Justice Before the Law: A Conversation with Professor Michael Huemer
Join us for this special Magna Carta Day seminar!
Michael Huemer is a professor of philosophy at the University of Colorado and author of the book entitled "Justice before the Law", due to be released this summer. In this book, Professor Huemer explores the largest injustices in the legal system and what can be done about them. Besides proposing institutional reforms, he argues that prosecutors, judges, lawyers, and jury members ought to place justice before the law—for example, by refusing to enforce unjust laws or impose unjust sentences.
In addition to covering jury nullification in this new book, he has also covered the subject in a previous book entitled The Problem with Political Authority, a paper entitled "The Duty to Disregard the Law," and "A Defense of Jury Nullification” in The Palgrave Handbook of Philosophy and Public Policy.
We will discuss with Professor Huemer the purpose of the law, the role of juries in the legal system, philosophical arguments for and against jury nullification, sticky issues for conscientious jurors such as getting through jury selection, dealing with oaths, and more.
Those of us who support jury nullification in general but struggle with the ethical details of when and how to engage in it will find much value in this discussion. Those of us who feel totally prepared for jury duty but seek to persuade our communities—in the face of outright lies being told by judges, prosecutors, and other government apologists—can learn much to help us more successfully create fully informed jurors ready to do justice when called to serve.