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Function of Juries & Jury Nullification & Jury Rights Day | 05 Sep 2014

-Jury Nullification Keeps Government in Check


JRD_dkblue_square_446x444FIJA New Hampshire State Contact Dick Marple is educating New Hampshire today about jury nullification and Jury Rights Day with this informative editorial in the Concord Monitor. Thank you, Dick!

My Turn: Jury nullification keeps government in check

Today, we celebrate Jury Rights Day.

It was on this day in 1670 that Quaker William Penn of London was arrested, pleaded not guilty and subsequently argued against England’s Conventicle Acts, which outlawed the practice of religions other than the Church of England.

The judge instructed the jurors to find Penn guilty, but they refused to enforce a bad law. The court retaliated by jailing the jurors and withholding food and water.

Some of the jurors appealed their fines and imprisonment, and a higher court confirmed the right of the jurors to base their verdict on their best judgment and conscience. Even though there was a law against freedom of religion, the high court held that juries could not be required to enforce any law they thought was wrong.

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