Fully Informed Jury Association

Are you fully informed about jury nullification?

Function of Juries | 19 Aug 2013

-Jury Chastised by Judge for Not Guilty Verdict

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Think the judge in the courtroom is an objective arbiter of justice? Think again. The judge and the prosecutor are both getting paid by the state–a clear conflict of interest.

Consider the case of Franklin County, Ohio Municipal Court Judge Amy Salerno who jurors say chastised them in open court for having reached a “wrong” verdict when they delivered a Not Guilty verdict in an assault case.

Jurors complained to the administrative judge supervising the judges in that court. According to Judge James Green, “They reported to me that she made a comment to them that it was okay because she would have another chance to get this defendant ’cause he had other charges pending.”

This is a very clear illustration of the need for the body of independent individuals in the courtroom that is the jury. Remember, “The primary purpose of the independent juror is not, as many people think, to dispense punishment to fellow citizens accused of breaking various laws, but rather to protect fellow citizens from tyrannical abuse of power by government.” Even when the act for which the accused is charged is an actual crime, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused actually committed that crime. Often the government has ill intentions when accusing people of actions that, if committed, would merit some sort of consequence, so jurors must not give prosecutors a pass and rubber stamp poorly argued cases.

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