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RRangel
02-11-2009, 11:24 PM
Jury nullification is alive and well in Washington D.C. in this recent felony gun case.

Corporal Melroy H. Cort, who lost his knees to an improvised bomb in Ramadi, Iraq, was en route to Walter Reed Hospital from his home in Columbus, Ohio, when his car got a flat. He and his wife, Samantha, pulled over for repairs, at which time Cort, who has a concealed carry permit at home, retrieved his 9mm pistol from his glove compartment and put it in his pocket.

Cort's gun was spotted by somebody who called police, and Cort rapidly gained a rapid education in D.C. notoriously strict firearms laws. He was charged with carrying a pistol without a license, possession of an unregistered firearm and possession of ammunition. He spent the night behind bars for having the nerve to possess a weapon in a city that, while it has improved since its nadir in the 1990s, still has about triple the national average rate of violent crime.

Sometimes people make mistakes, but you have to be especially careful not to make them in the den of the corrupt anti-gun district of Columbia.

"But an amazing thing happened in court. According to the Washington Post:"

'After being deadlocked twice, a D.C. Superior Court jury yesterday acquitted a Marine amputee on felony charges of gun possession stemming from an arrest while he was on the way to Walter Reed Army Medical Center. ...

Although acquitting him of the gun charges, the jury found Cort guilty of possessing ammunition, a misdemeanor. He was sentenced to time already spent in the D.C. jail.'

Sentenced for ammo, which is still lame, but it could have been worse.

http://www.examiner.com/x-536-Civil-Liberties-Examiner~y2009m2d11-Jury-nullification-at-work-in-marijuana-gun-cases

SwissFluCase
02-11-2009, 11:31 PM
Question for the right people... Would this be the kind of case that would be helpful?

Inquiring minds want to know...

Regards,

SwissFluCase

CCWFacts
02-11-2009, 11:33 PM
If you have the possibility of serving on a jury, take it! Your vote as a juror is the most powerful vote you'll ever have unless you are elected to a legislative body, which most of us never will be. This case shows how important it is for us (pro-RKBA people) to be on juries.

Kid Stanislaus
02-12-2009, 6:18 AM
So if he hadn't been an amputee and veteran to boot he'd still be in the slammer? Would somebody like to come over and cut my legs off?!!

ed bernay
02-12-2009, 6:58 AM
CCWFACTS said "If you have the possibility of serving on a jury, take it! Your vote as a juror is the most powerful vote you'll ever have unless you are elected to a legislative body, which most of us never will be. This case shows how important it is for us (pro-RKBA people) to be on juries."

AGREE 1000%. It cannot be stressed enough how important being on a jury is. If all pro RKBA people knew about jury nullification, (don't even hint that you know about it when being questioned for a jury), the tyrants in our government would get the message. I'm sure this has been mentioned here before but for those that don't know, please check out the Fully Informed Jury Association at FIJA.org

Fjold
02-12-2009, 7:00 AM
Would somebody like to come over and cut my legs off?!!

Yes

motorhead
02-12-2009, 10:38 AM
his license was worthless. he should have locked gun in car. he's very lucky.

Decoligny
02-12-2009, 10:58 AM
his license was worthless. he should have locked gun in car. he's very lucky.

His car had broken down and was being towed in for repairs IIRC.

Would you leave a firearm in the trunk of a car going into the shop for repairs?

In D.C. ?

I think not.

He was being transfered to Walter Reed, a U.S. Army facility. I am pretty sure that every Army Facility has an armory in which Military members may store personal firearms.

His traveling from Ohio to D.C. should have been covered by the Interstate transportation of Firarms rule U.S.C. 18.1.44.926A. If he had been smart, he would have had a case to transfer it into and then put the case into the trunk of the cab he obviously would have had to take to Walter Reed.

vrand
02-12-2009, 11:00 AM
Jury nullification is alive and well in Washington D.C. in this recent felony gun case.




:thumbsup:

DDT
02-12-2009, 11:54 AM
They did convict him of ammunition possession which is a "firearms" related conviction. If his Ohio is like CA he will be losing his CCW permit.

yellowfin
02-12-2009, 11:56 AM
If his Ohio is like CA he will be losing his CCW permit.Ohio is nothing like CA.

Kid Stanislaus
02-12-2009, 6:18 PM
Yes

There is a god!!

Kid Stanislaus
02-12-2009, 6:20 PM
Ohio is nothing like CA.

Damn, aren't THEY lucky!!

CSDGuy
02-12-2009, 6:30 PM
I didn't see where the jury actually nullified anything. They likely found him NOT GUILTY in the interests of justice, but I didn't see where they actually invalidated the DC law...

Dr Rockso
02-12-2009, 8:03 PM
I didn't see where the jury actually nullified anything. They likely found him NOT GUILTY in the interests of justice, but I didn't see where they actually invalidated the DC law...
That's what jury nullification is. A jury can't just say 'this law doesn't exist anymore'. What is SUPPOSED to happen is that if you have a bad law, juries will nullify it every time until they don't prosecute it anymore and it eventually gets taken off the books.

CSDGuy
02-12-2009, 8:11 PM
That's what jury nullification is. A jury can't just say 'this law doesn't exist anymore'. What is SUPPOSED to happen is that if you have a bad law, juries will nullify it every time until they don't prosecute it anymore and it eventually gets taken off the books.
Well, then, that works for me!!!!

vrand
02-12-2009, 8:31 PM
Well, then, that works for me!!!!

yep :thumbsup:

Dr Rockso
02-12-2009, 10:51 PM
Well, then, that works for me!!!!
Unfortunately the legal structure in most states is such that jury nullification is essentially impossible. The California Supreme Court forbids it (http://homepage.smc.edu/sindell_steven/AJ3%20Folder/Currentevents/aj3.jury.nullific.html).

kap
02-12-2009, 10:59 PM
Unfortunately the legal structure in most states is such that jury nullification is essentially impossible. The California Supreme Court forbids it (http://homepage.smc.edu/sindell_steven/AJ3%20Folder/Currentevents/aj3.jury.nullific.html).

Thanks for the link. I knew I had seen that before, but could not find it. It is totally ridiculous to even have a jury at that point. Basically the judge will tell you what to do and you have to do it. Lame and thanks for wasting my time thinking I am making a difference.

Glad to know that it is still possible elsewhere though. D.C. of all places. The fact that they got him on anything is still ridiculous.

ed bernay
02-13-2009, 8:26 AM
Unfortunately the legal structure in most states is such that jury nullification is essentially impossible. The California Supreme Court forbids it (http://homepage.smc.edu/sindell_steven/AJ3%20Folder/Currentevents/aj3.jury.nullific.html).

This is why when you are on a jury about the RKBA, you keep your mouth shut about jury nullification. Just vote NOT GUILTY (obviously as long as the person charged is not otherwise a criminal). If asked why, just say the evidence did not convince you of guilt. A judge cannot put you in jail for rendering a verdict that he doesn't agree with. The only way they can go after you is if you commit perjury during the jury selection process. Keep your mouth shut!!

7x57
02-13-2009, 8:32 AM
Unfortunately the legal structure in most states is such that jury nullification is essentially impossible. The California Supreme Court forbids it (http://homepage.smc.edu/sindell_steven/AJ3%20Folder/Currentevents/aj3.jury.nullific.html).

Nope. That article explicitly says it's possible. It just says the custodians of the system will try to violate your right to judge the law. It also tells you, by omission, how to get around that--don't say the wrong thing.

The basic problem is that Jury Nullification interferes with the unfettered supremacy of the state. Same problem as gun rights.

7x57

Glock22Fan
02-13-2009, 9:00 AM
Unfortunately the legal structure in most states is such that jury nullification is essentially impossible. The California Supreme Court forbids it (http://homepage.smc.edu/sindell_steven/AJ3%20Folder/Currentevents/aj3.jury.nullific.html).

My understanding is that the Supreme court has forbidden attorneys and judges from telling the jury that they can find the accused not guilty if they agree that the law in question is unconstitutional ( a bad ruling in my opinion).

However, there is nothing to stop a savvy jury from finding someone not guilty because they think that it is a bad law. I believe that jury deliberations are confidential, but such jury members would be well advised to keep their mouths shut outside the courtroom to avoid controversy.

CCWFacts
02-13-2009, 9:41 AM
This is why when you are on a jury about the RKBA, you keep your mouth shut about jury nullification. Just vote NOT GUILTY (obviously as long as the person charged is not otherwise a criminal). If asked why, just say the evidence did not convince you of guilt. A judge cannot put you in jail for rendering a verdict that he doesn't agree with. The only way they can go after you is if you commit perjury during the jury selection process. Keep your mouth shut!!

That's right. Jury nullification is not illegal. The judge can't punish a juror, unless the juror did commit perjury. What that California Supreme Court ruling means is that a judge can kick out a juror or declare a mistrial if he thinks jury nullification occurred, but that doesn't mean that nullification is illegal (punishable). Just don't lie (perjure) to a court, during voire dire or in any other time.

In practice, in other states, when a juror decides to nullify, that often does result not in an acquittal, but rather in a hung jury or a mistrial, which is pretty much what happens under this California court ruling. Ok, I'm sure the defendant would prefer to be acquitted than to have a mistrial, but it sends a clear message to prosecutors in the future: "this is an area of law where the legal system is out of step with the people's view of justice."

You know, in criminal trials, the plaintiff is "The people", as in, "the people vs. Joe Doe"? Who are the representatives of "the people"? It's the jury!

Even if juries are not supposed to nullify, obviously, they are there to apply justice to the trial. Why else would there even be a jury? Judges may want to be in control of the whole thing but there would be no reason to have a jury if its function is purely mechanical or rote. Remember the boxes of liberty: ballot box, soap box, jury box, cartridge box. Let's use the first three and stay away from the last.

It doesn't mean that the jury instructions should include "you can nullify if you think it's unjust".

ed bernay
02-13-2009, 12:20 PM
One more thing...even after the trial - keep your mouth shut!!! Do not declare to anyone that you voted "Not Guilty" because the law is unconstitutional, is wrong etc.

CCWFacts
02-13-2009, 12:39 PM
One more thing...even after the trial - keep your mouth shut!!! Do not declare to anyone that you voted "Not Guilty" because the law is unconstitutional, is wrong etc.

And don't say it in a posting before the trial either. If / when I get onto a jury, I'm going to follow the instructions, and also I will act in a way that is consistent with my morality and society's ethics and the law. That's all I can promise.

GuyW
02-13-2009, 1:02 PM
I think the fly in the CA ointment is that Judges require jurors to swear to "follow the law as explained by the Judge".
.

Dr Rockso
02-13-2009, 1:12 PM
I think the fly in the CA ointment is that Judges require jurors to swear to "follow the law as explained by the Judge".
.
I'm pretty sure they actually give you a worksheet to fill out. Take this case for example: "was the guy carrying a pistol? If yes, convict for ______." Now you could say "no, he was not carrying a pistol", but I have a feeling you'd be removed from the jury.

CCWFacts
02-13-2009, 1:15 PM
I'm pretty sure they actually give you a worksheet to fill out. Take this case for example: "was the guy carrying a pistol? If yes, convict for ______." Now you could say "no, he was not carrying a pistol", but I have a feeling you'd be removed from the jury.

Yeah, but it's still the jury's job to pronounce the verdict. If the jury were nothing more than a mechanical finder of facts, then the judge would set up a flow chart with "yes / no" branches for the factual questions, and the jury would answer those yes / no questions, and then the verdict would come out automatically. But that's not how it works, even if some judges would like it to work that way. That is closer to how it works in civil law countries (AFAIK), where they don't even bother to have juries.

Glock22Fan
02-13-2009, 1:53 PM
I'm pretty sure they actually give you a worksheet to fill out. Take this case for example: "was the guy carrying a pistol? If yes, convict for ______." Now you could say "no, he was not carrying a pistol", but I have a feeling you'd be removed from the jury.

There's always the "reasonable doubt" thing. Even if the jury is given a worksheet, who is it saying that the guy was carrying a pistol? So, they have 100 Baptist ministers swearing to that. Maybe it was mistaken identity? Maybe the accused has a previously unknown twin brother? a clone?

There's no way that they can fault a juror for making a decision the judge disagrees with, provided the juror keeps his/her mouth shut as to the reason they made that determination.

Goodness, I can think of at least two fairly recent murder cases that were open and shut to most of us, but the jury said "not guilty"

tube_ee
02-13-2009, 2:01 PM
rules for shooting a bear in self-defense...

Shoot, Shovel, & Shut Up.

Vote, acquit, and shut up.

Memorize this phrase:

"The prosecution was not able to convince me of the defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. So I voted to acquit him."

There's nothing that they can do to you... so long as you keep it inside your own head.

--Shannon

Meplat
02-13-2009, 11:01 PM
They can forbid it but they can't stop it. Unless you are dumb enough to talk about it!:43:




Unfortunately the legal structure in most states is such that jury nullification is essentially impossible. The California Supreme Court forbids it (http://homepage.smc.edu/sindell_steven/AJ3%20Folder/Currentevents/aj3.jury.nullific.html).

Meplat
02-13-2009, 11:10 PM
I have been on several juries and have never had to fill out a "worksheet".



I'm pretty sure they actually give you a worksheet to fill out. Take this case for example: "was the guy carrying a pistol? If yes, convict for ______." Now you could say "no, he was not carrying a pistol", but I have a feeling you'd be removed from the jury.

Meplat
02-14-2009, 12:00 AM
I erg all gunners to not avoid but embrace jury duty. As previously stated, it may well be the most important and effective vote you ever cast. Think about it. If you are ever charged with a serious offence, do you want a jury of your piers, or twelve people who have nothing better to do?

Big tip: Lawyers like juries that can be manipulated. If you are impaneled and want to be seated, when they question you, act like you are dumb as a box of rocks. Articulate, well thought out answers will get you excused every time!

N6ATF
02-14-2009, 12:47 AM
I don't remember even getting a chance to be articulate and well-thought out in voir dire.

But I was sworn.

TheBundo
02-14-2009, 3:45 AM
Nullification still works here if you can convince the other jurors to all side with you, rather than ratting you out.

Mulay El Raisuli
02-14-2009, 8:24 AM
Nullification still works here if you can convince the other jurors to all side with you, rather than ratting you out.


It might help to point out that Federal law supersedes state law & that by SCOTUS precedent (Georgia vs. Brailes), nullification is the law of the land.

The Raisuli

ed bernay
02-14-2009, 3:58 PM
It might help to point out that Federal law supersedes state law & that by SCOTUS precedent (Georgia vs. Brailes), nullification is the law of the land.

The Raisuli

No!! do not discuss it with your fellow jurors. One of them is sure to be intimidated by the judge or a government butt kisser etc and will rat you out in a heart beat!! During jury selection you maybe asked about jury nullification or other related questions under oath. If what you tell your fellow jurors contradicts what you said during jury selection, the judge will probably cite you for contempt and the prosecutor may go for perjury. Like I said before, keep your mouth shut at all times. All you have to do is have the intestinal fortitude to be the holdout for a hung jury. When it comes to a strictly RKBA case, BE STRONG and keep your mouth shut.

socal2310
02-14-2009, 4:42 PM
We have the right of jury nullification by virtue of having juries. It is a power we may exercise without fear of recrimination provided you don't confess to perjury.

As long as you don't give specifics as to when you would nullify, even your connection with groups such as the Fully Informed Jury Association and posts on forums (like this) can't be used against you. They may have strong suspicion, but as long as you don't implicate yourself, they can not prove it.

Ryan

CCWFacts
02-14-2009, 5:22 PM
We have the right of jury nullification by virtue of having juries. It is a power we may exercise without fear of recrimination provided you don't confess to perjury.

Right, the fact that a jury returns a verdict, and not just a list of facts, shows that the jury's role is more than a mechanical fact-finder. Even if jury nullification per se is forbidden, well, the jury is there to do more than just find facts, or else that's all it would do.

I would never say that I would engage in nullification as a juror, but at the same time, I can't ever swear that I would vote in a way that's contrary to my own morals. Anyone who would put his own morality aside to participate in the process should be excluded. The jury are there as human beings, not robots.

hvengel
02-15-2009, 5:09 PM
Also keep in mind that in the bigger picture for nullification to work it does not require acquittal (IE. all 12 jurors voting not guilty) since hung juries will have almost as much affect. If a prosecutor is having consistent hung juries for a particular law he/she will likely stop charging that crime. In addition a hung jury only needs one person to hang it and this makes nullification a very powerful tool since all it takes is for about 8% of the population to decide that are particular law is unjust for nullification be very effective.

CCWFacts
02-15-2009, 5:22 PM
Also keep in mind that in the bigger picture for nullification to work it does not require acquittal (IE. all 12 jurors voting not guilty) since hung juries will have almost as much affect. If a prosecutor is having consistent hung juries for a particular law he/she will likely stop charging that crime.

That's right. Hung juries are expensive. If it keeps happening in some particular area of law, the prosecutors will decide, "these cases aren't worth it, let's go after one of these pending murder cases here..."

And, just as importantly, what juries do in the < 5% of cases that go to trial has a major impact on the plea negotiation of the > 95% of cases that are plea-bargained. If a defense attorney is trying to make a plea, and he can say, "look, we know that when you bring this type of charge to trial, you're likely to get a hung jury, no matter what the facts are..." it's a powerful negotiating position and will eventually force LEOs and prosecutors to stay out of that area of law. This type of thing is happening right now in some aspects of drug law, and it's something which could happen in gun law in this state.

In addition a hung jury only needs one person to hang it and this makes nullification a very powerful tool since all it takes is for about 8% of the population to decide that are particular law is unjust for nullification be very effective.

Unfortunately, it's slightly worse than that for us. Gun owners are more likely to be employed in responsible jobs than non-gun-owners, meaning gun owners are more likely to be excused from jury duty because they have responsibilities they can't get out of. I would think that juries have an over-representation of the less educated, less employed, less responsible, and probably less conservative part of the population. Also, law-abiding gun owners are more likely to be "follow the rules" types, including (perhaps) following the jury instructions in a narrow sense, which might make them less likely to view jury duty in a broader sense.

But your point still stands, and let me put it another way: if you have a chance of getting on a jury, and you have a choice of begging out of it, or of really stretching yourself to be on it (shuffling your schedule around, begging your boss / customers to let you take some time, etc), please do whatever you can do to be able to accept this vitally important duty!

Think of it this way: for us to get some of these criminal gun laws (AWB, concealed carry ban, etc) off the books, we need to get 50% of the voters on our side to elect reps who will back such legislative changes. If 8% of jurors would refuse to return guilty verdicts in such cases (where the case doesn't involve other criminal conduct, like a gang member with a weapon), these laws would stop having much effect in this state.

Mulay El Raisuli
02-16-2009, 6:36 AM
No!! do not discuss it with your fellow jurors. One of them is sure to be intimidated by the judge or a government butt kisser etc and will rat you out in a heart beat!! During jury selection you maybe asked about jury nullification or other related questions under oath. If what you tell your fellow jurors contradicts what you said during jury selection, the judge will probably cite you for contempt and the prosecutor may go for perjury. Like I said before, keep your mouth shut at all times. All you have to do is have the intestinal fortitude to be the holdout for a hung jury. When it comes to a strictly RKBA case, BE STRONG and keep your mouth shut.


I should have been more clear. I wasn't suggesting that the real law be pointed out to ones fellow jurors. I was pointing out the real law to my fellow Calgunners. In the very unlikely event I get on a jury, I intend on keeping my mouth shut until deliberations start.

The Raisuli