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LegalGround >> Will prosecutor challenge me if i say jury nullifi


12/15/09 7:35 PM
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toshii
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 jury nullification (and truly believe in it)?
12/15/09 10:10 PM
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Shaz
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 Wouldn't need to - the judge would kick your ass off.

-Shaz!
12/15/09 10:39 PM
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toshii
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 how can the judge kick me off?


12/18/09 1:36 AM
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Shaz
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 Are you talking about saying it as a juror?  Or  as a defense attorney?

-Shaz!
12/18/09 2:04 AM
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toshii
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 as a juror
12/19/09 12:51 AM
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Shaz
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 The judge can remove any juror for cause - and if you're talking jury nullification that's the ultimate for cause challenge - you're basically saying that you will not follow the judge's instructions, that's automatic disqualification.  I sure as hell would bounce you from any of my juries.

-Shaz!
12/21/09 2:17 PM
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Fake Pie
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Don't say it during voir dire. Wait and try and get picked then bring it up during deliberations. They can't do jack about that. SCOTUS has recognized the right of juries to nullify, but you could be challenged during voir dire so just don't mention it. It is one of my goals in life to nullify a jury.
12/24/09 9:13 PM
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Shaz
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 In other words lie under oath - the jury is sworn to give truthful answers to all questions during voir dire (at least in NY they are).  If you're really serious, why would you want to fuck so many people over for?  All that's going to do (assuming it results in a hung jury) is force a new trial, waste tons of money and everyone else's time from the first one, and if there's a victim involved make them go re-live the crime yet again.

-Shaz! 

12/28/09 12:39 PM
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Subadie
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Go Shaz ! good answer

I, for one though, am interested in what the issue is that the OP feels so strongly about.
12/28/09 11:54 PM
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jbapk
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"If you're really serious, why would you want to fuck so many people over for?"

To protest an unjust law?

Which is what it was designed for?
1/2/10 12:09 AM
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Shaz
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 Jury nullification wasn't "designed" for or by anyone.  It has no legitimate place in modern jurisprudence.  There are ways to protest unjust laws, including voting for those people whose politics you agree with.

And my question was in response to "It is one of my goals in life to nullify a jury." - no mention about why, or that it would be some noble protestation of an "unjust law", but just something fun to do.  Which is bullshit.

-Shaz!


1/2/10 12:58 PM
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Fake Pie
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Edited: 01/02/10 2:52 PM
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" It has no legitimate place in modern jurisprudence. "

I disagree. So does the Court.

I didn't say I would nullify any jury. There would have to be a legitimate reason. There are 2 main reasons for jury nullification:

1) A law is unjust.

2) The application of the law to a particular person is unjust.

As to your response to 1, a republican system is not perfect. Your legislature may just barely pass an unjust minor misdemeanor law. It may not be a big enough issue to get any one person elected or not elected and it may be too minor to generate enough media attention. However, if jury after jury refuses to enforce the law, the legislature will get the point.

I think the most important role is #2 though. Laws can't be written perfectly and sometimes the application of a perfectly just law can be completely unjust. You would hope that prosecutorial discretion would take care of most of these cases but not always.

For example, that 17 year old that got 10 years or whatever for getting a BJ from a 15 year old. The legislature agreed it was retarded and changed the law but it couldn't apply retroactively. The judge recognized it was wrong but was tied down by mandatory minimums. The prosecutor should have never brought the case. However, jury nullification would have been a perfect solution in that case. A Time to Kill (I think that is the name) with Sam Jackson was all about jury nullification.
1/2/10 2:51 PM
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Fake Pie
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" In other words lie under oath - the jury is sworn to give truthful answers to all questions during voir dire (at least in NY they are). "

I didn't say he should lie either. I took his question as should he VOLUNTEER that he would nullify a jury if he felt it was just. What typical question could he possibly be asked that he would need to lie to?
1/2/10 3:47 PM
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Shaz
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Fake Pie - " In other words lie under oath - the jury is sworn to give truthful answers to all questions during voir dire (at least in NY they are). "

I didn't say he should lie either. I took his question as should he VOLUNTEER that he would nullify a jury if he felt it was just. What typical question could he possibly be asked that he would need to lie to?

 The question I ask every single juror I've ever selected: "If I prove the defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, can you assure me that you will find him guilty?"

As for the BJ case, the jury would have had no idea what the sentence would be.  In most jurisdictions, the jurors don't know what the potential sentence might be, and the attorneys are not allowed to tell them (which makes sense - the potential sentence has nothing to do with guilt).

-Shaz!
1/2/10 8:46 PM
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jbapk
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"Jury nullification wasn't "designed" for or by anyone."

This is a semantics point, but it has been clearly recognized to have developed in England by juries in cases where the crown was using the legal system for tyrannical services.

"It has no legitimate place in modern jurisprudence."

Opinion that others disagree with.

"There are ways to protest unjust laws, including voting for those people whose politics you agree with."

FYI, you're not the sole arbiter of what methods people can use to protest laws.

"And my question was in response to "It is one of my goals in life to nullify a jury." - no mention about why, or that it would be some noble protestation of an "unjust law"

I was unsure if you were speaking to jury nullification broadly.

"As for the BJ case, the jury would have had no idea what the sentence would be. In most jurisdictions, the jurors don't know what the potential sentence might be, and the attorneys are not allowed to tell them (which makes sense - the potential sentence has nothing to do with guilt)."

You didn't really address the meat of Faker Pie's argument, and your point is kinda wrong when dealing with mandatory minimum sentences and the days of the internet. That's almost a light example, ignoring stuff like miscegenation laws, or other racial or religious discriminatory laws.
1/3/10 3:28 PM
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Fake Pie
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Edited: 01/03/10 3:32 PM
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Shaz - 
Fake Pie - " In other words lie under oath - the jury is sworn to give truthful answers to all questions during voir dire (at least in NY they are). "

I didn't say he should lie either. I took his question as should he VOLUNTEER that he would nullify a jury if he felt it was just. What typical question could he possibly be asked that he would need to lie to?

 The question I ask every single juror I've ever selected: "If I prove the defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, can you assure me that you will find him guilty?"

As for the BJ case, the jury would have had no idea what the sentence would be.  In most jurisdictions, the jurors don't know what the potential sentence might be, and the attorneys are not allowed to tell them (which makes sense - the potential sentence has nothing to do with guilt).

-Shaz!


It doesn't really matter what the sentence would be. I wouldn't find someone guilty in that situation. I could answer your question honestly because I don't consider them legally guilty even though they may be factually and that it is the recognized right of the jury to be the ultimate judge of the facts and the law, despite the obstacles that are now in place. If you don't recognize the justness of the law they are not guilty IMO. Similar if you don't recognize the just application of the law to the defendant. Guilt is more than having done certain facts as laid down by a statute, otherwise jury nullification would no longer be a recognized right of juries.

There are many valid cases for nullification such as the Time to Kill situation. I most likely wouldn't convict a guy of murder in that situation, even though I don't condone vigilantism. There are many other examples as well.

You should change your question btw if you want to get at nullification. Ask if you prove that someone factually committed all the elements of a crime beyond a reasonable doubt will you find him guilty even if you disagree with the law or the application of the law to this defendant? That is more precise but maybe using a hammer to kill a fly.

I also agree that you dodged the meat of my argument which is why jury nullification is an important tool and why it can be justified. Some tangential point about mandatory minimums doesn't really address the issue. I think that jury nullification is the last check against prosecutorial misconduct when a judge's hands are tied. I am not taking a shot at you. Some cases should never be brought, even if the prosecutor can factually show the commission of a statutory offense. The jury has the recognized power to void that misconduct. I would love, given the right case, to have the opportunity to make that case in a jury deliberation. And I didn't say I would hang a jury, I would try and get them to straight up acquit 12 Angry Men style.
1/18/10 2:48 PM
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J Flip
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Shaz -  Jury nullification wasn't "designed" for or by anyone.  It has no legitimate place in modern jurisprudence.  There are ways to protest unjust laws, including voting for those people whose politics you agree with.

But surely there are times when the actions of a defendant fit the elements of the crime, but that it would still be unjust to subject the defendant to the statutory punishment.

Say, for example, a law school student is injured in a car accident and becomes addicted to his prescription pain killers. In order to get more than prescribed, he goes to multiple pharmacies, writes fake prescriptions, etc. But he never sells or distributes, and only uses the pills for himself.

He gets caught and is charged with trafficking (among other offenses). Of course, trafficking carries a very stiff sentence and is meant to be used against individuals involved in the actual illegal drug trade, not to people buying and selling for personal use. But because of the way this kid went about getting his drugs, his actions fit the elements. And so he is charged.

So you're on the jury, the prosecutor met his burden of proof, and you're faced with the prospect of convicting this kid and sending him to prison for 25+ years.

That's 25 years in prison for being addicted to prescription drugs.

(the case is Paey v. State, 943 So.2d 919 (2006); I might have gotten some facts wrong since I read it a couple years ago.)

You're telling me that jury nullification of that charge has NO place in our modern jurisprudence? That this sort of thing should be corrected with a vote?

So then where is the check on prosecutorial discretion?

One of the worst things in our modern jurisprudence, imo, is the refrain that the people can change the law through the legislature. It is a tired and meaningless phrase all too often used to defer to legislatures who do anything but represent the people.
1/19/10 2:35 AM
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Shaz
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 Actually, the decision you cited explains how "trafficking" is used as a term of art, and under that particular statute does not have to involve selling or distributing drugs - just like some of the "making terroristic threats" statutes don't mean you have to be a terrorist to commit them.  http://www.floridasupremecourt.org/pub_info/summaries/briefs/07/07-38/Filed_02-05-2007_StateJurisdictionBriefAppendix.pdf

According to the facts of that case, Paey wrote forged prescriptions to a number of pharmacies, culminating in his obtaining 700 oxycodone pills, 400 hydrocodone pills, and 320 diazepam pills - in just 34 days.

In all fairness, the mandatory sentence does seem harsh - but these are the risks you take when you break the law to such an extent - apparently the weight of the drugs was so high that it put his possession of them into the highest level possible.

Are you suggesting that he shouldn't have been punished for this?  A nullifying jury would have acquitted him.  If the concern is the sentence, and not the criminalization of his conduct, no jury would be aware of the potential sentence anyway, so that wouldn't even factor into their considerations.  

In most circumstances (except in cases where the juries are involved in the sentencing), the trial jury is unaware of the potential sentence - as it should be - because the potential sentence has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not the crime was committed.  As the trial of FACT, what's going to happen to the defendant after a guilty verdict is completely irrelevant to what happened when the crime was or wasn't committed.

-Shaz!
1/19/10 2:51 AM
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jbapk
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"So you're on the jury, the prosecutor met his burden of proof, and you're faced with the prospect of convicting this kid and sending him to prison for 25+ years."

"Are you suggesting that he shouldn't have been punished for this?"

Holy straw man, batman
1/19/10 7:30 AM
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Subadie
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Edited: 01/19/10 7:30 AM
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Great Arguments ! This board needs more discussions like this. By the way, you're losing a bit Shaz...better pick it up.
1/19/10 9:12 AM
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419
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What is the purpose of mandatory minimum sentences?
1/19/10 11:59 AM
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MMA Sports Agent
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419 - What is the purpose of mandatory minimum sentences?


Whatever purpose the legislature articulates in the congressional record and/or in the act itself, duh. Mandatory minimums aren't creatures of the judicial branch.
1/19/10 11:38 PM
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Shaz
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It's not a straw man at all - jury nullification, unless there's a lesser included charge, results in an acquittal and the dismissal of the charges.

And I presume the purpose of mandatory minimums was to counteract judges who were a little too friendly with the defense bar and giving ridiculously light sentences for certain offenses.  In my jurisdiction, mandatory minimums are for certain violent felonies, and mandatory minimums are also statutory for those convicted of a second felony within 10 years.

-Shaz!
1/20/10 8:38 AM
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419
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Do mandatory minimums facilitate plea bargaining?
1/22/10 1:46 PM
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MMA Sports Agent
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419 - Do mandatory minimums facilitate plea bargaining?


Don't mandatory minimums facilitate plea bargaining?

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