Jury Nullification, the last defense against a tyrannical government
Imagine you are a juror for a criminal case. The evidence is clear that the defendant broke the law. However, your conscience tells you the law is unjust and should not be enforced. What do you do?
John Jay, our nation’s first Supreme Court Justice stated that “It is presumed, that juries are the best judges of facts; it is, on the other hand, presumed that courts are the best judges of law. But still both objects are within your power of decision… you [juries] have a right to take it upon yourselves to judge of both, and to determine the la w as well as the fact in controversy.”
American jurors have a history of fighting injustice with JN. Jurors routinely refused to convict prosecutions under the Fugitive Slave Act and during Prohibition. Unfortunately, like so many of our basic rights and freedoms today, JN is under attack.
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