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Comment: The jury should have nullified this as bad law.

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The jury should have nullified this as bad law.

If just one juror had known what his powers and responsibilities were in this trial the jury could have been hung by one nullifying vote. Victimless crimes are not victimless if they are prosecuted. Then the defendant becomes the victim of the state's despotism. Juries had a part in ending Prohibition. Jurors did not want to send their neighbors to jail for drinking a beer then, so why send neighbor to jail for taking a toke now?
letter to the editor published in the Merced Sun-Star
Jury nullification embodies several principles that are crucial to the success of our constitutional republic, including checks and balances, separation of powers, and the social contract.

More importantly, it takes these philosophical ideas and puts them into action at the grass-roots level. In a nutshell, jury nullification is the right of jurors to judge the law as well as the defendant.

In other words, the jury can acquit a defendant who is technically guilty of violating a law if they consider the law itself to be unfair or unjust. Perhaps the most well-known examples of jury nullification occurred before the abolition of slavery with the acquittal of individuals who had violated the federal fugitive slave laws.

Unfortunately, this is not taught so much in elementary schools, high school government classes, or even college political science courses. In fact, most judges today instruct jurors to reach a decision under the assumption that the law is always right. We know this isn’t true.

Fulfill your civic duty. Learn about jury nullification. Be a well-informed juror.


It only takes one to KEEP AMERICANS FREE. Know your duties & rights as a juror. Stop the unconstitutional conviction of innocents in federal custody. The Fully Informed Jury CALL 1-800-TEL-JURY IMMEDIATELY if not sooner. It's that important.