Jury BoxThere are two things you must do in order to nullify:
1. You must get on a jury.
If you are called for jury duty, we recommend you read the brochure Surviving Voir Dire, available for free download in .pdf format, to learn about the process of jury selection and what to do and what not to do in order to maximize your chances of being selected for a jury. It covers topics such as appearance, behavior, and how to answer questions during the jury selection process. Doing a little bit of preparation in advance will increase your odds of being able to save someone from being punished unjustly.

2. Vote ‘Not Guilty’.
If you have a conscientious belief that acquitting the defendant is a just verdict, even if you believe he or she has technically violated the law, there are only two words you need to know: Not Guilty.

For some reason the idea has been spreading lately that you must say something like “I nullify!” in order to nullify. That is one of the absolute worst things you could do. If a judge determines that you are considering not enforcing the law (for example, if one of your fellow jurors complains about you to the judge), then even as late as deliberations you can and most likely will be removed from the jury. This may leave the defendant with no conscientious juror ready to do what is right.

We recommend not openly discussing jury nullification during deliberations unless it is clear that several other jurors are also openly considering it. If there are too many such jurors for all of them to be removed and replaced by alternate jurors, then the most likely outcomes are either a hung jury or an acquittal. If it is just one or two jurors thinking along these lines and they can easily be replaced by alternates, the most likely outcome is that they will be replaced and the defendant will be convicted.

While you can be removed as a juror even as late as deliberations for indicating your intention to nullify, you cannot legally be removed for expressing doubt about the defendant being guilty. Neither are you required to explain your vote. You can participate in deliberations by expressing doubts about the defendant being guilty if you have them and asking questions of and listening actively to your fellow jurors. If you feel the need to explain your vote, you can say something general such as that in your heart you cannot convict the defendant.


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