How does The Jury: Murder Trial work?

The social experiment will air on Channel 4 over four consecutive nights.

The Jury: Murder Trial (Channel 4)
The Jury: Murder Trial airs over four nights on Channel 4 from Monday. (Channel 4)

Channel 4 is launching a new social experiment to examine the British justice system in greater detail.

The Jury: Murder Trial premieres on Monday, 26 February and it will air over the course of four consecutive nights. What is fascinating is how the social experiment will work, and what conclusions it might allow the British public to make of our current justice system.

Here is everything you need to know about the series, and how Channel 4 pulled it off.

How does The Jury: Murder Trial work?

Pictured: Defence Barrister - Xavier Ahmad QC (Christopher Simpson) addressing the two juries (Channel 4)
Defence Barrister Xavier Ahmad QC (Christopher Simpson) addressing the two juries, who are unaware of each other. (Channel 4)

The Jury: Murder Trial will see two randomly selected juries be presented with an entire, real murder trial which is being recreated for them. Neither jury is aware of the other, nor do they realise that the case they are being asked to preside over has already happened.

Filmed over the course of ten days in a former courthouse in Essex, the trial uses original transcripts and actors to present the case to the juries. The juries, comprised of different groups of people, will be asked to judge a case of a man who admitted to killing his wife, but whose defence attests he lost control, and therefore should not be deemed guilty of murder.

The case will be presented to the juries at the same time, with jurors watching from specially built compartments in the courtroom that mean they remain unaware of their counterparts. By doing this, both juries will be given the same information, in the same way, at the same time, but will they come to the same conclusion? That is the question.

Pictured (L-R): Emily, Jodie, Junior, Sacha. (Channel 4)
The Jury: Murder Trial sees two different juries be presented the same information at the same time, the jurors are unaware the real murder trial is being re-enacted by actors. (Channel 4)

Over the course of four episodes, viewers at home will see how each jury takes in the information and whether other factors might play a part in their decision-making. They will also discover why the two groups come to the conclusion they come to, and will see if they even come to the same conclusion at all.

This is the first time the justice system is put under such scrutiny for the public. The show seeks to determine if jurors are able to understand the intricacies of complicated law like loss of control, and whether it is a help or hindrance to the British justice system that the reasoning for a jury's verdict is kept a secret in the UK.

The Jury: Murder Trial premieres on Channel 4 at 9pm on Monday, 26 February.