Jury Nullification Definition:
A jury verdict contrary to the letter of the law pertains only to the particular case before it; however, if a pattern of acquittals develops in response to repeated attempts to prosecute a statutory offence, it can have the de facto effect of invalidating the statute. A pattern of jury nullification may indicate public opposition to an unwanted legislative enactment.
The jury system was established because it was felt that a panel of citizens, drawn at random from the community, and serving for too short a time to be corrupted, would be more likely to render a just verdict. It was feared that a single judge or panel of government officials may be unduly influenced to follow established legal practice, even when that practice had drifted from its origins. However, in most modern Western legal systems, juries are often instructed to serve only as “finders of facts“, whose role it is to determine the veracity of the evidence presented, and the weight accorded to the evidence, but not the application of that evidence to the law. Similarly, juries are routinely cautioned by courts and some attorneys to not allow sympathy for a party or other affected persons to compromise the fair and dispassionate evaluation of evidence during the guilt phase of a trial. These instructions are criticized by advocates of jury nullification.
Some commonly cited historical examples of jury nullification involve the refusal of American revolutionaries to convict a defendant under English law. Juries have also refused to convict due to the perceived injustice of a law in general, or the perceived injustice of the way the law is applied in particular cases. There have also been cases where the juries have refused to convict due to their own prejudices such as the race of one of the parties in the case. Other cases reveal that some juries simply refuse to render a guilty verdict in the absence of overwhelming direct or scientific evidence to support such a judgment. With this type of jury impaneled for the trial of a case, even substantial and competently presented circumstantial evidence may be discounted or rendered inconsequential during the jury‘s deliberation.
Despite the courts refusal to inform jurors of their historical veto power, jury nullification in liquor-law trials was a major contributing factor in ending alcohol prohibition. (Today in Kentucky, jurors often refuse to convict under the marijuana–prohibition laws).
As time went on fewer incidences of jury-veto actions occurred as the courts began concealing jurors’ rights from American citizens and falsely instructing them that they may consider only the facts as admitted by the court. Researchers in 1966 found that jury nullification occurred only 8.8 percent of the time between 1954 and 1958, and suggested that “one reason why the jury exercises its very real power [to nullify] so sparingly is because it is officially told it has none.” (California’s charge to the jury in criminal cases is typical: “It becomes my duty as judge to instruct you concerning the law applicable to this case, and it is your duty as jurors to follow the law as I shall state it to you . . . You are to be governed solely by the evidence introduced in this trial as the law as stated to you by me.”) Today, no officer of the court is allowed to tell the jury of their veto power.
Monica Blanchard’s thoughts:
“…i received this email from val @ big sky patient care. they were one of the (medical cannabis) dispensaries caught up in the march raids. the courts are going to paint these caregivers as lowlife drug dealers, instead of what they really are, people following state law and providing a necessary product to the sick. this behavior by the courts is par for the course and a horrible miscarriage of justice.
i’ve provided a link to jury nullification. essentially, a jury finds that a defendant IS guilty of breaking a particular law, but the law itself is faulty because it is immoral, unconstitutional, or just plain wrong, therefore the defendant is found not guilty. for instance, jury nullification was often used when trying to convict people of things like running away from slavery, an institution that should have never existed in the first place. many people don’t know about jury nullification, because, frankly, they don’t want you to know. imagine if every drug crime in this country resulted in jury nullification? think that would make a difference? during prohibition, almost 60% of trials over alcohol control laws resulted in jury nullification and alcohol prohibition was repealed. and they had a constitutional amendment backing their crappy law. the feds don’t even have that for cannabis. forward this to everyone you know. this has to stop now…”
Here is the forwarded message
Heard from our attorney today. Feds are trying to suppress ALL evidence that we (those of us being indicted) were involved in MEDICAL cannabis and following state laws. In other words, WE WILL HAVE NO DEFENSE. The Feds will present evidence of “drug trafficking and money laundering” but will SUPPRESS the defendants evidence.
This is America’s idea of a justice system.
Please forward this to everyone you know.
Sent from my iPhone
!!!Jury Nullification can bring an END to the DRUG WAR!!!
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