Jury Nullification: Exercise Your Right to Fight Unfair Laws

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“Jurors should acquit, even against the judge’s instruction…if exercising their judgement with discretion and honesty they have a clear conviction that the charge of the court is wrong.”

— Alexander Hamilton, 1804

What would you do if you were selected for jury duty, but felt that the “broken” law itself was unjust, unfair, or unconstitutional?

Did you know that, as a juror, you have the right to acquit a defendant in a criminal case if you determine the law itself to be flawed?

Even if the court proves the law in question was actually broken, a jury has a right to find the defendant innocent if the law is found to be unfair, immoral, unjustly applied, or unconstitutional.

This is called jury nullification.

JuryBox.org provides this example of how the process works:

Say Congress passed a bill, and the President signed it, stating that the official religion of the United States is Christianity, and that no other forms of religion are to be practiced under penalty of jail. While almost 80% of the United States is Christian, the 1st Amendment clearly states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof […]”. Our hypothetical example does both: establish and prohibit. So say someone continued to openly practice Judaism and was arrested for breaking this law. Upon trial, the prosecution laid out mountains of evidence of the defendant breaking this law and the accused got on the stand and proudly admitted his guilt. Can the jury find him not guilty? Yes. And they should.

In our hypothetical case, the law was clearly unconstitutional. Therefore, not only is the accused on trial but so is the law. It is the responsibility of the jury to judge not just the facts of the case but also the law in question.

While the law will still be on the books, a pattern of juries voting to acquit effectively nullifies the law.

If jury nullification is new to you, may be wondering why you haven’t heard of it before. The reason is likely this: most judges don’t want jurors to know about it, and they often prevent defense attorneys from letting juries know it is an option.

JuryBox.org explains:

In the 1895 case Sparf v. US, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that a trial judge has no responsibility to inform juries of their right & responsibility to nullify laws. Sometimes, in direct opposition to the purpose of a jury, a judge will instruct a jury to apply the law as it is given to them whether they agree with the law or not. In some situations, the judge will call a mistrial if an attempt by the defense attorney to inform the jury about this important right and responsibility.

What if you are called for jury selection, or are chosen for a jury?  Here, Steve Silverman of Flex Your Rights discusses how jury nullification works:

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  • Al Bondiga

    If you even MENTION the words “jury nullification” during juror selection you will first be publicly BULLIED by the judge & prosecutor, then promptly DISMISSED as a potential juror.

    This is because the American’t Justus system ABHORS well-informed, intelligent jurors with critical thinking skills who are capable of independent reckoning. What the Americunt judiciary wants instead is obediently subservient, gullible jurors who will agree to readily accept surrendering their own opinions, moral values and sense of justice in exchange for the set of instructions they will be ORDERED to apply to the case in hand. It’s nothing but a charade wrapped in a farce and then sealed with a scam. Just like everything ELSE done by Amerikans.

    The fact is that the USSA (United States of Assassinations) is nowadays a lawless shithole of a country wherein FINANCIAL FRAUD, TORTURE, MURDER, KIDNAPPING, BRIBERY, WIRETAPPING E V E R Y O N E, JUDICIARY MALFEASANCE, THEFT, EMBEZZLEMENT, WAR CRIMES and CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY have ALL been
    L E G A L I Z E D.


    • laura m.

      Reject/avoid the corrupt systems; don’t reg. to vote and you won’t be called to jury duty. Don’t join anything and distance yourself from political parties, civic groups even if they are so called patriots. They are all infiltrated and money grabbing, and never produce any results. Corrupt legal system and judges favor criminals (pay offs perhaps?)

      • Al Bondiga

        Whenever I receive a Jury Duty summons I ALWAYS write them back to inform them that I intend to show-up with JURY NULLIFICATION literature that I plan to distribute bright & early together with some fellow volunteers in the parking lot to other potential jurors

        INVARIABLY ..I NEVER hear from them again for a few years.

        Rinse, lather, repeat.

        • varlog

          I’m surprised you not hassled by your local law enforcement for wanting to be helpful and educate your co-jurors..

  • Al Bondiga

    One important caveat about using Jury Nullification responsibly is to do so ONLY if it serves the purposes of true ultimate justice, meaning you TRULY believe that the law you’re being asked to enforce is illicit and unfair.

    NEVER acquit simply to be contrarian to the system.

  • h5mind

    Even mentioning the US Constitution will get you kicked off most juries. This is because the vast majority of cases are tried on the basis of contract law (also known as business law) where the Constitution and it’s common-sense rules of fair play and presumption of innocence do not enter. Whenever possible, imperious judges will take it a step further by invoking Maritime Law, as practiced at sea under a banner of war (i.e., the gold-fringed US flag). Maritime Law is brutal, capricious, and entirely at the whim of the dude or dudettes in the black robes. Google ‘Reservation of Rights Without Prejudice’ for more.