Fully Informed Jury Association

Are you fully informed about jury nullification?

Jury Nullification | 12 Nov 2013

-Jury Nullification: Your Most Powerful Vote


Jury BoxHere we are a week after Election Day, when millions of U.S. voters dutifully went to the polls to push buttons for candidates and issues. But you may still be called upon in coming weeks and months to exercise your most powerful vote as a juror.

When you vote in a political election:
-your vote may be just one of thousands or millions of votes
-most voters have little or no contact with other voters
-typically your vote only counts if you are in the majority
-your vote only matters if it is accurately counted, a sketchy prospect given today’s voting methods
-your vote may be “interpreted” differently by government administrators or judges, or it may be overturned completely by the legislature

When you vote on a jury:
-your vote is just one of twelve at the most, and sometimes just one of six
-you deliberate with your fellow jurors and have an opportunity to influence their votes
-your single Not Guilty vote can hang a jury in most courts in the United States
-it is publicly evident whether your vote has been counted accurately when the verdict is announced
-if a jury unanimously votes “Not Guilty”, that verdict cannot be overturned

Your “Not Guilty” vote is your most powerful vote. First, it allows you to protect the life and human rights of a peaceful person against persecution by prosecution. By voting Not Guilty, you can protect a person’s reputation, relationships, education, livelihood, family, freedom, and even life. But beyond that, your vote can send a message to police, prosecutors, judges, and legislators that their harassment and cruelty toward members of your community will not be tolerated.

You cannot be required to check your conscience at the courthouse door. When a just verdict requires setting aside the law, consider jury nullification.