Thursday, September 25, 2008

Jury Nullification

In my effort to learn about obscure points of law, I discovered Jury Nullification. After googling it to learn it's true meaning, I ran across an alarming trend. But first, let me help you understand what exactly Jury Nullification really is.

Jury Nullification is the acquitting of a defendant by a jury in disregard of the judge's instructions and contrary to the jury's findings of fact.

Basically, a jury has the Constitutional Right to nullify a charge against the defendant based on the prescribed punishment being either too harsh for the situation, or the law that they broke was in essence unjust. Also, if enough juries find a certain law to be unjust, they can set a precidence for that law to be challenged in court.

In the beginning of the United States of America, juries were almost always told about their right to Jury Nullification, but in the last 110 years, Judges often times severely discourage this knowledge. Recently, it's been upheld that a Judge can actually remove a juror if he feels that the intent of that particular juror is to nullify. So the consensus of late is that Judges and Congress really don't want us to know that we have a right to nullify.

I also ran across this on youtube.

I also found a site that provides just about everything you'd need to know about being on a jury. They give resources for if you are facing charges, if you are called for Jury Service, and they even have a Juror's Handbook.

There is alot of support out there for informing juries of their rights. Especially their right to nullify.

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