Saturday, March 08, 2008

Jury Nullification

My comments from Patterico's blog discussing jury nullification:

"Lawyers view juries as irksome limitations on their ability to get their way. Prosecutors view Criminal Defense Lawyers as irksome limitations on their ability to get their way. Criminal Defense lawyers view prosecutors as irksome limitations on the ability to get their way.

Our government is not “of the lawyers, by the lawyers, and for the lawyers”, nor should it be. Lawyers are specially trained servants, not masters. Consider a court with no lawyers. A pro per plantiff against a pro se defendant. The jury would still weigh the evidence against their own concepts of fairness, with little regard to the standards of fairness embodied in the law by other men, at an other time.

A bureaucracy is a mindset that applies rules developed to resolve problem A to problem B. A bureaucrat not only thinks that is a good idea, but also thinks that there is no possible alternative.

A non bureaucrat thinks about the problem at hand, and selects from his past experience, and the other experiences of his team, and tries to come up with the best solution. Imagine if a car manufacturer selected wooden wheels for his car because of some authoritative prescedent? We would still be using horses! And in the legal system, we are!"

In short, when lawyers restrict information to influence the Jury's ability to act as the sole judge of fact, then the Jury has the right and duty to act as judge of fact and law. To deny information to the Jury is to set the stage for the Jury to deny information to the Judge/prosecutor/defense.



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