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

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

PostBy: lsayre On: Sun Mar 24, 2013 9:48 am

Wherein "Jury Nullification of the Law" is defined as when a jury finds the defendant not guilty, even thought they know the defendant has actually broken a statute of our law (be it local, State, or Federal), with the effect that the jury is openly and intentionally rejecting the very foundation of the specific law itself. Though I have not personally verified this, it is said that in the earliest history of our country, juries were instructed of this vital responsibility (which was a strong contribution of and by the people to the entire "balance of power" equation), but today juries are instructed only to weigh whether or not the defendant has broken the law as it is written and stands on our books, regardless of the jurors potential feelings toward the actual law. The juror is told that only in this way can he or she remain impartial and render a "proper" verdict.
Last edited by lsayre on Sun Mar 24, 2013 12:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
lsayre
 
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Re: Poll: Do you believe in "Jury Nullification of the Law"?

PostBy: KLook On: Sun Mar 24, 2013 10:33 am

Ok, so I am the only no vote so far. I sat on a jury that found a guilty person not guilty. We all knew he was guilty, but the DA could not offer solid evidence. The guy fled the scene of an accident, was not eye witnessed at the scene, was not arrested until days later, and simply could not be tied to the accident. But he most assuredly did it. Is our opinion more important then proof? We have a banana republic judicial system like existed in the south(and the north) years ago. The law is what makes our Constitution relevant, not the opinions of the day. It may be argued that mandated penalties do not allow for mitigation of extenuating circumstances, but the letter of the law must be followed and then leniency issued by the judge.

Kevin

Sorry, someone else came in a no vote.
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Re: Poll: Do you believe in "Jury Nullification of the Law"?

PostBy: lsayre On: Sun Mar 24, 2013 10:34 am

Here is some background from Fox News on jury nullification. Did you know that no less than William Penn (who later went on to found Pennsylvania) was freed by jury nullification? His case in England literally wrote jury nullification into the books of British common law. John Adams was a proponent of jury nullification, and John Jay, the first chief justice of the Supreme Court, said "The jury has the right to judge both the law as well as the fact in controversy."

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/story/2005/08/01 ... z2OT4KmLy9
lsayre
 
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Re: Poll: Do you believe in "Jury Nullification of the Law"?

PostBy: lsayre On: Sun Mar 24, 2013 10:35 am

KLook wrote:Ok, so I am the only no vote so far. I sat on a jury that found a guilty person not guilty. We all knew he was guilty, but the DA could not offer solid evidence. The guy fled the scene of an accident, was not eye witnessed at the scene, was not arrested until days later, and simply could not be tied to the accident. But he most assuredly did it. Is our opinion more important then proof? We have a banana republic judicial system like existed in the south(and the north) years ago. The law is what makes our Constitution relevant, not the opinions of the day. It may be argued that mandated penalties do not allow for mitigation of extenuating circumstances, but the letter of the law must be followed and then leniency issued by the judge.

Kevin

Sorry, someone else came in a no vote.


I see nothing in this indicating an intent to nullify any law. This is not an example of jury nullification as I see it.
lsayre
 
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Re: Poll: Do you believe in "Jury Nullification of the Law"?

PostBy: KLook On: Sun Mar 24, 2013 10:41 am

You could be right, I will have to think about that. Interesting question. I see not point in having laws if the common folk can over rule them at a whim. If it were to happen, I would think the whole law should be revisited and examined. Maybe it is a good safety valve for someone standing up against unjust laws passed by over reaching gov.? Hmmmm. Perhaps i spoke to soon, which is my Achilles heel. :D Interesting debate may ensue. :)

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

PostBy: ONEDOLLAR On: Sun Mar 24, 2013 11:06 am

Some would argue that the OJ Trial was a case of Jury Nullification. Found not guilty despite the evidence.
ONEDOLLAR
 
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Re: Poll: Do you believe in "Jury Nullification of the Law"?

PostBy: lsayre On: Sun Mar 24, 2013 11:19 am

ONEDOLLAR wrote:Some would argue that the OJ Trial was a case of Jury Nullification. Found not guilty despite the evidence.


Which specific law did they intend to nullify by freeing him? No specific law nullification was dreamed of or intended by the jury in this case.
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Re: Poll: Do you believe in "Jury Nullification of the Law"?

PostBy: ONEDOLLAR On: Sun Mar 24, 2013 11:25 am

Larry

I see your point. But jury nullification comes in at least 2 forms. The rejection of a specific law and the rejection of guilt despite the evidence. You could argue OJ was the latter.
ONEDOLLAR
 
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Re: Poll: Do you believe in "Jury Nullification of the Law"?

PostBy: lsayre On: Sun Mar 24, 2013 11:29 am

ONEDOLLAR wrote:Larry

I see your point. But jury nullification comes in at least 2 forms. The rejection of a specific law and the rejection of guilt despite the evidence. You could argue OJ was the latter.


But my poll question is specifically in regard to jury nullification "of the law". Any other thing that can be construed to be "nullification" is outside of the realm of the question I posed.
lsayre
 
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Re: Poll: Do you believe in "Jury Nullification of the Law"?

PostBy: ONEDOLLAR On: Sun Mar 24, 2013 11:33 am

My apologies...
ONEDOLLAR
 
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Re: Poll: Do you believe in "Jury Nullification of the Law"?

PostBy: lsayre On: Sun Mar 24, 2013 11:39 am

ONEDOLLAR wrote:My apologies...


Not necessary. I just needed to clarify the question. I see benefit in your post. The posts of yours and of Klook, combined with my responses, will aid people in determining more properly how to vote. I do believe that votes once cast can actually be changed. That is, unless I was required to switch on an option permitting vote changing, which I did not, and for which I must apologize. It would be my wish that voters in this poll be free to change their opinions (votes) after due consideration and reflection.
lsayre
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS S130 Coal Gun
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Re: Poll: Do you believe in "Jury Nullification of the Law"?

PostBy: lsayre On: Sun Mar 24, 2013 11:45 am

Another interesting poll would be to ask if all modern day Judges should (by law) be compelled to directly instruct juries that (quoting the first Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court) "The jury has the right to judge both the law as well as the fact in controversy."
lsayre
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS S130 Coal Gun
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Other Heating: Resistance Boiler (13 KW)

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

PostBy: lsayre On: Sun Mar 24, 2013 12:17 pm

I believe I have just successfully turned on the "re-vote" option, permitting the changing of existing votes.
lsayre
 
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Re: Poll: Do you believe in "Jury Nullification of the Law"?

PostBy: DieselBob On: Sun Mar 24, 2013 1:09 pm

I believe in jury nullification and it's application to override a unconstitutional law. A perfect example would be a local jurisdiction passes a law that forbids the ownership of any firearms by any citizen. A clear violation of the simple, clear english of the 2nd amendment to the Constitution. One night a criminal is attempting to break into the home of a single mother and her 3 small defenseless children. She calls 911 for help but before the LE0 can arrive the intruder breaks down the door and advances toward the single mother and her 3 small defenseless children with a knife and the single mother protecting herself and her 3 small defenseless children produces a handgun, made illegal by a unconstitutional law, and shoots and kills the intruder. She is charged with possessing a illegal firearm and the case goes to trial. This is a prefect instance that jury nullification should over ride the illegal law that clearly violates the Constitution. Of course it all hinges on the bases of a informed citizenry and I no longer have a lot of faith in a substantial number of our fellow citizens.
DieselBob
 

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

PostBy: franco b On: Sun Mar 24, 2013 1:16 pm

Laws are attempts to put into words the emotional concepts felt by a community.

When those words conflict with the original concepts, then they should be null.

A jury is a set of judges empowered to pass on the validity of a particular law in a particular instance.
franco b
 
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