Flutterby™! : Nullification

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2014-02-13 13:25:38.623191+00 by meuon 3 comments

I saw this video about the third option: Jury Nullification which lead to the Wikipedia article: Jury Nullification and a little more reading like: this one and while I knew Juries "did it", I didn't understand the stance officially. All of a sudden I have a little more respect for the power of a jury trial and our legal system.

[ related topics: Law Video Woodworking ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2014-02-13 16:10:08.263517+00 by: Dan Lyke [edit history]

If you search the archives for "Jury Nullification", you'll find all sorts of places where I've struggled with the concept and the application of it (Looks like the first one was back in May of 1998). On the one hand, we all learned about the John Peter Zenger libel case back in American History, where his lawyer (Andrew Jackson, but not the president) successfully argued to the jury that the libel law of the time was stupid because it saw truth as irrelevant to the application of libel, on the other hand we have the South from Reconstruction through the Civil Rights era, where you couldn't convict a white person for an entire class of violence.

But, yeah, as much as I respect judges, juries are the only entity in a lawsuit whose primary interest is justice. Judges are held to and upholding the law, even where it doesn't serve justice, prosecutors are after a conviction at all costs, defense attorneys want an acquittal.

All we have are juries.

#Comment Re: made: 2014-02-13 22:49:39.27824+00 by: Larry Burton

I've sat on two juries and returned one verdict. The verdict was in a criminal case that the guy was being prosecuted because no one bothered to read through all the receipts line by line. Jury nullification had no bearing on this case but I did learn that regardless of the judges instructions the decision of whether to find guilt or not was fully my decision to make with only the other jurors arguments to sway me once we were sent in to reach a verdict.

#Comment Re: made: 2014-02-14 11:40:38.698259+00 by: DaveP [edit history]

A good friend of mine just became executive director of the Fully Informed Jury Association so I'm generally pretty well-informed on their stance if you have any questions.