Jury Nullification Paper
April 13, 2013
Jury Nullification Paper
Jury nullification occurs when a jury releases a person who is found guilty of a crime that they are being charged with. When a defendant is found not guilty by a jury, the facts of the case and/or the judge's recommendation regarding the law are not taken seriously, instead the jury bases it vote on their own conscience. When the race of the defendant has any determinant on the outcome of the juries’ decision to drop charges despite the overwhelming amount of evidence, race based jury nullification becomes the case. “Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent jury nullification from occurring because members of a jury cannot be ordered to convict or suffer consequences for acquitting a defendant. A jury acquittal, under the Constitution, is final” (Conrad, 1999, pg.1 para.1). When the topic of race-based jury nullification is discussed, all races involved should focus primarily on their personal perception of the events that transpired, rather than the races of the citizens involved. Racial jury nullification is known to be a hotly debatable topic whether society is for or against it. Both parties have strong opinions and facts to support their thoughts coupled with many reasons to support their opinion. The effects of such major differences in opinions definitely takes its toll on minorities and their trust within America’s criminal justice system. When racial jury nullification was recognized and became a serious issue, many communities decided to make sure a certain number of minorities are placed on the jury to ensure there would not be as many cases where racial biases could ultimately determine the final decision made on a defendant. In addition to making sure a certain amount of minorities compose every jury, judges always remind jurors to go into the jury room with the understanding that the races involved have no place in the final decision of the case. “Race...
References: Brasch, W. (2009). Twelve angry white people: Jury nullification in a Pennsylvania coal town. Retrieved from http://pubrecord.org/nation/2069/twelve-angry-white-people-jury- nullification-in-a-Pennsylvania-coal-town/
Conrad, C. (1999). Symposium.(juries nullifying unjust laws). Retrieved from http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-54736559.html
Harris, D. (2006). Racial profiling (2nd ed.). Detroit, MI.: Greenhaven Press.
King, N. (2003). Jury Nullification Is Unfair. Retrieved from http://www.enotes.com/legal- system-article/jury-nullification-unfair
Rivera, D. (2006). Race Based Jury Nullification. Retrieved from http://voices.yahoo.com/race- based-jury-nullification-28921.html?cat=17
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