Monday, May 18, 2015

Jacob Hornberger’s Outstanding Jury Nullification Overview

-Adam Dick
Isn’t it absurd that a prosecutor and judge will tell a jury to find a defendant guilty even if jury members think what the defendant did — possessing or selling an illegal drug, for example — should be legal? Doesn’t such a restriction on jurors fly in the face of the historical power of jurors to judge both the facts and the law instead of being just another tool for enforcing the many volumes of statutes, regulations, and case law that define criminal offenses in America?

In a new outstanding video presentation, Future of Freedom Foundation President Jacob Hornberger answers these questions and more, presenting the history of American jury nullification dating back to British law as well as the still exercisable power of a juror to decide a defendant is not guilty because the juror disagrees with the criminalization of the defendant’s actions.

As Hornberger explains in his video presentation, all it takes to defeat the government’s effort to fine and incarcerate is for one juror to adamantly stand by the conclusion that a criminal defendant is not guilty. This is because a conviction and the resulting punishment can be imposed only if the jury members unanimously decide the defendant is guilty. While Americans often feel powerless when confronted by a government bent on criminalizing nonviolent human activities, in a jury one steadfast individual can defeat the leviathan.

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