Criminal Evidence And Legal Issues Unit Ii Discussion Board Questions

In my opinion it is not right or fair for a jury to give a verdict that is at variance with the law in a case for whatever reason. The duty of juries in my opinion is to examine the truth of factual evidence and under the instruction of judges to apply the law to such facts. It is my opinion that juries should give verdicts in consonance with the law and not use extraneous factors such as conscience or morality or subjective factors in the determination of their verdict.

The making of laws is the duty of the legislature which is chosen by the electorate and the interpretation of such laws are the duty of the judges who are versed in legal principles. Thus, in my opinion jury nullification as a power of the jury undermines the effectiveness of laws and it is a usurpation of the powers of a judge who are the constitutionally recognized interpreters of the law and the motives of the legislature in making such laws. Furthermore, this idea can lead to the perversion of justice by a biased jury which can give a decision against the law and weight of evidence.

This was the case in 1954, when an all-white jury in the state of Mississippi disregarded clear evidence and acquitted two white men of killing 14-year-old Emmett Till. The jury was apparently unwilling to enforce the law of murder against white men who murdered a black kid. Even the courts themselves are not in support of this power as is evidenced in 1997, when the Second Circuit ruled that jurors can be removed if there is evidence that they intend to nullify the law, under Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure 23(b).

My opinion is that the rule for the proving of fact beyond reasonable doubt is too vague as the concept of doubt and reasonability is subjective and it is what leads to the masked illegality called “jury nullification” which though practicable can lead to injustice whereby a jury would ignore the requirement o f the burden of proof . In conclusion, the power of jury nullification to me is not fair due to its tendency to lead to anarchy and undermining of legal autho