Pros And Cons Of Jury Nullification In The Canadian Justice System

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As members of society we are told that the law is a predictable and reliable entity which is applicable to all individuals, despite the differences. This statement encourages us to abide by the law, and entrust it to make decisions that are best for us as individuals and as a community. Due to the formalism of law, it must be emphasized that there is a need for a compassionate component, to even the playing field. One way the law incorporates compassion into its system is through the use of juries. Juries are a random, unbiased selection of people who will be asked to sit in a trial and decide a verdict of guilty or not guilty. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees that “a person accused of criminal activity ‘has the right…show more content…
Jury nullification is the process by which the panel of juries acquit the defendant regardless of evidence provided. Jury are also able to nullify the law if it is applied unjustly, again, regardless of supporting evidence or instructions from the judge. It is clear that there are both, strengths, and weaknesses of this process, which will be discussed in this paper. This paper will champion jury nullification within the Canadian justice system, discuss its pros and cons, as well as propose changes to the process. Ideas of morality, fallibilities of rule of law, and social change will be explored in relation to jury nullification and its effects on the legal system within Canadian…show more content…
Paul Butler discusses this in essay titled “Racially Based Jury Nullification” where he proposes that black juries should acquit black defendants if the crime is considered non-violent/victimless. It is important that we consider this notion, regardless of how extreme it may seem. Butler takes great care to discuss how putting way those who are poor and who are black, is an unjust way of punishing them. When whole communities are not provided with enough resource to become functioning member of societies, exceptions must be made to accommodate such situations. Jury nullification gives power to the juries to act as barriers to those who are abused by the state. When lack of state support forces individuals into crime for the purpose of survival, it must be taken into consideration when deciding upon a verdict. Butler admits that this proposal is “rough” and only acts as in “intermediate plan” for it is clear that such action is meant in a form of a protest against the current process. Racially based jury nullification exists as an eye opener for members of the American justice system, and the communities which are affected by high incarceration/crime rates. It stands to make a point that putting people in jail does not work as a form of deterrence, or “justice”, it is not surprising law enforcement is widely distrusted. With this kept in mind, I
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