Defense lawyers in the U.S. used to often inform juries about nullification, but that is no longer common practice and is often prevented. In United States V. Sparf (1895) the Supreme Court voted 7-2 to uphold a conviction in a case where the trial judge had refused a defense attorney’s request to tell the jury about their ability to engage in nullification.
If you are an American Citizen, you will likely serve on a jury at some point throughout your life. When you get called for jury duty, you should be educated about what your role as a juror is and how vital a part of the criminal justice system you are.
As a juror, you have the right and the obligation to judge both the case facts and the law. If the evidence presents that a defendant is guilty of the law that they are charged with but the law itself is wrong, you have a right to return a verdict of not guilty in order to nullify the law. This is jury nullification, and it is a fundamental part of our constitutional republic and its history which has been suppressed in recent times.
Because the U.S. constitution contains protection against double-jeopardy, which means that no one can be tried twice…
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