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Thursday, July 28, 2005

judging the law

Radley Balko has an excellent column up today at Foxnews.com on a neglected restraint on government, jury nullification:
Here in America, the Founding Fathers understood the importance of allowing juries to determine not just the guilt or innocence of the man on trial, but the justice and fairness of the law he's charged with breaking. John Adams said of jury nullification, "It is not only [the juror's] right, but his duty...to find the verdict according to his own best understanding, judgment, and conscience, though in direct opposition to the direction of the court." John Jay, the first chief justice of the Supreme Court, said "The jury has the right to judge both the law as well as the fact in controversy."
Be sure and read Clay S. Conrad's Jury Nullification: Evolution of a Doctrine. It's a great book.

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