Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Is Juror Annullment illegal?
Law and Order TV show | May 22, 2005 | knarf

Posted on 05/22/2005 4:31:57 PM PDT by knarf

Last night, during a "Law and Order" episode, the 'judge' said that juror annullment was illegal.


TOPICS:
KEYWORDS: courts; crime; fija; jurorannullment; jury; jurynullification; libertarian; nullification
A juror had been caught communicating with the defendent and during the questioning, the juror (ultimately kicked from the jury), made the comment that she would try to annull the law using juror annullment.

The judge flared back with a couple of her own lines, one especially being that juror annullment was illegal.

The setting for Law and Order is NYC, so my question is;

Is it true juror annullment is illegal?
Is it something peculiar to NY(C)?
Was the statement just another lie to eminate from the tube?

1 posted on 05/22/2005 4:31:57 PM PDT by knarf
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: knarf

Unless the law's been changed, or the FIJA (Fully Informed Jury Association) has been putting out bad info, jury annulment is still legal.


2 posted on 05/22/2005 4:33:51 PM PDT by thoughtomator (So you're a feminist... that's so cute!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: knarf

I guess you mean jury nullification. That's when the jury believes that a person is guilty of breaking a certain law, but votes innocent because they believe the law is unjust. Just saying because some people think the O. J. Simpson trial was jury nullification. Not unless the jury thought murder was just duckie. . .

It is not illegal, although some people would like you to think so.


3 posted on 05/22/2005 4:33:58 PM PDT by ahayes
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: knarf; All

American Jury Institute/Fully Informed Jury Association: Home

A non-profit educational association whose mission is to inform all Americans about their rights, powers and responsibilties when serving as trial jurors.
www.fija.org/ - 12k - Cached - Similar pages

4 posted on 05/22/2005 4:35:10 PM PDT by backhoe (-30-)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: knarf

Lawyer shows on tv should be illegal


5 posted on 05/22/2005 4:35:33 PM PDT by agitator (...And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: knarf

A jury finding of not guilty, for whatever reason, is not subject to appeal.


6 posted on 05/22/2005 4:35:40 PM PDT by Mr. Lucky
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ahayes
Right!
Jury nullification.
Too many synapses not firing these days ....

Thanx for the clarification.

7 posted on 05/22/2005 4:37:31 PM PDT by knarf (A place where anyone can learn anything ... especially that which promotes clear thinking.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: knarf
The judge flared back with a couple of her own lines, one especially being that juror annullment was illegal.

Tell the judge at your next trail that it is your duty as a juror to not only determine if the defendent is guilty or innocent but also to to determine if the law is fair and just. Watch the judge turn into the Tasmanian Devil, trust me, I know.

8 posted on 05/22/2005 4:37:36 PM PDT by ScreamingFist (Peace through Ignorance)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: thoughtomator

All findings of fact in the American Judicial system are supposed to be findings of the Jury. The Jury finding can not be overturned.

What the Jury can not do is find someone guilty, but the law unconstitutional, so in that sense, the legal community is right, there is no juror annulment.

Jury Forman:
"The defendent is innocent, if he gives back the cows."

Judge:"This verdict is improper."

Jury Forman:
"The defendent is innocent, and he can keep the cows."


9 posted on 05/22/2005 4:37:46 PM PDT by Donald Meaker (i)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: ScreamingFist

Good way to get out of jury duty!


10 posted on 05/22/2005 4:38:14 PM PDT by ahayes
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: knarf

jury nullification technically is NOT legal, in that it violates the specific instructions of the court with respect to following the applicable law. HOWEVER, once a person is acquitted, that's it. The jurors have not committed a crime, but they HAVE violated their oath as jurors (in New York anyway) wherein they agree to follow the judge's instructions on the law. A distinction without a difference, perhaps, as the jurors can never be called to answer for their verdict, and any evidence of nullification is anecdotal rather than testimonial.
-A Judge Who Knows


11 posted on 05/22/2005 4:41:51 PM PDT by Cincinnatus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Donald Meaker

As the Irish jury found "The man who stole the horse is not guilty"


12 posted on 05/22/2005 4:43:06 PM PDT by jocon307 (Legal immigrant Irish grandmother rolls in grave, yet again.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: ahayes
Good way to get out of jury duty!

Yes, use a Fully Informed Jury flier as a bookmark and I guarantee you will never see the inside of a courtroom as a juror.

13 posted on 05/22/2005 4:43:25 PM PDT by ScreamingFist (Peace through Ignorance)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: ScreamingFist

I was a potential juror, and was excused because the defendent was prosecuted for display of a firearm to a "bill collector" on his own property, and the police arrested him for it in his house.

During voir dire I mentioned that as an Army officer I had used display of a firearm to prevent mutiny. The prosecution wanted 12 people who thought that display of a firearm was always bad, and got all 40 people who were exposed to my anectode removed for cause.


14 posted on 05/22/2005 4:49:19 PM PDT by Donald Meaker (i)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: Cincinnatus
OK then ..

Hypothetically;

If I sit on a jury deciding a persons guilt or innocense possessing say , a couple of joints, and I think it's a frivolous charge based on (I guess, I don't know), the law that says a joint is illegal possesion, I can, while deciding, voice my opinion that this particular law is stupid and 'we' could find the defendent not guilty on the fact that 'we' in this case determine the law illegal?

15 posted on 05/22/2005 4:53:24 PM PDT by knarf (A place where anyone can learn anything ... especially that which promotes clear thinking.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Donald Meaker
During voir dire I mentioned that as an Army officer I had used display of a firearm to prevent mutiny.

I'm not a lawyer nor have I ever played one on TV, but I believe the voir dire process has turned our juries into nothing more than a "lowest common denominator" system. I think juries should be chosen on a random number basis, at least I would have a chance (like winning the lotto) of actually being judged by my peers.

16 posted on 05/22/2005 5:00:51 PM PDT by ScreamingFist (Peace through Ignorance)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: knarf

No, you keep your mouth shut and steadfastly state during the jury deliberations that "The Prosecution has not proven the defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt".


17 posted on 05/22/2005 5:04:55 PM PDT by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: ScreamingFist
Voir Dire: A French Term for Jury-Stacking
18 posted on 05/22/2005 5:12:20 PM PDT by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: DuncanWaring
No, you keep your mouth shut and steadfastly state during the jury deliberations that "The Prosecution has not proven the defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt".

;)

19 posted on 05/22/2005 5:16:53 PM PDT by ScreamingFist (Peace through Ignorance)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: DuncanWaring

Excellent article, thank you for the link.


20 posted on 05/22/2005 5:22:22 PM PDT by ScreamingFist (Peace through Ignorance)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: ScreamingFist
You're welcome.

"It's an honor to be able to spread the word".

21 posted on 05/22/2005 5:25:25 PM PDT by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: knarf
SAMUEL CHASE (Justice, U. S. Supreme Court and signer of the Declaration of Independence; in 1804): "The jury has the right to determine both the law and the facts."

U.S. v. DOUGHERTY, 473 F.2d. 1113, 1139 (1972): "The pages of history shine on instances of the jury's exercise of its prerogative to disregard instructions of the judge...."

LORD DENMAN, (in C.J. O'Connel v. R. ,1884): "Every jury in the land is tampered with and falsely instructed by the judge when it is told it must take (or accept) as the law that which has been given to them, or that they must bring in a certain verdict, or that they can decide only the facts of the case."

22 posted on 05/22/2005 5:29:17 PM PDT by MamaTexan (The foundation of a *Republic* -- Man owes obedience to his Creator...NOT his creation!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Cincinnatus
A Judge's instructions to a Jury are only advice. They are not orders and the Jurors may well ignore that advice, not matter how threatening in word ot fact it is.

This was established and demonstarted by a Jury in London in the year 1670, the month of September, a case brought to trial on the first day of that month. That Jury ignored the Judicial direction as what it might find, and was imprisoned overnights without food and water in the Tower of London for so doing. Some were held in the Tower until November.

Still that courageous Jury stood fast to its own judgement. Finally -- after considerable public efforts their verdict stood. Not the verdict for which the Judge asked not the charge the baliff had orignally declared..

The Jury ruled that William Penn was guily only of "Speaking in Public" -- no crime that. They had recast the very charge -- of incitement to riot, and found according to Liberty and Truth.

That trial and ruling by the Jury is part of our common law, as we inherited it.

23 posted on 05/22/2005 5:39:17 PM PDT by bvw
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: bvw

God bless FReepers that know something and teach it freely to we, the people.


24 posted on 05/22/2005 5:42:39 PM PDT by knarf (A place where anyone can learn anything ... especially that which promotes clear thinking.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: MamaTexan

What knarf said, ma'am.


25 posted on 05/22/2005 5:57:27 PM PDT by bvw
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: Cincinnatus

"jury nullification technically is NOT legal, in that it violates the specific instructions of the court with respect to following the applicable law. ...(T)he jurors have not committed a crime, but they HAVE violated their oath as jurors (in New York anyway) wherein they agree to follow the judge's instructions on the law."

I agree with that.
But there have been documented cases of jury nullification, and in some instances it was the noble thing to do (not in the OJ case, though, where the jury may have simply disregarded crucial evidence to form a conclusion that reasonable doubt existed).


26 posted on 05/22/2005 6:50:43 PM PDT by Voir Dire (I'm seeing and saying.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Voir Dire

The OJ case wasn't jury nullification because they didn't let him off because they thought laws against murder were invalid. They let him off because he was a rich black celebrity. Completely different motives.


27 posted on 05/23/2005 8:33:18 AM PDT by ahayes
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: ScreamingFist

In california the old Lawyer led voir dire process has been replaced by Judge replaced voir dire, as in the Federal process.

You are limited still to 6 peremtory challenges, and any number of challenges for cause.

I don't have a problem with it. The 6 gets rid of the unreasonable people (like me). The remainder are really pretty average. Think of the distribution of people, then pick 14 (12 plus to alternates) and then the 6 at each end. The 14 will be, with competent defense, pretty much in the middle, and reasonable. No PHDs, no cop's sisters. It is as good as you get.


28 posted on 05/24/2005 10:22:48 PM PDT by Donald Meaker (i)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: knarf

Since the purpose of jury nullification is the prevention of the enforcement of laws with which a jury doesn't agree, who cares if it's "illegal" or not?


29 posted on 11/01/2005 9:18:34 AM PST by Still Thinking (Disregard the law of unintended consequences at your own risk.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ScreamingFist
Tell the judge at your next trail that it is your duty as a juror to not only determine if the defendent is guilty or innocent but also to to determine if the law is fair and just. Watch the judge turn into the Tasmanian Devil, trust me, I know

So if telling him is going to cause him to get high blood pressure as well as overstep the authority of his office, it's a kindness not to tell him. He has no particular need to know, anyway.

30 posted on 11/01/2005 9:21:03 AM PST by Still Thinking (Disregard the law of unintended consequences at your own risk.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Cincinnatus
jury nullification technically is NOT legal, in that it violates the specific instructions of the court with respect to following the applicable law.

But how can it be illegal to disregard instructions which are in themselves incorrect as well as illegal?

31 posted on 11/01/2005 9:24:01 AM PST by Still Thinking (Disregard the law of unintended consequences at your own risk.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: knarf

Watching CRAP on TV should be illegal


32 posted on 11/01/2005 9:25:11 AM PST by Rightly Biased (<>< Like $3 a gallon gas? Thank an enviromentalist.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Still Thinking
But how can it be illegal to disregard instructions which are in themselves incorrect as well as illegal?

Because jurors have no right, power or authority to determine what the law is or should be. The power of the jury is solely to determine the facts. That is ancient law.

33 posted on 11/01/2005 1:19:54 PM PST by Cincinnatus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: Cincinnatus
Because jurors have no right, power or authority to determine what the law is or should be. The power of the jury is solely to determine the facts. That is ancient law.

How do you square that with the ultimate outcome of the William Penn heresy case, the Zenger "truth is no defense" when criticizing the government case, and these words of Thomas Jefferson: "I consider trial by jury as the only anchor yet imagined by man, by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution."

How about jurisdictions considering legislation requiring judges to explicitly tell jurors of this power?

34 posted on 11/01/2005 1:54:34 PM PST by Still Thinking (Disregard the law of unintended consequences at your own risk.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: knarf
It's perfectly legal but judges and lawyers hate it. It takes control away from the courts and gives it to the jury where, historically, it has always belonged.

Remember, judges issue instructions not orders

35 posted on 11/01/2005 2:09:08 PM PST by muir_redwoods (Free Sirhan Sirhan, after all, the bastard who killed Mary Jo Kopechne is walking around free)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: muir_redwoods; Cincinatus

I don't know, I think Cincinatus might disagree with you. (IMNSHO, he'd be wrong)


36 posted on 11/01/2005 3:31:50 PM PST by Still Thinking (Disregard the law of unintended consequences at your own risk.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

To: Cincinnatus

Read the Peter Zenger case


37 posted on 11/01/2005 3:36:06 PM PST by muir_redwoods (Free Sirhan Sirhan, after all, the bastard who killed Mary Jo Kopechne is walking around free)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson