Haven’t heard of jury nullification? Don’t feel bad; you’re far from alone. If anything, your unfamiliarity is by design. Generally, defense lawyers are not allowed to even mention jury nullification as a possibility during a trial because judges prefer juries to follow the general protocols rather than delivering independent verdicts.
Surprisingly, the Supreme Court has routinely agreed that judges have no obligation to inform juries about jury nullification. Paradoxically, jury nullification is permitted to exist as an option to all juries, yet this option cannot be discussed in most courtrooms.
Jury nullification is undoubtedly feared because of its ability to upset the system. A jury that considers drug laws to be outrageous can nullify. A jury that is aware of the mass inequality in incarceration rates and believes a defendant was targeted via racial profiling can nullify. A jury that believes a harmless defendant is a victim of the prison industrial complex rather than a perpetrator can nullify. This counter-verdict exists so that citizens can right the wrongs inherent in our supposed “justice” system.
Of course, as the New York Times points out, jury nullification hasn’t always been used to “do good.” Historically, racist southern juries have nullified cases involving hate crimes and overly optimistic juries have nullified instances of police brutality, unwilling to fault police officers. However, if you agree that an informed jury can produce the correct verdict, nullification remains a valuable tool in the pursuit of justice."
It should be noted, that just by reading this, you are basically disqualified from ever serving upon a jury.
Most judges and lawyers will ask very specific leading questions during jury selection to determine if you even know about the concept of jury nullification and then give you the boot if you do. And if you lie about knowing about it, well now you’ve perjured yourself which is a federal felony.(via argent-aria)
SO TODAY IN CLASS THIS GIRL ASKED
“DO YOU SHIP KIDS?”
AND AFTER EXPLAINING WHAT SHIPPING WAS, THE TEACHER RESPONDED,
“well….yes, we talk about it in the staff room. Who would look cute with who…”
AND THEN WE HAD A FOLLOW UP QUESTION
“does it affect seating?”