Friday, November 18, 2016
So as I take a brief break teaching myself Japanese and my brain melting as a result, I couldn't help but stumble on a news article on The Guardian about a woman who's being charged for having sex outside of marriage in the United Arab Emirates because she was raped; and having sex outside of marriage (regardless of the circumstances) is a crime there.
Sunday, July 19, 2015
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.