Jury nullification wins over dumb law

Discussion in 'Law and Justice System' started by Quantum Windbag, Dec 20, 2010.

  1. Quantum Windbag
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    Quantum Windbag Gold Member

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    Maybe of more people stood up and refused to on things like this we could get the government to start concentrating on the real problems.


    Missoula District Court: Jury pool in marijuana case stages ?mutiny?

    A step in the right direction, even if the guy who benefited was the least deserving.
     
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  2. George Costanza
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    George Costanza A Friendly Liberal

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    I agree insofar as the stupidity of marijuana laws. But I don't recommend trying something like that the next time you are called for jury duty.

    How far do you think you would get if you "made it clear" that you simply were not going to sit on a jury? No reason - you just won't sit. What do you think would happen to you? Hint: Sanctions. So how does giving a reason ("I think the marijuana laws are stupid") make it any different? It doesn't.

    "Jury nullification" is a popular myth that comes down to us from a misunderstanding of the purpose of juries in the first place. In real life, it does not exist.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2010
  3. Quantum Windbag
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    Quantum Windbag Gold Member

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    They were asked if they would have a problem with convicting of possession if the accused had 1/16th of an ounce, not if they were willing to sit on a jury.
     
  4. Oddball
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    Oddball BANNED Supporting Member

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    Before you ever step into a jury box, know all of your rights.

    Fully Informed Jury Association
     
  5. Oddball
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    Total crap.

    I suggest you Google "Laura Kriho" and get your legal and historical facts straight.
     
  6. Quantum Windbag
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    Quantum Windbag Gold Member

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    I can understand why prosecutors, and even judges, are afraid of jury nullification, but I have never understood why defense attorneys are not advocating for it left and right. SCOTUS has affirmed the rights of juries to nullify at least three times, it is even written into the Constitutions of several states, and judges are required by law to instruct juries that they can ignore the law in both Maryland and Indiana. Yet we still have george insisting it never happens.
     
  7. George Costanza
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    George Costanza A Friendly Liberal

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    I think part of our problem here is that jury nullification is illegal in California, and that's where I hang my shingle. Read this:

    Jury Nullification

    So, my comments about JN are based entirely on my own, personal experience with it under California law. I had not realized that it is recognized in some other states.
     
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  8. MikeK
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    MikeK Gold Member

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    The most prominent example of jury nullification in recent memory occurred in the O.J. Simpson murder trial.

    Anyone who is familiar with the facts in that case knows the material evidence leaves no doubt that Simpson was guilty. But he was pronounced not guilty by a predominately Black jury, apparently in response to tacit encouragement to do so by Simpson's lead counsel, Johnny Cochran.

    George Costanza is quite correct in that declaring intention to ignore evidence and support a not guilty verdict will bring a contempt of court charge. But absent any such declaration a jury can issue a not guilty verdict in spite of irrefutable evidence of guilt and that verdict is final. That is the manifest reality of jury nullification, plain and simple. A jury verdict means The People have spoken.

    Because the power of a jury to decide guilt or innocence effectively assigns the role of judge to the jury and reduces the judge to the role of referee, judges harbor a strong resentment for this ability to nullify. But because the power to nullify derives from the Magna Carta there is little more they can do about it other than issue admonitions and hope that jurors are intimidated by them.

    Judges issue "charges" to jurors who are about to deliberate in a criminal trial. An effort is made to represent these "charges" as orders rather than what they really are, which is basic instructions and nothing more. Unfortunately too many jurors take these "charges" too seriously and are motivated to ignore their consciences.
     
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  9. Quantum Windbag
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    Quantum Windbag Gold Member

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    So, if everyone on the jury spontaneously decided to vote their conscious and let a person who is obviously guilty go free by voting him not guilty the state could overturn the verdict and try him again? How do you explain OJ then?

    They cannot make a jury voting its conscious illegal, even if they like the outcome better.
     
  10. jillian
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    jillian Princess Supporting Member

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    you're much more patient with that type of lunacy than i am.

    i agree with you... the jury nullification ranters really have no clue about the role of a jury.
     

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