Jury Nullification Paper
April 25, 2011
Jury Nullification defined when juries believe a case is unjust or wrong and may acquit a defendant who violated the law. Jury nullification has been an option of a jury in the United States. The jury play a fundamental role in upholding and interpreting the laws the founders of American government outlined in that most sacred of documents. Today society find it imperative to question to what extent a jury may take these laws and make them their own. That a jury may so easily subject laws ...view middle of the document...
According to the article, “Race Based Jury Nullification,” it indicated that “Jury nullification occurs when a criminal-trial jury refuses to convict a defendant despite proof of guilt because the
jurors believe the law is unjust or is being unjustly applied” (Rivera). If applied in an appropriate and honest manner, it is possible that racial-based jury nullification may help even out the playing field for minorities in the courtroom in terms of receiving a sentence for a crime committed based on the law rather than based on factors of race.
Not, many persons picked to be a juror for a criminal trial know about jury nullification. Across the country and in almost every courtroom a juror or jury as well as a judge can nullify a criminal court case. Many of these cases turn out to be nullified based on race and even though the person is guilty. Many do not support this type of process because it allows a biased judgment to be formed based on race and not the guilt of the person. This process sets the criminal free. Nullification usually ends with the criminal acquitted of all charges. “Jury nullification occurs when a criminal-trial jury refuses to convict a defendant despite proof of guilt because the jurors believe the law is unjust or is being unjustly applied. The reasons may involve the jurors view on the unjustness of the law, injustice of its application, and the race of a party.
Many believe that racial nullification should happen for those that commit non-violent crimes even if the evidence clearly makes the person guilty. The biggest favor for this type of process is that this would allow the prison system to have more space for those that commit more violent crimes regardless of race. Nullification is a way to say that the evidence of the crime makes the person guilty but the jury or judge sees the law surrounding the case as unjust. The team is against race-based nullification because when nullification is accompanied by race it allows a
person or group to be acquitted of a crime just because of his or her race and as long as the crime committed is a non-
severe crime. This type of nullification could allow a first time offender that is a drug dealer to go free based his race this is not acceptable to some because this person is seen as a danger to the community and those that live there. I believe that a person’s race should have nothing to do with it.
Jury nullification defined as the acquitting of a defendant by a jury in disregard of the judge instructions and contrary to the jury’s discoveries fact. This is something that may occur if a jury is sympathetic toward a defendant or disregards the law under which the defendant is charged with disfavor. In other words, a jury may acquit an individual even though there is a mound of evidence against him or her.
An example of this, according to a large majority, is the case of the State of California versus O.J. Simpson (U.S. News and World Report,...