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Posted by on Wednesday, February 27th, 2013 @ 7:41 am.

The term “Jury Nullification” is misused in our society today.

A lot of people think that jury nullification merely means that a jury in a trial setting finds a defendant ‘not guilty’ despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Under this circumstance, trial lawyers and judges have attempted to disparage the term and the sentiment in an effort to dissuade people from taking that route when they sit on a jury.

However, jury nullification means a whole lot more.

Under the jury nullification theory, a trial jury (and even a grand jury) can determine that the laws that we all live and operate under aren’t any good…and that if a defendant is charged with one of these no-good laws, the jury can acquit based on their belief that the law is garbage. It doesn’t even have to be the whole law as it’s written; it can be a certain phrase, or even merely a word, within a law that the jury can find objectionable and can use that to judge the law.

So jury nullification is a bane to prosecutors and judges everywhere. They detest it. They try to subvert it at every turn. When a judge gives a jury “jury instructions” and he “instructs them on the law” prior to sending them to render a verdict, he is attempting to take their power away and restrict them to what he, and those who “make” our laws (legislators), claim is the only way it can be.

The problem with that is this: We the People put those lawmakers in place. They represent US, not the other way around. As such, they are subjected to us as the ultimate authority if we are put into that position of authority. In the case of a jury, that actually means that we, as jurors, sit in judgment of someone accused. WE are the JUDGE.

We hear about judges “making law” all the time. “Legislation from the bench” is a term we hear often.

So why is it such a foreign concept to think that a jury wouldn’t “make law” too? Or in the case of jury nullification, decide that there is something objectionable about the law, and determine to acquit on that basis?

Simply put, jury nullification means that a jury can decide, not whether an accused person is guilty or innocent, but whether the law that put him in that position is any good at all. And if they decide that law is no good, they can let the accused go on that basis alone. This can apply equally to "drug laws" as well as "First Degree Murder with INTENT." The jury can decide for themselves what the INTENT is or was. This is very important in a case like what Terry Payton is facing in Edgar County.

Remember, judges and prosecutors HATE jury nullification. They will rail against it at every opportunity, and belittle and demean anyone who supports it. We fully anticipate we’ll get some kind of shitty post comment on this post, and it’ll probably be from someone in that profession.

However, remember this if you are ever called to jury duty. Regardless of what “instructions” you are read from the bench, YOU have the ultimate authority to not only decide a person’s innocence or guilt, but whether or not a law is not only applicable, but is good or valid. And you don’t have to explain your decision to anyone.

jury null


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Posted by on Feb 27 2013. Filed under Edgar. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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