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Jury Nullification: The Evolution of a Doctrine 1st Paperback Editio edition Edition
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These days judges influence the outcome of trials by counting on the average citizen's ignorance and by "excusing" any citizen who knows about the doctrine of jury nullification. Interestingly, a single vote can make a big difference. Because a unanimous vote is necessary for a conviction, a single juror who votes his or her conscience (and withstands the peer pressure to go along with the others) can obtain a hung jury. The person on trial may be retried again, but prosecutors will surely think twice about the matter before expending more time and money on the case.
The author explains how jury nullification got a bad wrap and convincingly answers the common objections. I was surprised to learn that defense attorneys can be punished for mentioning seemingly important pieces of information at trial. For example, if someone used marijuana to relieve nausea stemming from AIDS, the judge typically "bars" any mention of the person's illness as "irrelevent." The jury never hears about it. That does not sound like a "trial by jury" to me
This isn't just a history book, though. The author looks at constitutional issues, studies of jury behavior, and also addresses many of the criticisms of jury power. The most widely repeated criticism is that jury nullification was largely responsible for the lack of convictions in the South of whites committing crimes against blacks. Conrad makes a strong case that it was racist judges, police and prosecutors as well as the practice of preventing blacks from serving on juries that resulted in so few convictions.
The book is rounded out with a chapter full of interesting tactics on how lawyers can introduce nullification arguments in court.
Whether liberal, libertarian or conservative, it is hard to argue that juries have to follow the law no matter how unjust the law is. Now, there is a well-researched and well documented book explaining how and why the jury's nullification power became a part of American law. It is about time.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Wish i knew about this Years ago!!
A must read for EVERYBODY who cares about you life in this country
Anyone going to jury duty needs to have this in their hand.Published 17 months ago by David Carroll
Kenneth Ellman Reviews Jury Nullification by Clay S. Conrad , A Reminder That Fear is the Enemy of Justice, November 30, 2014. From: ke@kennethellman. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Kenneth Ellman
Accounts in history that you did not get in school. Very interesting material. They should really start using these books in school.Published on March 9, 2014 by Darryl G. Lofton
This book with help lawyers and pro se litigants navigate the jury box with confidence. It will give them the edge when presenting their case.Published on January 15, 2014 by Capt. Dye
If you read only one book on the topic, this is the one you need. It's a bit depressing to learn how judges have systematically limited the information juries have at their... Read morePublished on July 23, 2013 by Steve Silverman
I have been a libertarian since 1980. I ran for U.S. Senate in 1996 and U . S. House in 2008 in Wyoming. I have been an attorney since 1987 and a podiatrist since 1976 . Read morePublished on May 14, 2013 by Sherry
One of the greatest bulwarks of our freedom in the U.S. is the right to trial by jury. And at times in our nation's history when the government has been perceived to have... Read morePublished on April 26, 2013 by The Reviewer Formerly Known as Kurt Johnson