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Jury Nullification

I'd like to hear some opinions on the practice of jury nullification in criminal cases.

Do juries have this right?

Should they be instructed of this right?

Should a judge be allowed to punish a jury that finds a defendant not guilty by reason of an unjust law?

Should a judge be allowed to order a jury to continue deliberation if a jury finds a defendant not guilty by reason of an unjust law?

Don't know what jury nullification is? Wikipedia is your friend.

Old 06-19-2008, 08:08 PM
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Yes, they are, no and no.
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Old 06-19-2008, 08:13 PM
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Around here (county court), juries are instructed by the judge how to apply a law (and they are given the impression that they are not to deviate from this "official" interpretation), and the concept of jury nullification is not mentioned at all.

I've never heard of jury instructions in Illinois including mention of jury nullification.
Old 06-19-2008, 08:20 PM
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From the Wikipedia article I posted:

Quote:
Recent court rulings have contributed to the prevention of jury nullification. A 1969 Fourth Circuit decision, U.S. v. Moylan, affirmed the right of jury nullification, but also upheld the power of the court to refuse to permit an instruction to the jury to this effect.[21] In 1972, in United States v. Dougherty, 473 F.2d 1113, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued a ruling similar to Moylan that affirmed the de facto power of a jury to nullify the law but upheld the denial of the defense's chance to instruct the jury about the power to nullify.[22] In 1988, the Sixth Circuit upheld a jury instruction that "There is no such thing as valid jury nullification."[23] In 1997, the Second Circuit ruled that jurors can be removed if there is evidence that they intend to nullify the law, under Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure 23(b).[24] The Supreme Court has not recently confronted the issue of jury nullification.
Old 06-19-2008, 08:26 PM
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If you read all the instruction together (as the judge instructs the jury they are to be taken) it's clear that jury nullification is an option. Defense lawyers argue it, proecutors take time in closing to argue why the juror shouldn't nullify, and every jury convicts only the people they think deserve to be convicted and they acquit the rest. Been on both sides of the issue. Jury nullification sounds like a great populist issue, but it happens every day. In practice it's not much of an issue because jurors do with the charges what they want regardless. OJ receive jury nullification. So did the murderers of Emmit Till. Whether you like jury nullification depends on whose ox is being gored.
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Old 06-19-2008, 08:29 PM
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I do not believe it matters who's ox is being gored with regard to Jury Nullification. Jury Nullification is not supposed to be about derailing an outcome to benefit a criminal.

I believe that laws are supposed to be made BY the people and FOR the people for whom the laws apply to. And when any law is being unjustly applied, is outdated, or is itself unjust, that it is not only the right of the jury, but the obligation of the jury to exercise the law of Jury Nullification.
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Old 06-20-2008, 06:49 AM
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I will be on a Jury 7-16 I await your orders
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Old 06-20-2008, 07:09 AM
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The law is the law. Follow it.
if it's unjust, have the law changed but no I don't believe a jury should be deciding which laws it likes and which is doesn't like.
They are usually made up of people too dumb to get out of jury duty, they are not smart enough to fill in for the supreme court.
Old 06-20-2008, 08:16 AM
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the point of a jury is nullification in cases that deserve it
the jury is not ever JUST to follow the law!!!!!!
if that was true there is no need for a jury
in to many cases the laws and justice are two very different things
jury nullification is the last chance for justice in some cases

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Old 06-20-2008, 02:00 PM
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