Debra Bush, John Sydney, Sherrolyn Newell
University of Phoenix CJA/423
November 21, 2010
Facilitator: Stephen Humphries
CERTIFICATE OF ORIGINALITY: I certify that the attached paper, which was produced for the class identified above, is my original work and has not previously been submitted by me or by anyone else for any class. I further declare that I have cited all sources from which I used language, ideas and information, whether quoted verbatim or paraphrased, and that any and all assistance of any kind, which I received while producing this paper, has been acknowledged in the References section. This paper includes no trademarked material, logos, or images from the Internet, which I do not have written permission to include. I further agree that my name typed on the line below is intended to have, and shall have the same validity as my handwritten signature. Student's signature (name typed here is equivalent to a signature): Debra Bush, Sherrolyn Newel, and John Sydney
Abstract This paper will focus on race-based jury nullification as one of the remaining barriers to racial equality in the American system of justice. The paper will also focus on examples of past and present-day race-based jury nullification and shows how the exercise of race-base jury nullification is an ongoing source of controversy in American life. The controversy emanates from a lack of direct goals within the system. Finally, the paper will conclude by indicating that because of racial biases or motives, a jury may not always vote according to the facts presented.
Jury Nullification Jury nullification is a jury that believes that a defendant is guilty of charges but on his or her own reason decide a non-guilty verdict. The jurors believe that the law is unjust and refuses to convict an individual even if there is proof of guilt. The reason can involve the jurors view on unjustness and injustice because of the race of the individual. Nullification is very controversial when it concerns race. Supporters of race-based nullification believe that black juries should acquit Black defendants for non violent offense even when the evidence of guilt is clear (Cato, 1999). Supporters believe that Black American should participate in race-based jury nullification to bring changes in how justice handles minority cases (Jermal, 1997). Supporters believe that the system is set to arrest Blacks for economic crimes and allow child molesters, rapist, and murders go free. This injustice takes a toll on minorities and the faith they have in the criminal justice system. Several examples of race base nullification include * Harriett Tubman guilt of multiple Federal charges by violating Federal slave laws * Drug possession cases that involve three strike a person is out sentence. A third felony will grant a life sentence. Jury for nullification believe a harsh sentence is unjust than violating the act of the law * In Albany, N.Y. 11 white decided that an African American was guilty of distributing cocaine. The 12th juror, an African American, refused to convict because the juror was sympathetic to African American who struggle to make a living * An all black jury acquitted an African American man accused of murder. The majority decided the man was guilty but returned a not guilty verdict
Supporters for race-based jury nullification want fairness concerning laws for minority groups. Raced-based jury nullification hinges on two truths: (a) a juror cannot convict on a verdict that the renders, and (b) the Fifth Amendment concerning double jeopardy when the system cannot retry a defendant. Supporters for race-based jury nullification believe race is a strong factor for the high...
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