Friday, December 19, 2014

Jury Nullification and Why Ross Ulbricht’s Prosecutors Are Trying to Evade It

By Paul Rosenberg

There is a basic principle that underlies any honest attempt at good governance:
Anyone given power over others must be subject to more scrutiny, and must be given less benefit of the doubt.
Judging from their complaints, nearly everyone in modern America feels that things are out of control, and the rampant violation of this principle has to be among the biggest reasons.
The man who lives quietly on 4th Street is entitled to his privacy, but the actions of a policeman authorized to use violence must be scrutinized. Likewise the prosecutor who can ruin lives with the stroke of a pen.
Power may never be given the benefit of the doubt by a free people; it must be suspect at all times. Anything less leads to tyranny.

Jury Nullification: The Embodiment of This Principle

Jury nullification occurs when a jury decides that a defendant shouldn’t go to jail, regardless of what the law says. Here's how it embodies the principle we started with:
By nullifying a law, people who don’t coerce others stop the excesses of those who do.
This is a very old practice and one that is explicitly recognized in US law.

No comments:

Post a Comment