Jury Nullification

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Jury Nullification

Jury Nullification
The process whereby a jury in a criminal case effectively nullifies a law by acquitting a defendant regardless of the weight of evidence against him or her (Duane, 1996) . The Fourteenth Amendment guarantees persons due process and equal protection of the laws, and this has been applied also to mean that any persons charged with a crime is afforded a jury of his or her peers (Rottman, Hansen, Mott, & Grimes, 2003) . This paper will address if ethnicity influences courtroom proceedings and judicial practices. Review the arguments for and against ethnicity-based jury nullification. List examples of ethnicity-based jury nullification. Conclude with a position for or against ethnicity-based jury nullification with a defense of the decision. Ethnicity has influenced courtroom proceedings and judicial practices for hundreds of years. Beginning with pre-civil war, slavery, and the people charged with assisting the slaves on the underground railroad and setting them free. During prohibition between 1921-1923 there were 7000 arrests made and only 27 convictions, which is less than 1% because the jurors were not in favor of the law. A person should be judged on the bases of the law. The argument of ethnicity- based jury nullification has been circulating for years in this country. Some white juries in the 1960s could sentence a person of different race because of the members on the jury. Many believe that juries who racially identify with the criminal defendant deliver a not guilty verdict, where the evidence appears overwhelmingly to point to guilt, have, in fact engaged in jury nullification. There are several arguments stating that jury nullification has pro's and con's. One argument is; should the judge be allowed to inform the jury of the nullification process or be able to persuade the jurors to nullify a case? Another question is; should the judge let the defense try to persuade the jury to nullify? Appellate courts...
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