In The Reichenbach Fall, Moriarty was captured on the cameras while breaking the glass chamber where the crown was showcased.

How could the jury ignore this evidence and declare him not guilty? Even if nothing was taken from these places, shouldn’t there be any punishment for breaking into three of the most key places of a country?

I know that Moriarty mentioned that he pressurised the jury, but how is it possible that the jury be allowed to ignore evidence as strong as the video recording from a surveillance camera?

1 Answer 1


How is it possible that the jury be allowed to ignore an evidence as strong as video recording of a surveillance camera?

I dislike answering a question with another question, but in this case I think its warranted.

What would be the purpose of a jury if they were only allowed to convict and not acquit the accused?

In the case where the entire jury was persuaded to give a not-guilty verdict, I don’t think UK law would allow for a mistrial unless there were evidence of the pressure on the jury.

Yes, the UK does allow for non-jury trial in cases of jury tampering but these appear to be invokable in cases of mistrial, which would only happen in cases where the jury were unable to reach a verdict, or serious procedural problems in the trial. I don’t think this would include the jury simply not returning the expected verdict.

Normally in cases of jury tampering, it would be nearly impossible to tamper with the entire jury without one or more reporting it to the court. Persuading just one or two would typically just result in an unanimous verdict being impossible to reach.

However it is suggested that Moriarty is able to get to all the jury:

Sherlock: Got to the jury of course

Jim: I got into the Tower of London; you think I can't worm my way into 12 hotel rooms?

This of course plays into the mystique of Moriarty, that he is more than a typical criminal. If we assume that he can persuade all twelve jurors to acquit without revealing the pressure to the court, there is little that can be done.

  • Hmm.. So, since nobody is showed there to challenge the jury verdict, it remained 'not guilty'. Still something's a little off here as the matter in question is the compromised security of 3 very imp places and nobody challenges the unexpected verdict. However, thanks for pointing the thing that JM did indeed reach all 12 jurors as that explains that now at least he has the unanimous jury acquittal working in his favour.
    – CCCC
    May 17, 2020 at 9:23
  • @CCCC .... its is extraordinarily unlikely that anyone could persuade 12 people to acquit. With enough resources you can use threats of violence, blackmail and bribery, but it seems a very risky strategy.
    – iandotkelly
    May 17, 2020 at 16:03

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