Fully Informed Jury Association

Are you fully informed about jury nullification?

Jury Nullification | 18 Feb 2013

-Reader Questions Why ‘Fully Informed Jury Act’ Failed

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Montana’s Larry Dodge Fully Informed Jury Act recently made it out of committee, but subsequently was voted down on the House floor. This letter to the editor comes from a local Montana reader questioning the votes of many Montana representatives:

Reader questions why ‘Fully Informed Jury Act’ failed

“The jury has a right to judge both the law as well as the fact in controversy.” — John Jay, first chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, 1789.

What part of this statement do 62 members of the Montana House of Representative not understand? Who could possibly be threatened by a citizen who knows his rights, and exercises his duty as a juror? If chaos is the concern, as suggested by the Montana Bar Association lobbyist, then one must expect they believe that people aware of their rights are a threat to civil order.

This kind of thinking compels me to question who is the real and larger threat. House Bill 290 (the “Larry Dodge Fully Informed Jury Act”) failed Saturday, Feb. 9, on the House floor. This bill would simply require judges to inform jurors of their right and duty. Twenty-three Republicans joined all Democrats and voted against your “right to an informed, impartial jury,” in violation of their oath.

If this bothers you, contact your legislator and demand an explanation.

Bob Wagner

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