Fully Informed Jury Association

American Jury Institute

Jury Nullification | 15 Feb 2010

Jury Nullification, 150+ years ago…

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“As would be expected, this new legislation outraged abolitionists, but also angered many citizens who were previously more apathetic.

In 1851, 26 people in Syracuse, New York were arrested, charged and tried for freeing a runaway slave named William Henry (aka Jerry) who had been arrested under the Fugitive Slave Act. Among the 26 people tried was a U.S. Senator and the former Governor of New York! In an act of jury nullification, the trial resulted in only one conviction, “Jerry”who was hidden in Syracuse for several days until he could safely escape into Canada.”

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