New TV show to examine jury system by recreating murder trial

Avatar photo

By Bradley Fountain-Green on


Real cases and even realer juries!

A new TV show will recreate a murder trial in a bid to assess how reliable the British jury system is.

Filmed over ten days in a former courthouse in Essex, Channel 4 series The Murder Retrial will ask two juries to judge on the real life case of a man who admits to killing his wife, but whose defence maintains that he lost control and is not guilty of murder. Actors will recreate the former trial using the original transcripts from the courtroom.

The unsuspecting juries will watch the trial from specially designed courtroom compartments, completely unaware of each other, as well as the fact that they’re being filmed — talk about tension!

The 2023 Legal Cheek Chambers Most List

The show looks to dissect the inner workings of the jury system, and to see if the verdicts are really as reliable as we are led to believe. The motivation for this courtroom drama comes from research done by the Oxford Jury Project, which found that juries disagree in 23% of guilty verdicts and 38% of acquittals. Further research from Chicago Law School has shown that even judges disagree 22% of the time with jury verdicts!

Alf Lawrie, head of factual entertainment for Channel 4, said: “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.”

So what will the juries decide? Will they come to the same verdict? Can I binge watch this in one entire sitting? We’ll keep you updated…

For all the latest commercial awareness info, news and careers advice:

Sign up to the Legal Cheek Newsletter


Pumphole of the Uxbridge Mags

This has been done before.

They filmed it at the now-closed Newbury Magistrates’ Court about ten years ago.

I think John Ryder KC was in it.

It was scripted but the jury was real.

Archibald O'Pomposity

Howe about reporting accurately, Brad? The juries are (obviously) NOT unaware that they’re being filmed. Instead, as reports rather more plausibly: “Actors will recreate the trial in front of the two juries, who will watch unaware of each other, from specially built separate compartments in the courtroom. What will the two juries decide, and why? Will they come to the same conclusion from the exact same evidence presented in the same way or will other factors play a part in their decision? How well will they follow the complexities of the law around loss of control? And after they have deliberated, will they even agree with each other’s verdicts?”


Okey dokey. I’ll be watching something decent on Netflix or Prime.

I don’t care much for this government’s media policy but selling off C4 must be inevitable: what’s the point of this wretched hangover channel from the ‘80s? There’s nothing innovative or ‘challenging’ about their programming at all.

It’s all dull rubbish like this or – gasp! – people doing things in the nude.

Join the conversation

Related Stories

Businessman found guilty of targeting barristers with fake bombs

Devices left outside 3VB in Gray’s Inn

Aug 21 2023 12:43pm

Sam Allardyce hits out after losing assistant to jury duty

New Leeds manager describes decision not to release Sammy Lee as ‘poor judgement’

May 4 2023 9:16am

‘We don’t allow dancing’, judge tells jury at Ed Sheeran copyright trial

British singer denies his song Thinking Out Loud copied Marvin Gaye's Let's Get it On

Apr 27 2023 11:56am