Fully Informed Jury Association

American Jury Institute

Archive for the Tag 'jurors’ rights'

Function of Juries &Jury Nullification | 17 May 2014

-Fifth Circuit Re-Affirms Jury Nullification

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Thanks to Eapen Thampy of Americans for Forfeiture Reform for this piece of good news out of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals earlier this month. Without mentioning it by name, the Fifth Circuit has in effect re-affirmed jurors’ right to judge the law as well as the facts of the case and to exercise [...]

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Function of Juries &Jury Nullification | 16 May 2014

-3 Examples of Jurors Regretting Guilty Verdicts

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In the last couple of weeks we have seen jurors express shock about relevant information withheld from them and regret over their verdicts in the cases of Cecily McMillan and Troy Ellis. Often such regrets result from pertinent information being withheld from the jury, or from a frustrated member of the jury compromising or throwing [...]

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Function of Juries &Jury Nullification | 12 May 2014

-Judge ‘Edits’ Case Heard by Jury

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There has been much outcry over the conviction and imprisonment of Occupy activist Cecily McMillan, including a letter from 9 out of 12 of her jurors themselves begging the judge not to include any incarceration in her sentence. Given that he currently has her locked up at Rikers Island before she has even been sentenced, [...]

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Function of Juries &Jury Nullification | 12 May 2014

-The Compartmentalization of Injustice

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This is a follow-up to a post some weeks ago in which we shared with you the thoughts of a grand juror on the psychology that leads so many people toward injustice. Here are some more of her observations. The Compartmentalization of Injustice When I was on grand jury duty we were told again and [...]

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Function of Juries &Jury Nullification | 09 May 2014

-Jurors Beg Judge Not To Send OWS Protester To Prison

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Thanks to Dawn Peterson-Smith and Steve Silverman for these articles on the Cecily McMillan conviction we reported on earlier this week. Upon returning to the real world after being relatively isolated during the four-week trial, several jurors expressed their shock over the possibility that the person they just convicted could go to jail for as [...]

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Function of Juries &Jury Nullification | 08 May 2014

-Norm Pattis: One Trial Is Enough

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In criminal cases where a jury unanimously finds the defendant is Not Guilty, the process is over with the government having no right to appeal the acquittal. But when juries are split, it is a different matter. Whether the Not Guilty vote is maintained by a lone, holdout juror, or whether the majority voted for [...]

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Function of Juries &Jury Nullification | 07 May 2014

-Acquittal Now Protects Against Asset Forfeiture in Minnesota

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Just days ago, we brought you news of the case of Brainerd, Minnesota resident Adam Bush, unanimously acquitted of burglary charges. In spite of this unanimous judgment by the jury, the judge in the case ruled that the state would still keep his property that had been seized. That may have been one of the [...]

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Function of Juries &Jury Nullification | 07 May 2014

-Occupy Trial Jurors Express Shock and Remorse Over Verdict

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The four-week trial of Occupy activist Cecily McMillan wrapped up this week, with the jury delivering a verdict of Guilty on a charge of felony assault on a police officer. According to supporters and the defendant, Cecily was herself attacked by the police officer and reacted instinctively to protect herself from a sexual assault: “Seized [...]

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Function of Juries &Jury Nullification | 06 May 2014

-Jury Trials are Necessary even in Misdemeanor Cases

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We recently brought you news of the Arizona Appeals Court ruling that many misdemeanor charges are jury trial-worthy. That’s some good news, but it is nowhere near the level of protection that we are supposedly guaranteed under the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution: In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right [...]

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Jury Nullification &Volunteer | 06 May 2014

-Support FIJA Through Give Local America

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Today FIJA is participating in the Give Local America day of giving, and we would appreciate your support! Give Local America is a national day of giving working to make history as the single largest online giving day. As part of our spring fundraising campaign, and as an outreach activity to new potential constituents, FIJA [...]

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Function of Juries &Jury Nullification | 05 May 2014

-Asset Forfeiture Circumvents Trial by Jury and Jury Nullification

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What is a poor judge to do when the jury sets free an individual he believes is guilty and should be punished, or perhaps when he just wants to funnel more money into the legal system he depends on being packed to maintain his livelihood? Asset forfeiture to the rescue! Judge approves forfeiture of car, [...]

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Function of Juries &Jury Nullification | 02 May 2014

-Jurors Would Have Nullified Had They Anticipated the Sentence

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We recently brought you news that the Supreme Court has yet again turned down the opportunity to revisit conviction of criminal defendants by less than unanimous agreement of jurors. Non-unanimous criminal convictions are currently allowed only in Oregon and Louisiana, and are unfair for a variety of reasons which we discussed previously. Now we have [...]

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Function of Juries &Jury Nullification &Sixth Amendment | 30 Apr 2014

-Arizona Court of Appeals Ruling Protects Trial by Jury

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The Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution is very clear: we have the right to trial by jury in ALL criminal cases. Nonetheless, this very explicit guarantee is routinely ignored by courts across the United States, with charges punishable by nearly six months incarceration often decided unilaterally by a judge. Last week, the Arizona [...]

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Function of Juries &Jury Nullification | 25 Apr 2014

-Supreme Court to Consider Revisiting Non-Unanimous Jury Verdicts

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Law professor Eugene Volokh, of the Volokh Conspiracy, reports that the case of Jackson v. Louisiana is on the Supreme Court’s conference list for today. Jackson v. Louisiana is the latest of several cases in recent years calling upon the Supreme Court to revisit its 1972 rulings in Apodaca v. Oregon and Johnson v. Louisiana, [...]

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Function of Juries &Jury Nullification | 23 Apr 2014

-Jurors Say ‘No’ to Testifying Down

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One of the justifications offered for plea bargaining is that it allows prosecutors to engage lesser offenders in the pursuit of convicting more serious offenders. However, it doesn’t always work that way. Often it is just a matter of who caved first and gave up their right to trial by jury in exchange for a [...]

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