I pull back the curtain on Jury Nullification. Jury nullification occurs when a jury acquits a defendant even though they believe the case was proved beyond a reasonable doubt. This can happen when they believe the law itself is unjust or it would be unjust to apply it in this particular case.
While nullification is a powerful and awesome power, it is not codified in the law and jurors are never instructed that they have this power. In fact, lawyers are not allowed to openly ask jurors to nullify.
However, once a “Not Guilty” verdict is entered, short of a claim of jury misconduct, the court will never inquire into the WHY of that verdict. The 5th Amendment’s protection against double jeopardy means that this verdict is sacrosanct and it is the final judgment. This makes nullification one of the most mysterious yet powerful principles in our criminal justice system.
Learn the historical basis for this principle as well as a potential real life recent examples of when a jury may have engaged in this practice.
TRIAL LAWYER MENTOR Quick Tip:
I offer a quick introduction to the concept of “seeding” your speech or persuasive presentation in order to compel your audience to act without coming right out and asking them to act.
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