Monday, March 11, 2019

Race-Based Jury Nullification Essay

Internet research capablely showed a long storey for venire nullification in the US. An explanation of board nullification, and in particular race found control panel nullification, is that it is a method whereby juries nullify unfair constabularys by declaring unlawful def prohibitants not guilty. Race found nullification is where a gore acquits and individual ground on their race. This is unremarkably found in homogenous juries where there is little jury diversity. quondam(prenominal) graphic symbols such as runa federal agency slave rectitudes and flowing cases such as police shots show that race-based nullification is still an issue in advanced courtrooms. The conclusion being that jury nullification is an important baron requisite for the checks and balances of the judicial system control panel nullification is a right enjoyed, notwithstanding not unders in additiond, by in all jurors in the US. This right gives jurors the ability to view laws for thems elves and buy the farm not-guilty verdicts for guilty defendants allowing them to nullify laws. (Emal, 1995) The most common admonishment by judges is that jurors must decide the case based on facts, and that they are not in fact interpreting the fairness of laws. The fear is that if jurors knew or understood this power, it could undermine the authority of the US judicial system. Allowing juries to interpret laws is in fact a right given as a bollocks against a too powerful central government.Historically there is a tremendous precedent for jury nullification much of it involving race. In the conglutination pre-civil war era juries commonly refused to convict runaway slaves because they felt that the law was unfair. This was an example of jury nullification, where the jury was aware that the defendant was guilty, but refused to collapse a guilty verdict, in effect nullifying the law. (Emal, 1995) More recently in the 1930s many a(prenominal) courts refused conviction for mino r alcohol infractions because they felt the law was unfair. Another example of this trend were the civil rights trials of exsanguine supremacists in the s proscribedhwestward in the 50s and 60s in these cases all white juries would refuse to convict white defendants of the murder of morose throng or civil rights workers. (Emal, 1995)These cases clearly show that there occupy been many examples of jury nullification in the past in our country. Since a return of a not guilty verdict allows the jury to effectively end prosecution with no appeal allowed by the state it means that juries really set egress final say about when and if a law is utilized. This allows juries the power to actually use their sense of right and wrong when voting to convict or resign a defendant. One possible outcome of jury nullification is the scuttle of a major increase in hung juries.Race has figured in many instances of jury nullification so there is a clear precedent for race based jury nullificat ion. (Emal, 1995) Recently all white juries have refused to convict white police officers in wrongful shooting trials where the victim was contraband. Also black juries have refused to convict clearly guilty defendants of crimes on the grounds that there are too many black populate in prison already. (Butler, 1995) Another possible reason for jury nullification is to punish prosecutors and police for tactics, which the jurors find unpalatable.Many people recently felt that the O.J. Simpson trial was race based jury nullification as well as the Rodney King trial would be an example. In both of these cases many people felt that the individual was guilty but that they were released because of their race. Some states have proposed that juries should have racial quotas in order to avoid possible race based nullification. In this system jurors who should be excused could be kept eventide if they were unsatisfactory if they fit near particular racial need. These attempts to sweep awa y jury nullification point to the seriousness with which this power is viewed.Some black lawmakers have said that since a jury is representative of a community accordingly jurors should have the right to decide which people they will allow to stop among them. (Butler, 1995) This basically means that jurors exercise their power based on conscience and not based on the facts of the case. This means that black juries would acquit non-violent black defendants even in cases where they were clearly guilty to nullify the effects of a predominantly white judicial system. The belief here is that the laws areinherently unfair because they were created by and for white people. (Butler, 1995)Clearly there is a position for jury nullification in the US. There has been a long history of unfair laws and practices in the country and allowing the jury the power to overturn or nullify them is a good way to keep the government in check. (Jones, 2004) The real question is more about race-based nulli fication. Should race be a factor when juries consider nullification as an option? The answer to this is perplex if a jury really feels that a defendant was targeted unfairly based on race shouldnt they have some power to come across the trial. (Butler, 1995) Also without a complete revamping of the legal system ( shivery thought) how would one go about fixing the problem? Can nullification be eliminated with our current system?The idea is to really re-examine the survival of the fittest process. With nullification as a real possibility then prosecutors can act to eliminate it by paying more attention to homogeneity during the selection process. whatever prosecutor who allows a homogenous jury runs a real assay of losing the case based on nullification. Also race based jury nullification has been a useful tool in the past. (Jones, 2004) If not for northerly juries how many runaway slaves would have been returned to torture and beatings in the south. In this case we had a manife stly unfair law which juries exercised a legitimate nullification against.Overall race based jury nullification is a scary prospect when taken to the extreme but it is a prospect that bears some consideration. Since it has been used righteously in the past it is a hard ratiocination to contemplate getting rid of it. If there was no jury nullification of any kind then the country would have missed out on juries taking a stand against poorly thought out laws. The answer is that jury nullification has played a dual frame in our history. At times it is a useful tool as in the cases involving slavery or differential prosecution, at times allowing racists to go free. So having weighed the merits of the situation it is best left as is currently. There is a real risk for overuse if everyone were aware of thepower but in its absence the government would exercise too much power sick(p) by the power of the people.The conclusion would have to be that there is too much risk in eliminating jur y nullification as a whole. Race based nullification is probably not necessary and would be nice to eliminate but there is no effective way to combat this. One possibility mentioned earlier is for prosecutors to consider nullification during the selection process to help combat this problem.ReferencesButler, Paul. (1998). Racially Based Jury nullification Black Power in the CriminalJustice System. Yale Law Review, 105, 677-725.Emal, Russ. (1995). Jury Nullification Why You Should Know What It Is. Retrieved on11/21/04 from http// double birdie/ISSUES/ISSUE23- /07JuryNullification.htmlJones Iloilo Marguerit. (2004). American Juror. Retrieved on 11/21/04 fromhttp//

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