Sunday, July 19, 2015

Two words: Jury nullification

I'm posting this here in the hopes that people will see it, and educate others about it.

More people in the UK, as well as Australia and the U.S need to know about a thing called Jury nullification, a last line of defense against unjust laws.

If, for example, you ever get selected for a trial which is a victimless crime; e.g. 

  • Someone who possesses subjectively "obscene" drawings
  • People who grow Cannabis plants for their own personal use
  • Telling people about Jury nullification [source]

...and all the evidence clearly indicates that they are guilty of said "crime," you can question the law and disagree with it because you feel it is unjust or wrongly applied, and that the person in question shouldn't be punished.

This is because as a juror, you don't have to give any reasoning for your verdict, and you can't be punished for returning a verdict that is "incorrect." This is why the entire concept of jury nullification exists to begin with.

Juries have more power than judges, magistrates and the prosecution would like you to ever know about.

WARNING: I'm not entirely sure if Australia and the UK have selection processes like they do in the U.S.; but for those of you who live in the U.S., if you know about jury nullification, don't disclose your knowledge about it either during the selection process or to other jurors in the deliberation room, because they will disqualify you and everybody else. (Although this could be argued that it's a punishment in itself.)

This is because they would like the jury to conform.

If you do manage to get selected for jury duty, just remember that the oath they make you take isn't binding, because as history has managed to show, "orders are orders" is a terrible justification for blindly obeying an authority.

Stick to your convictions, and don't allow someone to be punished just because a law is unjust.

For any further information, search Google or check out videos on YouTube.


  1. TIL that retroactive laws in the UK are permitted.

    And things such as this demonstrates why Jury nullification is important.

  2. Bravo!

    tl;dr: Jury nullification is a POWER - NOT a RIGHT. Judges just hate that.

    Jury nullification is not right under the law. It is a power that a juror may employ in direct contravention of some specific law.

    Judges jealously guard the power to decide the appropriateness of the applications of particular laws. Judges refute claims that citizens should be *able*, much less permitted, to abrogate judicial authority. Judges take the stance that jurors are *competent* and allowed only to decide the facts of the case according to the evidence presented and that ONLY in light of the applicable law(s) according to the instructions of the judge.

    Jurors place themselves at risk for dismissal and possible contempt charges even to mention nullification within the bounds of the courtroom.

    The application of jury nullification demands the recognition by the juror that he is flouting the law. Additionally, nullification is usually a violation of the juror's oath of office. If you nullify, don't get caught - most jurisdictions will treat you as a criminal. Further, you will have to accept your own sense of consequences for being an oath-breaker. If a juror's okay breaking the law and his oath, then he still needs to recognize that exercising the power to nullify requires care in the nature of the reason provided for his vote to acquit unless he wants to suffer punishment. THE safe explanation for a nullification is, "The prosecution did not convince me beyond a reasonable doubt of the defendant's guilt." Offer nothing more, if questioned - it's not your job as a juror to detail what else might be done to convince you to convict.