The criminal justice system in the United States was developed to keep order and balance of the laws of the land among society. Throughout the paper the discussion of race-based jury nullification and contemporary examples of trials will be when the decision has been based around the race of the defendant in some portion. The analysis of arguments for and against race-based nullification will be addressed. The paper will conclude with a chosen position on race-base jury nullification backed with facts bases on decision.
Jury nullification is defined as the following, a jury knowing in deliberate rejections of the evidence or refusal to apply the law, either because the jury wants to send the message about some social issues larger than the case itself. Also because the result dictated by law is contrary to the jury sense of justice morality or fairness (Garner, B. 2010). OJ Simpson The law is the law: A good example of Jury nullification would be the OJ, Simpson case.
OJ Simpson was acquitted in 1994 after a lengthy 9 month trial. Although OJ Simpson may have appeared to be guilty, based on his actions soon after the two murders took place, evidence still plays a key role in prosecuting a defendant such as OJ Simpson to be found guilty. Throughout the course of the investigation much of the evidence that was discovered had been contaminated, which voided using certain peaces of evidence, during trial.
Because many of the so called witnesses and counts of evidence were tainted in some kind of way, the District Attorney’s Office did not utilize some of the witness statements or key pieces of evidence but aside from the unsubstantial evidence there was enough sufficient evidence to bring OJ to trial (Cable News Network. 1995). Although the Jury in OJ Simpson’s trial came up with a not guilty verdict, claims of possible jury nullification was the deciding factor, the jury claims that jury nullification had no influence in the decision factor.
The jurors published a book called “Madam Foreman”, which describes the reasoning behind the verdict which included much of the decision was based on the facts the prosecutors failed to prove their case that left too much room for reasonable doubt that OJ committed the murders not because of his race (Cable News Network. 1995). Dr. Kevorkian Dr. Jack Kevorkian had a very long history of helping people commit suicide. As the years went on, it became known as assisted suicide and Dr. Kevorkian became better known as Dr. Death. In 1996 he was on trial for two murders.
Because the judge made, it hard on Dr. Kevorkian to represent himself it made the trial almost seem unfair in his case. The witnesses he could have asked to the stand were not allowed because they would only be able to give testimony regarding the conditions of the individuals who committed suicide. This was against this state’s law and so was not allowed in this case. Dr. Kevorkian’s entire case was biased upon the viewpoint that he was not committing murder but in fact that he was helping someone stop suffering. The charges brought upon Dr.
Kevorkian was, Murder, Assisted Suicide, and delivering a controlled substance. But in what can be seen as an almost strategic way, the charge of Assisted Suicide was dropped, which gave Dr. Kevorkian very little to work within his defense. The jury that seemed to be confused about the charges brought forward throughout the cases Dr. Kevorkian decided to ask for a legal dictionary so they can see the legal definition of the term “murder. ” This request was denied by the judge and the jury was in turn told that they do not need to be doing any legal research.
The judge informed the jury to follow the instructions that was provided to the group by the judge himself. The jury believed to be involved in an unfair case and that Dr. Kevorkian, although did break the law, did not receive a fair trial. The Jury decided to use Jury Nullification and acquit Dr. Kevorkian of entire amount of charges. The Jurors were not informed of this right and ability that are not required by law. The jury had to learn of this through outside sources.