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Function of Juries & History of Jury Nullification & Jury Nullification | 06 Sep 2014

-Jurors Wield Power to Judge the Law


Jury BoxThe Richmond County Daily Journal follows up its Jury Rights Day coverage with an informative and insightful editorial on jurors’ ability to conscientiously acquit via jury nullification.

OUR VIEW: Jurors wield power to judge the law

Jury duty.

It’s the setup to innumerable punchlines, a civic chore that some people dread and many try to avoid.

But jurors hold a special place in society, serving as a final check and balance on government power.

Consider the following scenario: An individual is charged with a victimless crime; a behavior our government formally and forcibly frowns upon, but one that has not injured any person or deprived anyone of property. The defendant faces a serious criminal charge that will result in many years behind bars.

By the letter of the law, the defendant may be guilty. But the jurors believe his or her behavior either shouldn’t be a crime or that the severe punishment for that crime is disproportionate.

Locking that person away may be the correct remedy under the law, but sometimes the law falls fall short of justice. So jurors can — and do — set statute aside and find the defendant not guilty.

Click through to read the entire editorial, and please share this around with family and friends!