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Jury Nullification = Voting One's Conscience

At 9:18 PM 9/11/96, Brian Davis wrote:
>On Wed, 11 Sep 1996, jonathon wrote:
>> On Wed, 11 Sep 1996, Gary Howland wrote:
>> > > But the public *is* asked to assent to those methods - your chance
>>to vote
>> > > on them is known colloquially as "jury duty".
>>       But judges have said that Jury Nullification is not acceptable
>>       legal practice.
>And other judges have said the opposite.

And I don't think there has _ever_ been a case of a juror prosecuted/jailed
for voting his or her conscience, regardless of jury instructions. Short of
explicitly selling one's vote, or discussing the case during deliberations
with outsiders (and probably not even then), one is essentially free to
vote one's conscience (however foolishly, as the O.J. case showed).

And the principle is a good one: jurors should not have to fear prosecution
for voting their consciences, regardless of technical details imposed by a
judge. And, of course, jurors are not required to give a court their
"reasons" for voting as they do.

Though I often condemn aspects of the American political and legal system,
it is true that an awful lot of things are done right.

--Tim May, who served _once_ on a jury (for a speeding case) in 1973, who
was called once since then, but not actually called for a jury. (I vote
every election, I am duly registered with the DMV, so I wonder why I have
only served once in 24+ years of eligibility.)

We got computers, we're tapping phone lines, I know that that ain't allowed.
Timothy C. May              | Crypto Anarchy: encryption, digital money,
[email protected]  408-728-0152 | anonymous networks, digital pseudonyms, zero
W.A.S.T.E.: Corralitos, CA  | knowledge, reputations, information markets,
Higher Power: 2^1,257,787-1 | black markets, collapse of governments.
"National borders aren't even speed bumps on the information superhighway."