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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 7/28/2005 6:05:19 AM EDT
Judges can legislate from the Bench, but it seems the citizens have the real power, if only they were instructed on that power!

article

"In recent times, the doctrine has become almost obsolete. Judges routinely instruct jurors that they are not to determine the justness of the law in question, only whether the defendant is guilty of breaking it. This is simply not true. In the Rosenthal case, the judge actually cut off the defense lawyer when he hinted in his closing remarks that the jury had the power to acquit Rosenthal regardless of the evidence against him.

So why do judges continue to get jury nullification wrong? Many point to an 1895 case in which the Supreme Court ruled that judges aren't obligated to tell jurors of their power to nullify bad law. Some have wrongly interpreted that decision to invalidate the doctrine of jury nullification altogether. They're mistaken.
"
Link Posted: 7/28/2005 6:16:23 AM EDT
The jury is well aware of their power. You need look no further than the O.J. trial.
Link Posted: 7/28/2005 6:17:18 AM EDT
Judges and lawyers don't like the idea of jury nullification at all.

Link Posted: 7/28/2005 6:40:52 AM EDT

Originally Posted By John_Wayne777:
Judges and some lawyers don't like the idea of jury nullification at all.




Jury nullification erodes the power of the judiciary and the legislature. Under the instructions now given in criminal courts, any American jury would have been obliged to convict Washington, Jefferson, and Franklin of high treason.
Link Posted: 7/28/2005 6:41:39 AM EDT
The judge asked of the jury panel "Any questions ?"

Me : "Yessir, can you explain the concept of jury nullification to me ?"

It was unanimous by both lawyers And the judge..... I was not selected.
Next time I will keep my mouth shut until I am actually On the jury and can make a difference if I see the need.
Link Posted: 7/28/2005 6:44:00 AM EDT
I believe in nullification.

To steal a line from Star Trek (the writers must have liked nullification also): "Who ever said Justice is as simple as a rule book."
Link Posted: 7/28/2005 6:45:49 AM EDT
Its amazing how much power a little education can give someone!
Link Posted: 7/28/2005 6:56:12 AM EDT

Originally Posted By DoNotTreadOnMe:
Its amazing how much power a little education can give someone!



Truer word have yet to be spoken.
Link Posted: 7/28/2005 6:57:46 AM EDT
Link Posted: 7/28/2005 6:58:44 AM EDT

Originally Posted By NimmerMehr:
I believe in nullification.


So do, which is probably one of the reasons I won't be on a jury.
Link Posted: 7/28/2005 7:01:33 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Aimless:
In my area juror's have to take an oath to "follow the law as the Court instructs it" so you have to commit perjury to play "jury nullification." I think that's one of those issues that it depends on whose ox is being gored. "Well maybe that man did act in self defense, but he used an AR15 and I don't think civilians should own those so I will find him guilty anyway."



This is an issue best undiscussed by jurors or potential ones.
Link Posted: 7/28/2005 7:01:54 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Aimless:
In my area juror's have to take an oath to "follow the law as the Court instructs it" so you have to commit perjury to play "jury nullification." I think that's one of those issues that it depends on whose ox is being gored. "Well maybe that man did act in self defense, but he used an AR15 and I don't think civilians should own those so I will find him guilty anyway."



Hmmm. A mandatory oath to uphold a noxious principle - to agree that if the Defendant is being prosecuted for writing a letter to the editor criticizing Chuck Schumer you'll convict if the judge says it's a crime and it's proved that he wrote the letter. I don't God would be upset if one were less than candid in those circumstances.
Link Posted: 7/28/2005 7:07:28 AM EDT

Originally Posted By prk:

This is an issue best undiscussed by jurors or potential ones.


That would be all of us, then.
Link Posted: 7/28/2005 7:09:03 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/28/2005 7:13:53 AM EDT by twl]
Link Posted: 7/28/2005 7:09:34 AM EDT
Me trying to sound cool -> Nullification arises when there is too wide a divide between state law and natural law.
Link Posted: 7/28/2005 7:11:15 AM EDT

Originally Posted By DoNotTreadOnMe:
Judges can legislate from the Bench, but it seems the citizens have the real power, if only they were instructed on that power!

article

"In recent times, the doctrine has become almost obsolete. Judges routinely instruct jurors that they are not to determine the justness of the law in question, only whether the defendant is guilty of breaking it. This is simply not true. In the Rosenthal case, the judge actually cut off the defense lawyer when he hinted in his closing remarks that the jury had the power to acquit Rosenthal regardless of the evidence against him.

So why do judges continue to get jury nullification wrong? Many point to an 1895 case in which the Supreme Court ruled that judges aren't obligated to tell jurors of their power to nullify bad law. Some have wrongly interpreted that decision to invalidate the doctrine of jury nullification altogether. They're mistaken.
"



...Easiest way to be relievede of duty, but I'm not sure when would be the right time to divulge the knowledge.
Link Posted: 7/28/2005 7:11:56 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/28/2005 7:14:46 AM EDT by lincolndz]
I'm not yet an attorney, but doesn't jury nullification go beyond simply finding the defendant not guilty in the face of an unjust law?

I understood that juries could declare the law null and void; essentially a veto by the citizens, making it impossible for prosecutors to use it in the future against someone else - am I right?
Link Posted: 7/28/2005 7:14:02 AM EDT
The founders Knew the courts are agents of the state and the state is almost always wrong, so the jury has the ability to judge the LAW as well as the facts, Jury Nulification was a way to hold a tyranical state accountable without bloodshed.

Now that no longer exists and the only solution is to dissolve the organized crime syndicate the state has become.
Link Posted: 7/28/2005 7:31:03 AM EDT
Yeah, thank God for jury nullification, or else Roy Bryant and J. W. Milam might've actually gone to prison!

Link Posted: 7/28/2005 8:17:56 AM EDT

Originally Posted By lincolndz:
I'm not yet an attorney, but doesn't jury nullification go beyond simply finding the defendant not guilty in the face of an unjust law?

I understood that juries could declare the law null and void; essentially a veto by the citizens, making it impossible for prosecutors to use it in the future against someone else - am I right?



No. It is simply the power of a jury to decline to enforce the law in a given case. Nothing that happens in a trial has precedential value.
Link Posted: 7/28/2005 8:35:58 AM EDT

Originally Posted By FLAL1A:

Originally Posted By lincolndz:
I'm not yet an attorney, but doesn't jury nullification go beyond simply finding the defendant not guilty in the face of an unjust law?

I understood that juries could declare the law null and void; essentially a veto by the citizens, making it impossible for prosecutors to use it in the future against someone else - am I right?



No. It is simply the power of a jury to decline to enforce the law in a given case. Nothing that happens in a trial has precedential value.



Unless the people make it clear =

Amendment VII

In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwisere-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.


Link Posted: 8/9/2005 12:25:24 PM EDT
So why isnt the NRA and other Anti - Big Govt organizations promoting this and educating Citizens?
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 1:54:41 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DoNotTreadOnMe:
So why isnt the NRA and other Anti - Big Govt organizations promoting this and educating Citizens?



+1
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 2:08:41 PM EDT

Originally Posted By FLAL1A:

Originally Posted By Aimless:
In my area juror's have to take an oath to "follow the law as the Court instructs it" so you have to commit perjury to play "jury nullification." I think that's one of those issues that it depends on whose ox is being gored. "Well maybe that man did act in self defense, but he used an AR15 and I don't think civilians should own those so I will find him guilty anyway."



Hmmm. A mandatory oath to uphold a noxious principle - to agree that if the Defendant is being prosecuted for writing a letter to the editor criticizing Chuck Schumer you'll convict if the judge says it's a crime and it's proved that he wrote the letter. I don't God would be upset if one were less than candid in those circumstances.



Interesting point. Suppose, as another poster mentioned, that one chose to apply this "quietly", as in "I felt he wasn't guilty" and sticking to it no matter how angry they get. I have seen in news reports comments about such and such juror 'not participating', which in the overall context appeared to mean the person was not budging from a point of view. If one were applying nullification by simply sticking to a point of view/vote in a verdict vote, and the other jurors said that person "was not particip[ating", what could the judge do, or what, if any sanctions could be imposed?
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 2:35:33 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 2:55:25 PM EDT
I'm willing to bet that if they even smelled the possibilty of jury nullification on your behalf you could be removed from the jury. The removal of someone thought to be a threat to the majority's ideas isn't too far-fetched: let's say you were on OJ's jury (which was heavily stacked with blacks 9 to 3 for the undeniable race card issue) and you, being the only white male, actually thought he was guilty and wouldn't back down. Obviously some jury discussions become heated, as I'm sure that would have if I'd been on it. So some words are exchanged and maybe even a little scuffle ensues---suddenly you are a "racist" and being removed from the jury and replaced by an (appropriate) alternate. The majority didn't like your ideas. Same if you were holding out on a nullification-type of an issue.
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 3:20:22 PM EDT
I believe in the 1950's the instructions to juries changed. Prior to that the instructions from the judge was, if I recall correctly, as follows;
You have the obligation to judge not only the facts but the law.

Jury nullification is the right of the people to declare a law unconstitutional. Everyone seems to forget that this is a government of the people....

Attorney's are licensed entities of the state and are required to adhere to the rules of the court and NOT THE RULE OF LAW. They are not allowed to tell the jury about nullification, if they do so they may be subject to contempt and possible sanctions.

The law is not what you believe, it is a convoulted maze of legalese designed to overturn the power of the people and the Constitution.

Another thing to think about when you hold your AR in hand. Don't ever give it up.

www.restoretherepublic.org
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 3:30:57 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/9/2005 3:36:15 PM EDT by nightstalker]
If a city like San Francisco doesn't enforce marijuana laws that is "nullification". If Los Angeles and Houston are "sanctuaries" for illegal aliens that is "nullification" also.

Judges can throw out jury decisions so I guess that's nullification too. While the law varies from state to state, a judge usually throws out guilty verdicts for one of two reasons: 1) a jury returns a verdict for which there was not enough evidence to find the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt; or 2) a mistake or wrongdoing by one of the participants poisons the whole trial.

The San Francisco case was an example of the first reason. The judge concluded Knoller could not have known her dogs would kill someone, so she did not possess the mental state required to commit murder under California law. This case is being appealed by the State Supreme Court, www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/12239454.htm Similarly, the judge who presided over the 1997 baby-shaking trial of British nanny Louise Woodward reduced the jury's second-degree murder verdict to involuntary manslaughter. He found no malice in Woodward's actions, a necessary legal element to support the murder conviction in Massachusetts.

Alternatively, a judge can throw out a verdict for any mistake or malfeasance that might prompt a higher court to overturn it. Some examples include: prosecutors hiding evidence that might exonerate the defendant; a defense lawyer sleeping through the trial; a jury member doing outside research on the case; or the judge incorrectly instructing the jury on the law controlling the case and realizing his mistake after the fact.

What's to stop a corrupt judge from throwing out guilty verdicts every time he disagrees with a jury? For one thing, prosecutors can always appeal the set-aside ruling to a higher court. For another, judges who abuse their power can be hauled before judicial ethics boards, which in extreme cases can rebuke or even remove a judge. And in the 39 states that elect their judiciary, tossing out a popular jury verdict could result in voters tossing out the judge.
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 3:32:05 PM EDT
In some states, including IIRC Maryland (), jurors are, according to the state constitution, judges of the law and the facts.

Juries used to be instructed on minimum and maximum penalties for each charged and lesser included offense, so they knew what they were doing. Not any more, most places.

I think that a judge would play hell excusing a juror who, if accused of being "difficult" or what have you, said "I don;t think the case was proved beyond a reasonable doubt. I am listening to and considering the opinions of my fellow jurors." If such a juror were removed, a conviction would likely be reversed. The problem is that on the rare occasions when a single nullifier is on a panel, he often takes the first chance to declare himself, when silence is called for.
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 3:50:33 PM EDT
Our judicial system needs a reboot.
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 3:52:36 PM EDT

Originally Posted By go3:
Our judicial system needs a reboot.



+1
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 4:22:58 PM EDT

Originally Posted By lincolndz:
I'm not yet an attorney, but doesn't jury nullification go beyond simply finding the defendant not guilty in the face of an unjust law?

I understood that juries could declare the law null and void; essentially a veto by the citizens, making it impossible for prosecutors to use it in the future against someone else - am I right?



No.

Jury nullification occurs trial by trial. For instance, people still get tried and convicted of murder, even though the OJ Simpson jury failed to convict him.

The more grossly unjust the law, the harder (in theory) it would be to find a jury to convict.

Link Posted: 8/9/2005 4:35:16 PM EDT
Jury nullification means you vote not to convict a guy of violating an unconstitutional law even though the fact that he violated it is not in question.
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 4:55:54 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/9/2005 4:57:14 PM EDT by LoginName]
Fully Informed Jury Association.

My opinion... if judges aren't required to inform me (or the jury pool), of "jury nullification", then I have no obligation to inform them that I belive in the concept (unless specifically asked).

Asking if there are " any circumstances or opinions that would affect your verdict" is too vauge.
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 5:43:29 PM EDT
It works both ways. A jury may ignore the instructions and let a guilty person go because they don't like the law, or they can find an innocent person guilty because they don't like the person. This is what can happen when you start ignoring the law and substituting your personal beliefs, YMMV.
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 6:09:12 PM EDT
In Georgia v. Brailsford 3 U.S. 1, 1794, Justice John Jay wrote:
“It may not be amiss, here, Gentlemen, to remind you of the good old rule, that on questions of fact, it is the province of the jury, on questions of law, it is the province of the court to decide. But it must be observed that by the same law, which recognizes this reasonable distribution of jurisdiction, you have nevertheless a right to take upon yourselves to judge of both, and to determine the law as well as the fact in controversy. On this, and on every other occasion, however, we have no doubt, you will pay that respect, which is due to the opinion of the court: For, as on the one hand, it is presumed, that juries are the best judges of facts; it is, on the other hand, presumbable, that the court are the best judges of the law. But still both objects are lawfully, within your power of decision.”

What happened in the OJ case was not nullification. The jury did not find the law to be unconstitutional or unjust.
We forget who we are and the basic precept of the Constitution and our form of government, which is a government by the people. We are the ultimate arbitors of the law and I believe that Justice Marshall intoned that in one of his decisions.

www.restoretherepublic.org
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 6:47:24 PM EDT
I'm currently reading "Send In the Waco Killers" by Vin Suprynowicz, and part of the book covers exactly this topic.

This guy is a great read, I would recommend this book and any others of his. "The Ballad of Carl Drega" is excellent also. He's a Libertarian, and makes a lot of sense.
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