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View Full Version : Jury Nullification - what every potential Juror should know!


Liberty1
02-13-2008, 10:07 AM
As a juror you have the power and the right to judge not only the facts of the case in relation to the law but the constitutionality and morality of the law itself. Your decision only effects the case in front of you but over time the accumulative efforts of similarly minded juries can and has changed government policy.

http://www.fija.org/

http://www.fija.org//index.php?page=displaytxt&id=31

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jury_nullification#Common_law_precedent

The use of the jury to act as a protection of last resort was espoused by many influential people surrounding the framing of the U.S. Constitution. For example, John Adams said of jurors: "It is not only his right but also his duty… to find the verdict according to his own best understanding, judgment, and conscience, though in direct opposition to the direction of the court."[9]

First Chief Justice of the US John Jay wrote: "It is presumed, that juries are the best judges of facts; it is, on the other hand, presumed that courts are the best judges of law. But still both objects are within your power of decision… you [juries] have a right to take it upon yourselves to judge of both, and to determine the law as well as the fact in controversy".State Of Georgia v. Brailsford, 3 U.S. 1,4 (1794),

Rob P.
02-13-2008, 10:20 AM
I have responded to this sort of thing before in another thread. I said then (and was called names) that jury nullification is ILLEGAL in California.

No one has (yet) been prosecuted for this. However, when you are selected for jury service you are placed under oath to follow the law. WILLFUL failure to do that means you broke your sworn oath. WILLFUL failure to do that means that you are obstructing justice. WILLFUL failure to do that means you are a liar.

Regardless of how you personally feel about something, failure to do your duty under a sworn oath to follow the law means that the law is meaningless. Regardless of what the framers wrote in personal letters you have an obligation to follow the law as instructed. Regardless of what Chief Justice Jay wrote, in CALIFORNIA (note this ain't Georgia) jury nullification is ILLEGAL. Even suggesting such is considered "jury tampering".

T'were me, I'd lock this thread and/or make it go away.

edwardm
02-13-2008, 10:38 AM
1. This is in no way a question of jury tampering. For reference, see the Regas case out of the District Court for the Northern District if Nevada.

2. The Williams case out of Santa Clara County was where the California Supreme Court weighed in on the nullification question. The court did not express a view, either way, as to whether or not a judge may instruct a jury that it has no power, as opposed to right, to render a verdict contrary to law.

The distinction between 'right' and 'power' is a meaningful one but hardly goes to the hand waving about tampering and illegality. It should be painfully obvious from this point why you have a right to a jury composed of your peers (to some extent, at least).

I have responded to this sort of thing before in another thread. I said then (and was called names) that jury nullification is ILLEGAL in California.

No one has (yet) been prosecuted for this. However, when you are selected for jury service you are placed under oath to follow the law. WILLFUL failure to do that means you broke your sworn oath. WILLFUL failure to do that means that you are obstructing justice. WILLFUL failure to do that means you are a liar.

Regardless of how you personally feel about something, failure to do your duty under a sworn oath to follow the law means that the law is meaningless. Regardless of what the framers wrote in personal letters you have an obligation to follow the law as instructed. Regardless of what Chief Justice Jay wrote, in CALIFORNIA (note this ain't Georgia) jury nullification is ILLEGAL. Even suggesting such is considered "jury tampering".

T'were me, I'd lock this thread and/or make it go away.

bohoki
02-13-2008, 10:57 AM
it doesnt seem right that you are required to do jury duty and are required to take an oath it seems a little bit like any oath you take would be under duress

rkt88edmo
02-13-2008, 11:30 AM
it doesnt seem right that you are required to do jury duty and are required to take an oath it seems a little bit like any oath you take would be under duress

Prior jury selection you take the oath.
During jury selection they discuss with everyone that being a juror means having to apply the law as instructed and following the judges instructions without questioning their validity. So you have plenty of opportunity to tell them if you can not do so prior to the jury selection being finalized and being sworn for the trial portion. - or at least that is my understanding.

Glock22Fan
02-13-2008, 12:32 PM
If juries always followed instructions and law, O.J. would be several years into serving a lifer.

Kestryll
02-13-2008, 12:40 PM
Actually it does look like the California Supreme Court ruled Jury Nullification illegal in 2001.

Since we do not condone or advocate illegal action here this one is closed.