According to David Farrar at KiwiBlog
A huge majority of respondents to a Herald digi-poll support juries knowing the criminal history of defendents. A whopping 68% support juries knowing such history, with only 28% against.
The majority here is correct. Past patterns are the best indicators of future behaviour, so “patterns based evidence” should be entirely acceptable in a court of law.
As David says;
The concern with having juries know a defendent’s criminal history is that they may judge them not on the facts of the current case, but based on their previous behaviour.
The reality is that are defendant’s past convictions are “facts of the case”. They tell the jury, which make decisions on the balance of probabilities, just what the person standing before them is known to be capable of.
Also pleasing was the fact that;
Only 40% support ending the right of silence…
Meaning 60% realise that to require one to give testimony against oneself is a sure recipe for increased police thuggery and coercion.
Just shows that a lot of Kiwis understand that certain legal principles are essential to preserving our liberty.