157 votes

Jury Nullification Passed in New Hampshire!

Defense attorneys may now inform juries that they may rule on the merits of the law.

[ Reason ] Jury nullification, in which jurors refuse to convict defendants under laws they find objectionable or inappropriately applied, is a favored tactic of many libertarians who, rightly or wrongly perceive individual
liberty as, at best, a minority taste among their neighbors. They like the idea of a tool that can be wielded on the spot to shield people from powerful control freaks without first having to win a popularity contest. But nullification is useful only if people know about. And last week, New Hampshire's governor signed a law requiring the state's judges to permit defense attorneys to inform jurors of their right to nullify the law.

Continue reading at Reason



Trending on the Web

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Fully Informed Jury Association

meekandmild's picture

Jury Rights

“The jury has the right to judge both the law as well as the fact in controversy.” John Jay, 1st Chief Justice U.S. supreme Court, 1789

“The jury has the right to determine both the law and the facts.” Samuel Chase, U.S. supreme Court Justice, 1796, Signer of the unanimous Declaration
“The jury has the power to bring a verdict in the teeth of both law and fact.” Oliver Wendell Holmes, U.S. supreme Court Justice, 1902

“The law itself is on trial quite as much as the cause which is to be decided.” Harlan F. Stone, 12th Chief Justice U.S. supreme Court, 1941

“The pages of history shine on instances of the jury’s exercise of its prerogative to disregard instructions of the judge...” U.S. vs. Dougherty, 473 F 2nd 1113, 1139. (1972)

Question: If a New

Question: If a New Hamshironian is charged with a Federal Crime in New Hamshire, and teh case goes before a Federal Judge in New Hampshire, can the jury there nullify a Federal Law? You know where I'm going with this...ACA tax nullification. Also, can the jury set precedent? As in, if one jury makes a decision, do the rest follow it, or is it case by case?

23

New Hamshironian ?

I think you mean New Hampshirite. Down here in Texas we just call 'em Yankees, it seems to work just fine. Their State Motto: Live, FREEZE, and Die.

Yes. However, this new law

Yes. However, this new law about fully informing juries of their right to judge laws in relations to the facts of the case only applies to NH state trials. So, the jury would have to learn about this right some other way - not from the defense attorney. That is, unless a federal judge decided to let a defense attorney inform a jury about jury nullification which is possible but not likely.

And in fact, people in NH are learning about jury nullification. The online edition of the Union Leader, the statewide paper of NH covered the news on June 30th and again today, July 3rd. The Union Leader is trying hard to inform the people of NH about jury nullification.

Live Free or Die!
http://www.freestateproject.org

Jury duty responsibilities

It is our duty to teach others what jury nullification is. I suggest many Paul people also add this to their list of suggestions to people.
I was on jury duty last fall. I was not acceptable due to second amendment issues. However I would have easily used this if I had to. We need to know when to use it. We do have power over the court, use it.

Learn about Jury Nullification, pass it on...

Also, when first arrived for jury duty, and in the briefing given, we were informed we were part of a Democracy. I thought America was a Republic. I guess Monroe County in NYS doesn't know this. We need to let them know.
And any other court in this country.
Thank you.

I'm bumping this because next to supporting and electing

liberty minded representatives, this is in the next tier of importance. Why? Because, a fully informed jury is a powerful thing. They can change outcomes of trials and therefore they can change how laws are dealt with. It is egregious for a judge to tell a jury how to think and what to do. Why even have a jury if this is the judicial norm? What about the right to a fair trial? Without a juror knowing their rights, they might as well go home. They have the right, with or without any jury nullification bills passed, to vote their conscience. The importance of having jury nullification bills passes is so the court has to apprise the jurors of their rights!!!! And, most people have no idea they even have this right. But, we do and we need to know it and have the ability to exercise it! There is no greater damning of liberty then in the courts with unjust and tyrannical laws that victimize thousands every year. Please contact your representative and DEMAND a jury nullification bill ASAP! Call your friends, fellow DP'ers, organizations, etc..

Just do it!

betty

I think this is one of the most important events that has

happened recently. It should remind us to call our representatives and urge them to pass a bill as they did in New Hampshire. It took New Hampshire 2 years to pass this bill, but it was well worth the time and effort to do so. The importance of jury nullification is enormous and hopefully RP supporters will make time to pursue this area.

betty

Isn't REASON one of those astroturf "libertarian" magazines

that are really pro-state but pretend to be totally objective?

Just a question.

As for the actual topic, I suppose it's good that the government has decided not to censor what lawyers may and may not say about [i]legal[/i] actions...but kind of weird there was ever a question about it.

Where do these ideas come

Where do these ideas come from?

Stuff like this:

Ron Paul doesn't seem to know much about his own newsletters. The libertarian-leaning presidential candidate says he was unaware, in the late 1980s and early 1990s, of the bigoted rhetoric about African Americans and gays that was appearing under his name. He told CNN last week that he still has "no idea" who might have written inflammatory comments such as "Order was only restored in L.A. when it came time for the blacks to pick up their welfare checks"—statements he now repudiates.
http://reason.com/archives/2008/01/16/who-wrote-ron-pauls-ne...

http://takimag.com/article/why_the_beltway_libertarians_are_...

They're libertarians just

They're libertarians just like the rest of us. Meanings they're friends.

https://twitter.com/#!/cevans93

Ok thanks

Do you have a link handy, where they endorsed Ron Paul?

Jury nullification guaranteed in the Georgia Constitution

Juries in Georgia already have the right to judge the law. From the Georgia Constitution, Article I, Section I, Paragraph XI:

In criminal cases, the defendant shall have a public and speedy trial by an impartial jury; and the jury shall be the judges of the law and the facts.

I wouldn't be surprised if most judges and defense attorneys in Georgia are unaware of this.

Juries always had the right to jury nullification in NH

and in other several other states. However, if a judge wanted, he or she could prevent the defense from informing a jury of their right. Now, at least in NH, the defense can inform the jury, even over a judges objection. If judges start to get upset about this new law, and start to act up, we will change the law again. We are committed to judicial reform in NH.

Live Free or Die!
http://www.freestateproject.org

I think we are winning!

"It is not only his right but 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."—John Adams

I'll nullify if I damned well want to - any time I want to.

If I'm ever on a jury and disagree with the law (pot laws, income tax evasion etc), I'll judge the law FIRST.

But I'll have to be stealthy about it and give no clue whatsoever to my fellow jurrors or anyone else.

I will make a secret pact with myself to have already pre-judged any law I disagree with and find the defendant not guilty long before the trial is over.

And I will NOT allow myself be swayed by the other 11 jurrors.

Please, let me on that jury.

"We have allowed our nation to be over-taxed, over-regulated, and overrun by bureaucrats. The founders would be ashamed of us for what we are putting up with."
-Ron Paul

I think that is why we will

I think that is why we will never be called for jury duty. I'm sure we're both on a list somewhere...

NOTE: I am not advocating violence in any way. The content of the post is for intellectual, theoretical, and philosophical discussion. FEDS, please don't come to my house.

3 Cheers for New Hampshire! This, though, will not

happen in the Stupid States like NY. NH is a Smart State. Wish I lived in a Smart State.

I'm trying to sell my house

I'm trying to sell my house in this dead market. It's in New York. I want to move to New Hampshire. My main reason is that that's where my sister lives. But I also calculated that I will have about $7000 per year less in total taxes. In my county they made it next to impossible to buy a gun. In New Hampshire they still have the 2nd Amendment. The Constitution Party is not on the ballot in New York but several socialist parties are. The only Republicans who can get elected in New York are RINOs, Paul got only 15% of the vote in the primaries.

I tried to think of one good reason to stay in New York state and I can't think of one.

Good luck, BobW, hope you make it out of NY...

will be thinking good thoughts for you.

You can't think of ANYTHING

You can't think of ANYTHING good about New York? Heck, I can do that and I don't even live there!!! One good thing about New York: Several major airports, with THOUSANDS of daily departures.

----------------------------------------------------------
"Ehhh, What's ups Doc?" B.Bunny "Scwewy Wabbit!"E. Fudd
People's Awareness Coalition: Deprogramming Sequence

Several major airports, with

Several major airports, with thousands of daily departures. While I can appreciate why New Yorkers would put a high premium on being able to depart easily, I won't use the facilities until the TSA goes away.

reedr3v's picture

Go Free Staters!

.

Want to make a difference

Want to make a difference right now? Play dumb with any questions they ask you. They do not want an informed jury.

Your Vote Is Enough

I can't think of another place where one vote has so much power to uphold liberty and justice, than in a jury.

Serve.

What do you think? http://consequeries.com/

I think the important questions are:

How did they do this in New Hampshire?

How can we have this instituted in every single state?

What needs to be done to do this in every state?

How can we do this now?

betty

New Hampshire is

a Really good state to live in. They also have the least economic regulation in their state as well. Looks like the rest of NE states have some serious competition coming.

His name is Edward Snowden

What is Capitalism?
http://youtu.be/yNF09pUPypw

Free State Project?

New Hampshire was chosen by online "Free-staters" to be the free state, because it was already freer than other states.

Add to that the influx of activists, and...

What do you think? http://consequeries.com/