Time: Mon Sep 29 09:41:01 1997
	by primenet.com (8.8.5/8.8.5) with ESMTP id JAA28839;
	Mon, 29 Sep 1997 09:36:44 -0700 (MST)
	by usr02.primenet.com (8.8.5/8.8.5) with SMTP id JAA11597;
	Mon, 29 Sep 1997 09:30:56 -0700 (MST)
Date: Mon, 29 Sep 1997 09:30:29 -0700
To: (Recipient list suppressed)
From: Paul Andrew Mitchell [address in tool bar]
Subject: SLS: The Power of the Jury (fwd)

>                         JURY NULLIFICATION
>Each person on a Jury has the power to vote NOT GUILTY in any 
>criminal case even if it is obvious the Defendant broke the law 
>(Penal Code). This tremendous power permits you, as a Juror, to 
>NULLIFY or NEUTRALIZE a law which is in your opinion "BAD". You may 
>exercise this Power despite the Evidence presented or the Judge's 
>Instructions to you. No Judge will ever instruct you, however, that 
>you have this Power to NULLIFY a bad law by voting NOT GUILTY. This 
>is because legal tradition assumes that each Juror knows of this 
>Power but should not be told of it as it is not a Right. Did you 
>                         THE "POWER" EXISTS
>"It may not be amiss, here, Gentlemen, to remind you of the good old 
>rule, that on questions of fact, it is the province of the jury, on 
>questions of law, it is the province of the court to decide. But it 
>must be observed that by the same law, which recognizes this 
>reasonable distribution of jurisdiction, you have nevertheless a 
>right to take upon yourselves to judge of both, and to determine the 
>law as well as the fact in controversy. On this, and on every other 
>occasion, however, we have no doubt, you will pay that respect, which 
>is due to the opinion of the court: For, as on the one hand, it is 
>presumed, that juries are the best judges of facts; it is, on the 
>other hand, presumable, that the courts are the best judges of law. 
>But still both objects are lawfully, within your power of decision." 
>[Charge to the Jury by the 1st Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme 
>Court, John Jay, in Georgia v. Brailsford, 3 DALL 1, Pg.4 (1794). 
>This Jury Instruction occurred in a civil (not criminal) case].
>"'The verdict, therefore, stands conclusive and unquestionable, in 
>point both of law and fact. In a certain limited sense, therefore, it 
>may be said that the jury have a power and a legal right to pass upon 
>both the law and the fact.'" [Chief Justice Shaw (state) quoted in 
>Sparf v. U.S., 156 US 51, Pg.80, 15 Sup.Ct. 273, Pg.285 (1895)].
>"The judge cannot direct [DEMAND] a verdict it is true [FROM THE 
>JURY], and the jury has the power to bring in a verdict in the teeth 
>of both law and facts." [U.S. Supreme Court Justice Holmes in Horning 
>v. District of Columbia, 254 US 135, Pg.138 (1920)].
>" In criminal cases juries remained the judges of both law and fact 
>for approximately fifty years after the Revolution. However, the 
>judges in America, just as in England after the Revolution of 1688, 
>gradually asserted themselves increasingly through their instructions 
>on the law. We recognize, as appellants urge, the undisputed power of 
>the jury to acquit, even if its verdict is contrary to the law as 
>given by the judge and contrary to the evidence. This is a power that 
>must exist as long as we adhere to the general verdict in criminal 
>cases, for the courts cannot search the minds of the jurors to find 
>the basis upon which they judge. If the jury feels that the law under 
>which the defendant is accused is unjust, or that exigent 
>circumstances justified the actions of the accused, or for any reason 
>which appeals to their logic or passion, the jury has the power to 
>acquit, and the courts must abide by that decision." [U.S. Appellate 
>Court in U.S. v. Moylan, 417 F.2d 1002, Pg.1006 (1969); cert denied 
>in 397 US 910].
>" The existence of an unreviewable and unreversible power in the 
>jury, to acquit in disregard of the instructions on the law given by 
>the trial judge, has for many years co-existed with legal practice 
>and precedent upholding instructions to the jury that they are 
>required to follow the instructions of the court on all matters of 
>law. There were different soundings in colonial days and the early 
>days of our Republic. We are aware of the number and variety of 
>expressions at that time from respected sources -- John Adams; 
>Alexander Hamilton; prominent judges -- that jurors had a duty to 
>find a verdict according to their own conscience, though in 
>opposition to the direction of the court; that their power signified 
>a right; that they were judges both of law and of fact in a criminal 
>case, and not bound by the opinion of the court." [U.S. Appellate 
>Court in U.S. v. Dougherty, 473 F.2d 1113, Pg.1132 (1972)].
>                     BUT DON'T TELL THE JURY !!
>"The way the jury operates may be radically altered if there is 
>alteration in the way it is told to operate. The jury knows well 
>enough that its prerogative is not limited to the choices articulated 
>in the formal instructions of the court. [...] Law is a system, and 
>it is also a language, with secondary meanings that may be unrecorded 
>yet are part of its life. [...] In the last analysis, our rejection 
>of the request for jury nullification doctrine [IN THE FORM OF AN 
>that there are times when logic is not the only or even best guide to 
>sound conduct of government. [...] The fact that there is widespread 
>existence of the jury's prerogative [NULLIFICATION], and approval of 
>its existence as a 'necessary counter to case-hardened judges and 
>arbitrary prosecutors,' does not establish as an imperative that the 
>jury must be informed by the judge of that power." [U.S. Appellate 
>Court in U.S. v. Dougherty, 473 F2d 1113, Pg.1135-1136 (1972)].
>                             CONCLUSION
>In any criminal case each Juror can vote NOT GUILTY honestly and 
>without fear of reprisal by anyone. The Jury, in any criminal case, 
>acts as the 4th and Supreme Branch of Government, without whose 
>approval One of its Own, One of the "People", may not be punished.
>                             SUGGESTION
>If someone is Proved Beyond a Reasonable Doubt to have Willfully or 
>Intentionally Hurt or Destroyed Someone or their Property -- vote 
>"GUILTY". Remember, however, each Accused Person is Innocent Until 
>Proven Guilty. However, if the Accused has Hurt No One or their 
>Property or has done so Only by Accident -- vote NOT GUILTY if you 
>think the law is a "BAD" law.
>In this way "We the People" will be telling our Government that we 
>will support prosecutions in which a Member of our Community has been 
>Deliberately Hurt or Wronged but that we will Not Permit Prosecutions 
>based on "BAD" laws. Prosecutors will Not Bring Prosecutions they 
>know local Jurys will Not Support. Remember, it takes Only One Juror 
>to make a "HUNG JURY". Be aware that Prosecutors, to improve their 
>chances of scoring a win, will likely "Disqualify" you for Jury Duty 
>if they learn you have Knowledge of JURY NULLIFICATION (handy if you 
>Want to get Disqualified). Finally, Prosecutors may Prosecute You for 
>Jury Tampering if they learn later you Intended to NULLIFY before 
>hearing the Charges or the Evidence. So, if you decide to NULLIFY a 
>"BAD" law and vote "NOT GUILTY", fine, but keep your reasons for 
>voting NOT GUILTY to yourself!
>Please pass this information on JURY NULLIFICATION along to your 
>Friends and Neighbors. Get on those Jurys. Love your Country -- but 
>Keep your Government in Check!


Paul Andrew Mitchell, Sui Juris      : Counselor at Law, federal witness
B.A., Political Science, UCLA;  M.S., Public Administration, U.C. Irvine
tel:     (520) 320-1514: machine; fax: (520) 320-1256: 24-hour/day-night
email:   [address in tool bar]       : using Eudora Pro 3.0.3 on 586 CPU
website: http://supremelaw.com       : visit the Supreme Law Library now
ship to: c/o 2509 N. Campbell, #1776 : this is free speech,  at its best
             Tucson, Arizona state   : state zone,  not the federal zone
             Postal Zone 85719/tdc   : USPS delays first class  w/o this

As agents of the Most High, we came here to establish justice.  We shall
not leave, until our mission is accomplished and justice reigns eternal.
[This text formatted on-screen in Courier 11, non-proportional spacing.]


Return to Table of Contents for

Supreme Law School:   E-mail