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Jury Nullification

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posted on Apr, 18 2005 @ 07:30 PM
well, after being called in for jury duty a few weeks ago and digging around online for more information about it...being this was my first time...i came across FIJA (fully informed jury association) and their website and the whole jury nullification debate.

for those not in the know, jury nullification is basically the right of a jury to judge not only the case and facts presented by the court, but also the very laws themselves. a good example would be northern juries who refused to convict runaway slaves knowing they'd be sent back to their slave-masters.

the debate has been whether the act of jury nullification is in fact a right or just a power, and whether or not juries should be instructed of this right/power by the judge/lawyer as they once were, and i believe still are in maryland and indiana...maybe some residents of those states here could confirm that?

i've also heard an easy way to get out of jury duty is to announce to the judge that you'd have issues taking any juror's oath that conflicted with your constitutional right to jury nullification. i personally wouldn't and didn't try to get out of jury duty, but supposedly it works.

John Jay, the first Chief Justice of the U. S. Supreme Court stated in 1789: "The jury has the right to judge both the law as well as the fact in controversy."

Samuel Chase, U. S. Supreme Court Justice and signer of the Declaration of Independence, said in 1796: "The jury has the right to determine both the law and the facts. "

U. S. Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes said in 1902: "The jury has the power to bring a verdict in the teeth of both law and fact."

Harlan F. Stone, the 12th Chief Justice of the U. S. Supreme Court, stated in 1941: "The law itself is on trial quite as much as the cause which is to be decided."

posted on Apr, 22 2005 @ 04:28 PM
so much for denying ignorance.

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