The Instigator
EthanSimon
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
Nonsense
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points

Jury nullification ought to be used in the face of perceived injustice

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/9/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 325 times Debate No: 83701
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (5)
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EthanSimon

Con

This is actually the current Lincoln-Douglas topic and would love to have a mature and fun debate. Anyone can accept. Sources not necessary but recommended. First round is acceptance
Nonsense

Pro

I accept this debate.
Debate Round No. 1
EthanSimon

Con

I would like to start this debate with a definition

Jury Nullification: A jury's knowing and deliberate rejection of the evidence or refusal to apply the law either because the jury wants to send a message about some social issue that is larger than the case itself, or because the result dictated by law is contrary to the jury's sense of justice, morality, or fairness.

Argument 1: Jury nullification has been misused in the past.

In 1955 a black teen by the name of Emmett Till was blamed for flirting with a couple girls. Days later he was kidnapped by 2 white men and murdered. When these men went to court they pleaded guilty and the evidence supported it. However this case was nullified and these men walked free because of the racist bias. Jury nullification has been used wrongly before and everyone is biased.
Nonsense

Pro

Something I need to make very clear is that Con has missed out something from the definition but has also twisted it by wording it in the most awkward way possible to the point where it's actually lying.

Source: http://law2.umkc.edu...
Jury nullification occurs when a jury returns a verdict of "Not Guilty" despite its belief that the defendant is guilty of the violation charged. The jury in effect nullifies a law that it believes is either immoral or wrongly applied to the defendant whose fate they are charged with deciding.

What Con left out was that it only occurs for not guilty verdict, never for a guilty one. What they lied about was that evidence is ignored or rejected.

Now that I've cleared that up, I am going to prove how the example con gave was an extreme misconstruing of what jury nullification is (in other words the example he gave was not jury nullification) and then explain why jury nullification should be allowed.

Source: http://www.history.com...
Less than two weeks after Emmett"s body was buried, Milam and Bryant went on trial in a segregated courthouse in Sumner, Mississippi. There were few witnesses besides Mose Wright, who positively identified the defendants as Emmett"s killers. On September 23, the all-white jury deliberated for less than an hour before issuing a verdict of "not guilty," explaining that they believed the state had failed to prove the identity of the body.

This doesn't fit the definition of jury nullification at all. There was no social change wanted and the reason for the not guilty verdict was literally because the jury believed that they were not proven to be guilty (innocent until proven guilty is a basic principle of USA's law [http://study.com...].

The first factor to take into consideration on this is that since juries are handpicked specifically to be as random as possible so much so that the actual 'randomness' itself may mean that there are two white males or so and not lawyer is permitted to oppose the jury on this alone [https://www.americanbar.org...]. It is truly a representation of random people from the population whom are eligible to vote and excludes the mentally ill as well as those who may struggle to physically follow the case (visually/hearing impaired) and those who may struggle to follow the language of the case (in USA this is English). [http://www.uscourts.gov...] I explained all this to highlight that a jury is truly a representative of the norm/majority's consensus at any given time and that since jury nullification can only ever be a 'not guilty' verdict it would never result in condemning an innocent unfairly and additionally a retrial can be requested if even a single piece of evidence is found or any breakthrough is made to make the case virtually indisputable. The potential for harm only stretches as far as what the criminal may do. If the people selected to represent the majority of a nation somehow feel like they need to politically oppose murder or rape being outlawed then that is an extremely shocking situation and at that point the nation of USA would probably be so insane that jury nullification wouldn't need to be permitted for those people to go free.

A very classic example of jury nullification is with the war on drugs. [https://mises.org...] Many juries have let people that blatantly did drugs and even dealt them free because they hated the war on drugs and judged that the people they let free were not some psychopathic dealer who slices heads for a living and loves it but people who were semi-forced into that lifestyle and had no way out.

Jury nullification also only works effectively in lower end cases since there are smaller juries to begin with. For the entire jury to agree to vote not guilty solely for a societal or political cause is a lot lower when there are 12 as opposed to 6 and aside from that is the point that you literally could never enforce the law. Jury nullification is truly something that could never be banned because it never could be caught unless you had microphones in the jury room and they literally stated to say not guilty for that reason but then again is the argument that any and all reasons for voting either way should be permitted to be raised in discussion in the jury room. I mean I honestly cannot fathom how this law would even work without contradicting a ton of rights at once.
Debate Round No. 2
EthanSimon

Con

EthanSimon forfeited this round.
Nonsense

Pro

Nonsense forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
EthanSimon

Con

EthanSimon forfeited this round.
Nonsense

Pro

Nonsense forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
EthanSimon

Con

EthanSimon forfeited this round.
Nonsense

Pro

Nonsense forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by Nonsense 1 year ago
Nonsense
There is nothing to fix in one's personality only how they represent that personality needs to be fixed.
Posted by Wylted 1 year ago
Wylted
Rational madman, how long before Airmax figures out who you are and bans you? I give it like another 2 weeks. You should maybe change your personality to blend in better, though. My bet is next time you could last 6 months if you fixed your personality.
Posted by Wylted 1 year ago
Wylted
I want to get around to this, but not at the moment. I kinda feel like Thett beat me to the punch though, and said exactly what I would've said, but in a much better way.
Posted by Zaradi 1 year ago
Zaradi
If you can't find anyone else to take this, then I'll debate it. Otherwise I'll let someone else have a shot at this.
Posted by EthanSimon 1 year ago
EthanSimon
Resolution got cut off. In the United States criminal justice system, jury nullification ought to be used in the face of perceived injustice.
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