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Jurors Doing Justice & Jury Nullification | 08 Nov 2013

-Jury Nullification: A Tool for Advancing Gun Rights?


A jury deadlocked, reportedly with a single holdout juror maintaining a Not Guilty vote, in the case of Army Master Sgt. Christopher “C.J.” Grisham, charged with interfering with the duties of a Temple police officer who attempted to take his legally carried weapon from him. Dean Weingarten argues in this article that juror education is a ripe field for Second Amendment supporters, noting that jury nullification is a peaceful way to prevent injustice.

Jury Nullification: A Tool for Advancing Gun Rights?

The recent mistrial in the case of U.S. Army Master Sgt. C.J. Grisham shows the lack of education of the Bell County jurors. The mistrial occurred because only one juror of the six understood his rights and responsibilities as a juror. Initially, according to jury member L.J. Cotterill, “we all agreed that the charge itself and the case itself was garbage. This entire matter should have been resolved by two grown men acting like grown men apologizing for their part in a bad situation and buying each other a beer and then going to a range together.” The problem was that the jury didn’t know their rights and power to find “not guilty” if justice demanded it.

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According to one juror, the jury was instructed only to determine whether or not the defendant committed certain actions that he was charged with and not whether or not there were mitigating circumstances that justified those actions. Had they been allowed to consider mitigating circumstances, says juror Cotterill, they would have delivered a Not Guilty verdict in two minutes and that the charge was garbage. He says that even though one juror held out and maintained a Not Guilty verdict, everyone agreed that the actions had taken place. This description points to a possible jury nullification vote on the part of the holdout juror.

Here is the video of the interview with juror Cotterill.