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Jury Nullification

"The fact that the judge says it is not the jury's responsibility to judge the law should not be confused with believing that it is not the jury's responsiblity to judge the law.

"The jury is the final safeguard built into our system to prevent our citizens from being stripped of their rights by unjust laws. You cannot punish a juror for voting with his conscience.

"Few history books give juries the credit they're due--for stopping the Salem witch trials, for overturning slavery in state after state before the Civil War, and for ending Prohibition--all by refusing to convict because they thought the law itself was wrong.

"These days, trial by jury often doesn't accomplish all that it should. And the usurpation continues: trial judges now falsely tell jurors that their only job is to decide if the "facts" are sufficient to convict, and that if so, they "should" or "must" convict. Defense attorneys can face contempt of court charges if they urge jurors to acquit if they think the law is unconstitutional or unjust. And self-defenders are usually stopped and rebuked if they even mention their motives, or why they disagree with the law, to the jury."

Jury Veto Power, from The Fully Informed Jury Association


I will be attending law school next fall. I think the concept of jury nullification is an important one in our history. Please keep me informed of the progress made. Thank you, Lynda Carter

2003-10-19 10:56 | lynda carter

You’ll probably also be interested in reading about John Peter Zenger. His trial is considered the germ of our free speech concept and hinged on jury nullification.

2003-10-20 10:38 | P T Withington

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