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Jury Nullification & Jury Rights Day | 07 Sep 2011

Freedom by Jury

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A Jury Rights Day editorial, written by Richard Schwartzman:

Freedom by Jury

We should be celebrating September 5 with at least as much exuberance and respect as we celebrate July 4 or Thanksgiving. It’s Jury Rights Day.

Little is made of the date. Most people are completely unaware of its historic significance and have never heard that jurors have rights. Yet it was on that date in 1670 when a group of jurors in London used their right and power to invalidate an unjust law.

We can draw a direct link between several of our First Amendment guarantees to jurors who decided that some laws are so bad that they would refuse to convict defendants prosecuted under those laws, even when directed to do so by a presiding judge.

It’s jury nullification. Some jurors risked their own freedom to exercise that right.

Click through to read the entire article.

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