REVIEW: An inconsistent witness clouds the case in The Jury Room S1E6
The final instalment of The Jury Room studies the series’ most compelling case yet; a prosecution made all the more impenetrable due to the changing stories of an inconsistent witness.
Tonight, CBS Reality airs the finale of what has been a truly intriguing series, in which viewers have experienced a real insight into the judicial process. And while we may be disappointed the programme is drawing to an end so soon, we are pleased The Jury Room will conclude with the most exciting case to date.
Episode six looks at the case of Omar Benguit, who was accused of murdering Korean student Jong-ok Shin in an unprovoked attack. The incident took place in Bournemouth on 12 July 2002, as Jong-ok (known as Oki) walked home during the early hours of the morning. The 26-year-old student was suddenly attacked by a masked figure, who proceeded to stab the defenceless Oki three times.
Six weeks after the killing, a woman arrested for shoplifting informed the police she knew the murderer. The witness, named Beverly Brown for the purpose of this programme, admitted she had driven three men close to where the stabbing happened that day when locating drugs from a crack den. Beverly detailed how one passenger – Omar Benguit – had exited the car when passing an Asian female walking the streets, only to be picked up at a later time with blood stains on his shirt. The shirt had then supposedly been disposed of in a shopping bag.
As always, host Will Hanrahan presents the established and emerging evidence to a jury made up of 12 everyday citizens. The Omar Benguit case probably provokes the most divided debate we’ve seen on the show so far, mainly due to the fact it hangs on the word of such an unreliable prosecution witness. Three trials were originally required to reach a verdict due to Beverly’s inconsistency. Her story constantly changed and the verdict was brought back into question in 2014 when it was highlighted how she sold yet another version of the story to the media for £500, in which she claimed to have actually seen the stabbing take place.
This information acts as hugely significant in altering the opinions of the jury and soon becomes the main point of interest. However, an even bigger twist is added into the mix half way through the episode, which throws everything discussed so far into question. Sensational new evidence suggests a completely different man could have been the potential killer; a known serial killer who was in the area on the day of the attack…
The continual twists and turns in tonight’s finale certainly make it the most compelling and complex of the series, and when it is time to reach a verdict some of the jury struggle to even voice a judgement.
So, for the last time: Will you, and the jury, find the convicted killer guilty or not guilty?
For fans who enjoy The Jury Room and would like to hear more about the proceedings, CBS has launched a companion podcast for the series – available to download and listen below: