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Jury nullification means that a jury finds a defendant innocent because the law itself is unjust, or is unjust in a particular application, and so should not be applied. So really what this means is that no mater what the law says the jury will pretty much have the right to choose weather the person is going to be guilty or innocent and that is kind of ok in some cases but then again its not in others so we should not expect our juries to judge our laws only the case that person is being tried in and they should only judge that person on all of the facts given.
This is the sixth amendment and this tells you about what juries can do in cases of law. “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.” What all of this means is that everyone that gets convicted of a crime gets all of the same benefits weather its a misdemeanor, felony, or capital crime. Everyone get the rights to a speedy trial and an impartial jury.
Some of the people in the world always ask themselves this question when in the court room “ WHY DID OUR FOUNDING FATHERS EXPECT CITIZEN JURIES TO JUDGE OUR LAWS AS WELL AS THE GUILT OF THE INDIVIDUAL ?” Well the answer is really simple its Because: "If a juror accepts as the law that which the judge states then that juror has accepted the exercise of absolute authority of a government employee and has surrendered a power and right that once was the citizen's safeguard of liberty." (1788) (2 Elliots Debates, 94, Bancroft, History of the Constitution, 267) "Jury nullification of law", as it is sometimes called, is a traditional American right defended by the Founding Fathers. Those Patriots intended the jury serve as one of the tests a law must pass before it assumes enough popular authority to be enforced. Thus the Constitution provides five separate tribunals with veto power -- representatives, senate, executive, judges and jury -- that each enactment of law must pass before it gains the authority to punish those who choose to violate it.
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What all of the facts above go out and say would be that people would of needed the jury nullification even back in the old days before it was brought about. The facts go to prove that no man that is on a jury should have to determine the law and the person who is on trial too.
“Men do not make laws. They do but discover them. Laws must be justified by something more than the will of the majority. They must rest on the eternal foundation of righteousness. That state is most fortunate in its form of government which has the aptest instruments for the discovery of law.”
Calvin Coolidge, to the Massachusetts State Senate,
January 7, 1914
This was written from this man so that he would speak his own opinion and in America that can happen because we are a free country and this man was right and yet wrong. Man dose make the laws but yet they only make them after discovering that what someone did or if something happened they think of something that they can help fix it so that it will not happen again and if it dose happen again then they will have a punishment for that thing.
Does jury nullification contribute to, rather than mitigate, such judicial misbehavior? No, because it is part of the system of checks and balances itself -- a check against the bias of judges and the irrationality and corruption that creeps steadily into the law, as irresponsible legislators and judges think about things other than justice. Jury nullification is not a violation of the rule of law because it is part of the rule of law. It represents a basic misconception of the principle of the "rule of law" itself to say that it means that everyone absolutely must obey the law until the law can be changed by the appropriate processes. Indeed, that conception of the rule of law would forbid civil disobedience, which was justified by Martin Luther King, quoting St. Augustine, that, "An unjust law is no law at all." But how can we have the rule of law if we accept something like that? How can people just go around judging for themselves whether a law is just or not? The answer is, that they have to, and that is simply the principle of moral conscience. The rule of law is not contrary to that; for the rule of law is not an injunction to blind obedience. Instead, the rule of law is a principle of the limitation of the authority of government. To be "ruled by laws, not by men," is the old expression. Now, a jury nullifying a law or a protester practicing civil disobedience is not engaged in ruling. Instead, they are doing the precise opposite: negating the instructions and actions of government. The principle of the rule of law does the same kind of thing, for it means that the authority and power of government and of individuals in office is limited to those spheres, those issues, and those actions that are specified by the law. The rule of law denies to government unlimited or discretionary power and authority. The rule of law is thus part of a system of checks and balances to prevent dictatorship and despotism. Because of that, it is curiously the case that you do not need to have laws to have the rule of law: for the whole system of Common Law developed through the practice of the courts in considering claims that someone had committed a wrong. The original purpose of trial by jury in the Magna Carta was similar. The threat, indeed, addressed by the Magna Carta was of the laws and judges of King "perifran.htm" l "england". If Magna Carta juries could not nullify the laws of King John, or ignore the instructions and rulings of his judges, trial by jury would have been a useless protection. But the Barons, in obtaining King John's pledge, as Lysander Spooner wrote in 1852, "were engaged in no such senseless work as that." The jury is the last line of defense, the last check and balance, against tyrannical government, if, that is, it is charged with determining the justice of a case and not just with blindly applying the law as given by a judge. It was become a very interesting perversion of the sytem of checks and balances when, as we are told, the Constitution means whatever the Supreme Court says it means but that we are then expected to obey without resistance. Since the Supreme Court has in general, since the New Deal, interpreted the Constitution to mean exactly the opposite of its original purpose, which had been to establish a federal government of limited and enumerated powers, but which now seems to have gotten us a national government of unlimited and plenary powers, which can legislate or regulate in any matter whatsoever, what we have seen is the destruction of the rule of law, through the arbitrary authority of an irresponsible court, rather than its preservation. When the citizen demands that the government obey the Constitution, and the government replies that it is obeying its interpretation of the Constitution, which gives it authority and discretion far beyond that overthrown in the American Revolution, then the whole idea of the "rule of law" has been turned around to justify the very kind of arbitrary, discretionary, and unaccountable authority that it was supposed to prevent. The interpretation of the law cannot be trusted to those with the power to enforce it also. The separation of powers between the judiciary and the executive in the federal government was not sufficient to prevent this, as "errors.htm" already understood: "How can we expect impartial decision between the General government, of which they are themselves so eminent a part, and an individual State, from which they have nothing to hope or fear?" The federal courts are part of the federal government and will tend to take its side in the long run. This is precisely what has happened. Hence we return to Jefferson's maxim that only trial by jury can hold a government to the "principles of its consitution." Since, as a matter of fact, a jury can practice nullification even if the judge tells it that it can't, because its deliberations are secret and unrecorded, trial by jury is still, as long as jurors are brave and informed, one of the most important protections for freedom. Most Americans on jury duty blindly obey the judge, but occasionally feelings run high enough in important cases for juries to ignore the judge and do the right thing. In defending the rule of law but also complaining about judicial activism, Thomas Sowell says: A judge cannot "do justice" directly in the case before him. This view was strongly expressed in a small episode in the life of Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes. After having lunch with Judge Learned Hand, Holmes entered his carriage to be driven away. As he left, Judge Hand's parting salute was: "Do justice, sir, do justice." Holmes ordered the carriage stopped. "That is not my job," Holmes said to Judge Hand. "It is my job to apply the law." [The Quest for Cosmic Justice, The Free Press, 1999, p. 169] Although Sowell is properly concerned about the erosion of the rule of law by judicial activism in the service of "cosmic" and totalitarian ideology, he and Justice Holmes are wrong in this. The law is supposed to be an instrument of justice, and judges, like any morally conscientious persons, have a duty to see that justice is done. What is required, of course, is a proper sense of justice, which is to respect things like property rights that have been trashed by 20th century American courts. As it happens, property rights are protected by the Constitution, the supreme law of the land. Any judge who threw out an indictment that violated the "Takings" clause of the Fifth Amendment is thus very properly repecting the law -- respecting it as it has not been respected by even the Supreme Court since the New Deal. It is only a belief in blind obedience (to the dishonest Supreme Court), not the rule of law, that prevents judges from doing this.
"times-4.htm", a federal judge in Los Angeles prohibited a cancer patient from smoking marijuana while on bail, even though he would become more ill, and might even die, without it, just because such an exemption would violate the very laws that the patient was being accused of violating. The judge, however "sympathetic" to the "plight" of the dying man, could not authorize a violation of the law. However, in a related medical marijuana case, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals subsequently sent back a judgment for reconsideration because the trial judge had not allowed "medical necessity" as a consideration in his opinion. "Necessity," indeed, is an old common law defense: If someone must violate a law or die, one has a perfectly valid reason for violating the law. No "judicial activist" made this up, but the trial judges in both the cases mentioned would not allow it. Who is respecting the rule of law in these cases? The judge who sadly knows that he may be condemning a man to death, or a judge who appeals to an ancient and reasonable exception to laws that are inappropriately applied? In the former, the judge is both a bad judge, rejecting the existing tools of justice, and a bad man, for not at least recusing himself lest he be forced by a perverse duty to do evil. One hopes that something like applying the Nuremberg Laws or the fugitive slave laws would have been too much for Justice Holmes. I should note in closing, however, that government conducts much of its business today through "fiction.htm" and penalties that are imposed summarily, without trial by jury, or often without trial at all. This is becoming the most convenient instrument of tyranny open to modern American government. At the same time, judges who are hostile to nullification, and who have the power of arbitrarily imposing "contempt of court" penalties without trial by jury, or even legal explanation, are beginning to use their powers to intrude on the deliberation processes of juries, trying to make jurors answerable for deliberations that traditionally and constitutionally have been secret, unrecorded, and unreviewable. But, as Jefferson would have said, it is not surprising to see such devices used, by those with tyranny in their hearts, to expand their own power and the domination of government.