Poll: Do you believe in "Jury Nullification of the Law"?

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Do you believe in "Jury Nullification of the Law"?

no
4
15%
yes
23
85%
 
Total votes : 27

Re: Poll: Do you believe in "Jury Nullification of the Law"?

PostBy: KLook On: Sun Mar 24, 2013 1:17 pm

You have successfully changed it, I am going to think on it for awhile before committing again. Notwithstanding what has been said by past intellectuals on the subject, I'd like to look at actual cases that have occurred. Anyone have a good source on this subject?

Kevin
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Re: Poll: Do you believe in "Jury Nullification of the Law"?

PostBy: warminmn On: Sun Mar 24, 2013 3:02 pm

I think nullification occurred during prohibition. They got sick of filling the jails because of a stupid law and just fined them $1 or found them not guilty until prohibition was overturned. Or so I heard on a documentary.

Some areas of the country have fines so low on marijuana possession that cops wont even arrest them. Maybe the same will happen to pot as what happened in prohibition. It is all about peoples attitudes changing about an existing law.

I wish I had been on OJ's jury. It would have been a hung jury.
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Re: Poll: Do you believe in "Jury Nullification of the Law"?

PostBy: lsayre On: Sun Mar 24, 2013 3:13 pm

warminmn wrote:I think nullification occurred during prohibition. They got sick of filling the jails because of a stupid law and just fined them $1 or found them not guilty until prohibition was overturned. Or so I heard on a documentary.


This would be a classic case of jury nullification. A future case that I can conceive of may involve some otherwise legal gun owner in NY found with 8 or more bullets in his/her clip. Can you imagine a jury convicting someone of that offense (well, it is NY, so who knows)? Jury nullification is about the only way the people can send a serious "we're not gonna take it" message to the state. And if the NY "big gulp" ban had not been struck down, could a jury be expected to convict in a clear case of violation for that one?

I wonder what political affiliations might see jury nullification as a bad thing, or as a good thing? Certainly Libertarians are all for it.
Last edited by lsayre on Sun Mar 24, 2013 3:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Poll: Do you believe in "Jury Nullification of the Law"?

PostBy: jpete On: Sun Mar 24, 2013 3:17 pm

KLook wrote:I see not point in having laws if the common folk can over rule them at a whim.

Kevin


If the country is "of, by and for the PEOPLE", why wouldn't they have ultimate say in what is and isn't a crime?

Nullification is an important part of this country's history and it's a part that the government scrubbed from the history books because they don't want people getting the idea the THEY run the government, not the other way around.

http://billofrightsinstitute.org/foundi ... solutions/
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Re: Poll: Do you believe in "Jury Nullification of the Law"?

PostBy: lsayre On: Sun Mar 24, 2013 3:22 pm

It may ultimately become the only means to the termination of Obamacare. But that would ultimately require juries to consistently find business owners and corporate managers innocent in cases of Obamacare violation.

I can easily see statists from both the left and the right who feel the state trumps the individual standing firmly against jury nullification. Anyone who feels that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the one (I,E., a statist) would likely be dead set against jury nullification.
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Re: Poll: Do you believe in "Jury Nullification of the Law"?

PostBy: lsayre On: Sun Mar 24, 2013 3:40 pm

The more I read of this subject, the more fascinating it becomes:

Some of the most famous jury nullification cases involved runaway slaves who fled, particularly to the North. By law they rightfully had to be returned, and harboring a runaway was illegal, but jury after jury stood at the side of the people who assisted the runaways, failing to convict them of assisting slaves to escape to freedom.

In fact, it was during this period, and for this very reason, that judges stopped informing juries of their right of jury nullification of the law. Only by instructing them instead to convict if the defendant(s) clearly violated the law as it stands, regardless of prejudice (meaning here specifically prejudice against the states authority) did they begin to get convictions of those aiding the running slaves.
Last edited by lsayre on Sun Mar 24, 2013 3:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Poll: Do you believe in "Jury Nullification of the Law"?

PostBy: lsayre On: Sun Mar 24, 2013 3:51 pm

The Constitution provides five separate tribunals with veto power – representatives, senate, executive, judges – and finally juries. Each enactment of law must pass all these hurdles before it gains the authority to punish those who may choose to violate it.

Thomas Jefferson said, "I consider trial by jury as the only anchor yet imagined by man, by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution."
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Re: Poll: Do you believe in "Jury Nullification of the Law"?

PostBy: KLook On: Mon Mar 25, 2013 8:20 am

If the country is "of, by and for the PEOPLE", why wouldn't they have ultimate say in what is and isn't a crime?

Nullification is an important part of this country's history and it's a part that the government scrubbed from the history books because they don't want people getting the idea the THEY run the government, not the other way around.


I agree with that Jpete, but we have the means to affect change. It is called the ballot box. I suppose when even that fails, which it seems to be, nullification is necessary. I still havn't changed my vote as I could not just erase it, I must change it. Still reading and thinking. But over all, I will lean towards changing to a yes.

Kevin
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Re: Poll: Do you believe in "Jury Nullification of the Law"?

PostBy: dcrane On: Mon Mar 25, 2013 8:38 am

I believe any defendant has the right to be judged by his peers and if I don't care what a Jury decides... It should be held as "the verdict" in any specific case! This is the foundation of American Justice System and not even a Judge should be allowed to alter what the "Jury of peers" decides.
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Re: Poll: Do you believe in "Jury Nullification of the Law"?

PostBy: samhill On: Mon Mar 25, 2013 8:40 am

It just seems to me that every jury I ever served on we were instructed to make our decision by the law involved & read that law & told that we could ask for clarification or any other question at any time. I would think it's up to the judge in the sentencing aspect to decide too what extent the penalty should be. In most cases there seems to be a lot of lee way in the penalty, it would be nice if the jury could be allowed to perhaps have a way of wording the verdict to express maybe a guilty "but" type thing. As a nation of laws if we start allowing jurists to determine if they agree with the law or not we are losing something with our (maybe not perfect system) but far better than most. It always struck me funny that everyone involved swears to tell the truth except the lawyers & how often the accused is advised not to testify & in many cases it's probably only them & their attorney's that know the truth.
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Re: Poll: Do you believe in "Jury Nullification of the Law"?

PostBy: dcrane On: Mon Mar 25, 2013 8:52 am

samhill wrote:It just seems to me that every jury I ever served on we were instructed to make our decision by the law involved & read that law & told that we could ask for clarification or any other question at any time. I would think it's up to the judge in the sentencing aspect to decide too what extent the penalty should be. In most cases there seems to be a lot of lee way in the penalty, it would be nice if the jury could be allowed to perhaps have a way of wording the verdict to express maybe a guilty "but" type thing. As a nation of laws if we start allowing jurists to determine if they agree with the law or not we are losing something with our (maybe not perfect system) but far better than most. It always struck me funny that everyone involved swears to tell the truth except the lawyers & how often the accused is advised not to testify & in many cases it's probably only them & their attorney's that know the truth.


Lawyers are already held by the swearing in as well as Judges prior to becoming lawyers and Judges (so they are held to that standard from day 1 even though they are not sworn in at each trial). A jury can give a statement of request to a Judge regarding their decision which one would "hope" might lead the Judge into what their intent was and we would "hope" a Judge might take that into consideration during sentencing :cry: But the bottom line in my mind is that the JURY and ONLY the JURY can determine guilt or innocence of the charges brought. I don't even like the whole "pardon" thing with Gov. and President (its absurd to me that a Gov or President can totally wipe out a Jury Verdict with one stroke of a pen :shock: They should be aloud maybe to force a review by a Jury of the people for a determination of a Pardon but it should ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS be "the people" who determine guilt or innocence in each case and like or not that is what needs to be upheld (right or wrong, good or bad, for whatever reason they dictate) because anything else is a dictatorship not a democracy.
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Re: Poll: Do you believe in "Jury Nullification of the Law"?

PostBy: jpete On: Mon Mar 25, 2013 8:59 am

samhill wrote:It just seems to me that every jury I ever served on we were instructed to make our decision by the law involved & read that law & told that we could ask for clarification or any other question at any time. I would think it's up to the judge in the sentencing aspect to decide too what extent the penalty should be. In most cases there seems to be a lot of lee way in the penalty, it would be nice if the jury could be allowed to perhaps have a way of wording the verdict to express maybe a guilty "but" type thing. As a nation of laws if we start allowing jurists to determine if they agree with the law or not we are losing something with our (maybe not perfect system) but far better than most. It always struck me funny that everyone involved swears to tell the truth except the lawyers & how often the accused is advised not to testify & in many cases it's probably only them & their attorney's that know the truth.


Again, if "the people" are the foundation of the country, who else should be the FINAL judge?

The individual joined with other individuals and brought forth a government which formed the courts.

I'd say the justice system is 3 steps removed from the final say.
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Re: Poll: Do you believe in "Jury Nullification of the Law"?

PostBy: lsayre On: Mon Mar 25, 2013 9:06 am

If a modern jury made known its intent to nullify a law by its verdict the entire jury would be dismissed. The easiest way to get out of serving jury duty these days is to tell the judge that you are personally quite sympathetic to the views of the "Fully Informed Jury Association". Guaranteed dismissal.

What used to be the standard operating procedure in a courtroom is now very much taboo.
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Re: Poll: Do you believe in "Jury Nullification of the Law"?

PostBy: jpete On: Mon Mar 25, 2013 5:43 pm

I would never in a million years tell a judge I knew anything about jury nullification.

If nullification was an option, I would spend all my time trying to convince the other jurors about it.

Now maybe we can start a thread about GRAND juries and the power THEY have! :shock: :D
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Re: Poll: Do you believe in "Jury Nullification of the Law"?

PostBy: franco b On: Mon Mar 25, 2013 6:37 pm

The letter of the law can often violate its spirit.
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