcoming documentary, "The Jury: Murder Trial" will air on Channel 4 on 26th February. For the first time on British TV, the production company, is taking audiences behind the scenes, with real jurors deciding on a real UK murder case. The 4-part hybrid series recreates an entire murder trial, word for word from original transcripts. 24 real jurors randomly split into two juries hear the trial at the same time. The two juries are completely unaware of each other and viewers will find out if their verdicts agree.

"The Jury: Murder Trial" restages the trial of a man who admits killing his wife but denies murder and this is the fact that the juries must decide. Studies have shown that juries give questionable verdicts up to a quarter of the time and 70% of jurors don’t understand the key points of law in their case. With the secrecy that surrounds the jury process and the fact that it is illegal for jurors to speak about their verdicts, it is only through experiments like this that audience can ever know juries really function and how fair they really are.

Featuring commentary from OBE and former crown prosecutor Nazir Afzal, the 4-part documentary will air across 4 nights on Channel 4, with the first episode airing on 26th February. The Executive Producer for ScreenDog is Ed Kellie, the Series Executive Producer is Max Shapira. The Drama Executive Producer is Bruce Goodison, and the Production and Welfare Executive is Fiona Fletcher. The Edit Executive Producer is Tom Garland and Series Editor Tom Swingler. The concept was developed by Ed Kellie with Will Stanbridge and Harry Smyth. The documentary was commissioned by Alf Lawrie, Head of Factual Entertainment, and Daniel Fromm Commissioning Editors, Factual Entertainment.

Ed Kellie, Creative Director at ScreenDog says, “We came up with this idea thinking about where our personal biases have the most impact on the people around us. Jurors are asked to draw on their life experience, but to leave their bias behind – is that possible? Do 12 people neutralise each other fairly, or do dominant individuals and cliques form? We wanted a glimpse of how these monumental, life-changing decisions play out in jury rooms everyday up and down the country.”

Alf Lawrie, Head of Factual Entertainment, for Channel 4 says, “This fascinating and ground-breaking programme asks profound questions about the justice system. Lifting the lid on what most people know little about, this revealing show could be described as putting the jury system itself on trial.”