Skip to comments.JURY NULLIFICATION (Time to REVIEW)
Posted on 08/09/2013 10:40:41 AM PDT by Dick Bachert
Given the monumental increase in CORRUPTION in government at all levels, I thought it might be a good idea to send this around once again. As you'll see, this relates to the Georgia Constitution. I'd urge you to investigate YOUR state constitution to see if it contains a clause on JURY NULLIFICATION. If it DOES NOT, why don't you FIND OUT WHY?
Thanks to the wisdom of the Founders, we have -- or once HAD -- 4 bulwarks against TYRANNY: They were the 1) SOAP BOX (First Amendment), 2) the BALLOT BOX, 3) the JURY BOX and (pray that we never have to resort to it) 4) the CARTRIDGE BOX (Second Amendment -- which is NOT about hunting and sport shooting!!).
One lovely Fall day in the late 80s, my wife and I took the grand kids to a nearby park to get some sun.
An election was coming up and we were approached by a man passing out literature. He introduced himself, informed us that he was running for the Superior Court bench and asked us for our votes. We politely told him wed read his material and think about it.
As he turned to leave, I asked him a question that ANY judicial candidate SHOULD have been able to answer: How do you feel about JURY NULLIFICATION?
The look on his face told me he knew hed been too slow getting out of the area. He looked down at his shoes, kicked the dirt and paused for a full 15 seconds then said I dont think we should ELIMINATE JURIES.
I told him that it was the long established but increasingly IGNORED -- concept that the jury had the right to judge not only the facts of the case but THE LAW under which the case was brought. If the jury felt the law was unjust, unreasonable or otherwise wrong, they had the right, indeed, the DUTY, to acquit and to essentially NULLIFY the law. I went on to remark that the concept had been incorporated in nearly every state constitution but had been expunged over the years as those documents were revised -- EXCEPT FOR GEORGIA (at Article 1, Section 1, Paragraph XI and the jury shall be the judges of the law and the facts). and one other state and even survived Georgias 1982 revision even though the committee was headed by a very liberal banker from Decatur.
As he walked away, muttering to himself, the look on his face indicated that hed never even HEARD of jury nullification! Guess he dozed off during that class.
He WON the election and still sits on the Superior Court bench and Ill bet hes STILL instructing juries to ONLY CONSIDER THE FACTS OF THE CASE AND THE LAW AS HE EXPLAINED IT TO THEM! Unless a juror comes into court UNDERSTANDING that nullification is our final barricade against out of control government, he certainly wont hear about in there. In fact, if he even utters the phrase jury nullification, he will probably be struck from the jury. And if he does get on the jury, should the judge hear that he explained nullification to his fellow jurors, he will be replaced and reprimanded (as a friend of mine was).
Im sure most of these candidates are great guys and gals, love their spouses, kids and dog but if he wants that job, its more important that they have read our organic documents and, more importantly, UNDERSTAND WHAT THEY MEAN.
Were in this mess BECAUSE WEVE FAILED TO ASK TOUGH QUESTIONS!! Its long past time to ask them and DEMAND THE RIGHT ANSWERS.
I had no idea that jury nullification was stricken from most state constitutions. This is honestly one of the most terrifying things I’ve read lately.
If my state has eliminated jury nullification then I would hang the jury outright before handing the leviathan it’s precious victory.
Two problems with Jury nullification:
1) We’re going to like it only when the jury nullifies in a way that we want it to nullify. For example, what if the jury in the Zimmerman case had decided to nullify by convicting him for politically correct reasons? What if blacks nullify by voting to let members of their own race get off free every time?
(2) If you have moral objections to lying in a state where nullification is not legal, you’re gonna be in trouble when the judge asks you, “Are you willing to follow lthe legal instructions that I give you?”
In civil cases, most states never recognized jury nullification to begin with, or recognized it only in libel cases. I am aware of no state today in which a jury's verdict cannot be set aside on appeal if it was legally erroneous.
Incorrect -- Nullification can ONLY occur as a "not guilty", it is NOT merely
ruling other than ought to be ruled. In the case of nullification the jury is judging the law itself to be unjust, and the law only condemns: thus without that condemnation the defendant is
I will comply with all lawful instructions.
Any instruction that you must rule a certain way is, by definition, unlawful: a jury must have the full authority to decide guilt or innocence. (Otherwise it is not a jury, but mere formality and a rubber-stamp for the state.)
vs lawfully erroneous?
Except for the 47% who adore obozo and seem content with servitude, anyone living in a state where JN is ILLEGAL ought to consider relocating.
I will follow the instructions, but if the prosecution does not convince me of the defendants guilt there is not a damn thing they can do except declare a miss-trial and do it all again.
Sorry, no idea what you mean.
Agree with this. In our common law, jury tries the defendant _and_ the law.
1) Were going to like it only when the jury nullifies in a way that we want it to nullify. For example, what if the jury in the Zimmerman case had decided to nullify by convicting him for politically correct reasons? What if blacks nullify by voting to let members of their own race get off free every time?
Incorrect — Nullification can ONLY occur as a “not guilty”, it is NOT merely “ruling other than ought to be ruled”. In the case of nullification the jury is judging the law itself to be unjust, and the law only condemns: thus without that condemnation the defendant is “not guilty”.
Your problem is that the bad guys will also be able to nullify. What if you are jumped by a mob of blacks, the blacks are tried, and the all-black jury acquits, believing that laws allowing the prosecution of black attacking whites are “unjust”?
Just because there's a statute somewhere out there does not mean that it is lawful. Imagine, for instance, congress making a statute that established the First American Caliphate, thus a law regarding establishing a religion: would this statute be lawful? No. Would it be Legal?
The following is quoted from A Dictionary of Law 1893:So then, 'legal' has all to do with the form of something: so a "legal contract" could be made which consigns your newborn son into slavery, but such would be unlawful by the 13th Amendment due to the lack of consent. (Although there are some here who would argue that the parent can consent in such a case and it would be legitimate.)Lawful. In accordance with the law of the land; according to the law; permitted, sanctioned, or justified by law. Lawful properly implies a thing conformable to or enjoined by law; Legal, a thing in the form or after the manner of law or binding by law. A writ or warrant issuing from any court, under color of law, is a legal process however defective. See legal.Legal. Latin legalis. Pertaining to the understanding, the exposition, the administration, the science and the practice of law: as, the legal profession, legal advice; legal blanks, newspaper. Implied or imputed in law. Opposed to actual
We have, today, many 'laws' (statutes, ordinances, rules, regulations, etc) which are legal but, ultimately unlawful. A good illustration as to how this was done is to examine the Supreme Court and precedence (spit) — in Wickard the USSC declared that even though intrastate commerce wasn't technically interstate commerce that the Congress could write laws regulating it because it impacted interstate commerce. In Raich they expanded on Wickard to say that
even if there is no interstate market, because such would be illegal, the Congress's laws still apply because if there was a market Congress could regulate that. IOW, they spewed out crap justifying the application of "Drug Law" to places where, logically and lawfully, the Congress could not go thus granting the 'legal' justification.
Interesting note: Wickard was decided right after the USSC was cowed by court-packing threats. It is highly likely they would have ruled against the overreach of congress (essentially the institution of Fascism) if they weren't still quaking in their boots.
The jury has the right and authority to judge both the defendant [case], and the law itself. Period.
They will answer to God for all of their decisions: in the jury-box, and out.
1. Your distinction between “legal” and “lawful” isn’t used any more (you cite an 1893 dictionary). Today, a contract to sell your son into slavery would be called an “illegal contract.”
2. In any event, you are missing the point of my post. Jury verdicts in civil cases are reviewed on appeal for legal error but generally not for factual error. If 5 witnesses say the traffic light was red and one witness says the light was green, the jury can believe the 1 and disbelieve the 5 and that is generally immune from appellate review. But if the jury decides that the plaintiff ran a red light causing the defendant to hit her car, but awards her damages anyway because the defendant is a rich hedge-fund manager and the defendant is a poor single mom who needs the money more, the appellate court can reverse.