Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Val McDermid and crime-writing counterparts to weigh up body of evidence as jurors in Dundee University online trial

Val McDermid will be on the first jury panel for the online project. Pic: KT Bruce
Val McDermid will be on the first jury panel for the online project. Pic: KT Bruce

Between them they have devised countless gruesome killings, keeping readers guessing to the final twist in the tale.

But it will be the turn of top crime writers including Scots novelists Val McDermid and Craig Robertson to work out whodunit in an online interactive theatre project debuting next week.

The Evidence Chamber has been developed by Dundee University’s Leverhulme Research Centre for Forensic Science (LRCFS) to let members of the public play the role of jurors in a murder trial.

After premiering as a live show at the university’s Festival of the Future event last year, the design studio Fast Familiar has now re-imagined it as an interactive courtroom drama and the two crime-writing Scots will be joined by Nigerian-born literary sensation Oyinkan Braithwaite on the first jury panel.

The trial will take place on July 23, a day before members of the public can book a seat in the jury box.

World-leading expertise of the LRCFS team helped the show’s producers to provide insights into how forensic evidence is presented in court and the online version hopes to repeat the success of live performances which have been a huge hit with crime fiction and true crime fans.

Its creators say the move will help further LRCFS research into the use of digital technology in the courtroom.

LRCFS director, Professor Niamh Nic Daéid said, “We are delighted that Fast Familiar have repurposed the Evidence Chamber for remote audiences, as discovering innovating new ways of communicating forensic science is vital to our mission to ensure that the evidence presented in court is as scientifically robust as possible.

Forensic Science Professor Niamh Nic Daéid at Dundee University.

“When juries are making decisions about a person’s guilt or innocence, it is vital that they have confidence in their understanding of the scientific robustness of the evidence presented to them. “That is why we work creatively and collaboratively to make science accessible to the public within the criminal justice context.”

The Evidence Chamber is also an exploration of how we make decisions, what we find persuasive and how being part of a group can affect our decisions.”

The case facing McDermind, Robertson, Braithwaite and their fellow jurors revolves around Reeta Banerjee, a celebrated human rights activist found dead at her home.

Electrical good are missing from her office and the suspect, Andrew Davidson, swears he wasn’t there.

In the online jury room, participants will watch the testimonies and scrutinise the evidence before debating them with fellow jurors and reaching a verdict.

Best-selling author Val McDermid, an honorary graduate of the university, said: “What goes on behind the closed doors of a jury room is constantly intriguing.

“We’ve all been astonished by verdicts. For me, having the inside track on weighing the evidence will be a real treat.”

The Evidence Chamber takes place at various times from July 24 to August 8, with tickets available via Eventbrite.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]