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Jury Nullification

mattrodstrom
Posts: 12,028
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2/2/2010 2:25:22 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/2/2010 2:11:29 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
The new LD topic is as such: In the United States, the principle of jury nullification is a just check on government.

Before a maelstrom of these debates spring up, obviously an unavoidable occurrence, I figured a thread to organize thoughts and pitch ideas would be a nice touch.

Go.

The law is necessary b/c people have differing levels of morality.

The law might be imperfect, but it is nothing if it contradicts itself.

Legally allowing jury nullification would be the law contradicting itself.

[Your guilty if you do X] + [you might not really be guilty if you did X] = Nothing
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
wonderwoman
Posts: 744
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2/2/2010 2:40:44 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
it threatens the rule of law othe NEgative and therefore can't be just

However, the AFf could argue that is a consitutional right
Cody_Franklin
Posts: 9,484
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2/2/2010 3:53:26 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/2/2010 2:25:22 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
At 2/2/2010 2:11:29 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
The new LD topic is as such: In the United States, the principle of jury nullification is a just check on government.

Before a maelstrom of these debates spring up, obviously an unavoidable occurrence, I figured a thread to organize thoughts and pitch ideas would be a nice touch.

Go.

The law is necessary b/c people have differing levels of morality.

The law might be imperfect, but it is nothing if it contradicts itself.

Legally allowing jury nullification would be the law contradicting itself.

[Your guilty if you do X] + [you might not really be guilty if you did X] = Nothing

It's not a contradiction if the jury acquits on the basis of the defendant breaking an unjust law.
Volkov
Posts: 9,765
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2/2/2010 4:03:09 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/2/2010 3:53:26 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
It's not a contradiction if the jury acquits on the basis of the defendant breaking an unjust law.

I do not believe they can, at least not in such a declared way. A jury must work within the letter of the law, and therefore cannot become activist and say "we find this law unjust." That is what appeal courts are for.
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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2/2/2010 4:08:59 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
Anyone you conscript to serve as your little jury slave has every right to sabotage the work they were conscripted for.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
Cody_Franklin
Posts: 9,484
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2/2/2010 4:32:03 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/2/2010 4:03:09 PM, Volkov wrote:
At 2/2/2010 3:53:26 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
It's not a contradiction if the jury acquits on the basis of the defendant breaking an unjust law.

I do not believe they can, at least not in such a declared way. A jury must work within the letter of the law, and therefore cannot become activist and say "we find this law unjust."

Why? If a jury believes that the charges are unjust, why does it matter that the evidence proves guilt? What gives you the right to regulate the decisions that a jury makes?
Cody_Franklin
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2/2/2010 4:34:34 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/2/2010 4:08:59 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
Anyone you conscript to serve as your little jury slave has every right to sabotage the work they were conscripted for.

Oh, goodness gracious. I'm sorry, but the wording makes that sound absolutely absurd. I don't think that being "conscripted" for jury duty, whether you like it or not, gives you the right to f*ck with someone else's trial.

How exactly would trials go down under your system? The idea of a voluntary jury sounds fairly laughable to me, and I assume that you would advocate something along those lines.
Volkov
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2/2/2010 4:43:40 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/2/2010 4:32:03 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
Why? If a jury believes that the charges are unjust, why does it matter that the evidence proves guilt? What gives you the right to regulate the decisions that a jury makes?

Uh, because the jury is working for the judiciary? That's like asking what gives an employer the right to regulate what their employees do in the workplace. The answer is obvious.
mattrodstrom
Posts: 12,028
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2/2/2010 5:16:06 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/2/2010 3:53:26 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:

It's not a contradiction if the jury acquits on the basis of the defendant breaking an unjust law.

lol, so.... the law doesn't really count if it's "unjust".

The problems with differing commitments to and understandings of "Justice" is why 'the law' is necessary in the first place.

jury nullification discount the very reason there's law in the first place; that is to have a regular standard, which though imperfect, can be regularly applied and looked to to hold people responsible for (somewhat agreed on; if not absoutely so) immoral acts.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
Cody_Franklin
Posts: 9,484
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2/2/2010 7:30:57 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/2/2010 5:16:06 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
At 2/2/2010 3:53:26 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:

It's not a contradiction if the jury acquits on the basis of the defendant breaking an unjust law.

lol, so.... the law doesn't really count if it's "unjust".

Well then, it wouldn't be nullified.

At any rate, what do you mean an unjust law "doesn't really count"? By what standard?

The problems with differing commitments to and understandings of "Justice" is why 'the law' is necessary in the first place.

Okay. And, if one does not agree with the majority's (the law's) conceptualization of "Justice", why should that man put up with it?

jury nullification discount the very reason there's law in the first place; that is to have a regular standard, which though imperfect, can be regularly applied and looked to to hold people responsible for (somewhat agreed on; if not absoutely so) immoral acts.

I'm not sure where you pulled that purpose from. Laws are limits on action - specifically, government action, if you look to the Constitution; ergo, jury nullification - juries acquitting as a response to charges brought by unjust laws - seem to fit that purpose quite well, especially considering that not everyone agrees on a concept of justice.
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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2/2/2010 10:31:59 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/2/2010 4:34:34 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
At 2/2/2010 4:08:59 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
Anyone you conscript to serve as your little jury slave has every right to sabotage the work they were conscripted for.

Oh, goodness gracious. I'm sorry, but the wording makes that sound absolutely absurd. I don't think that being "conscripted" for jury duty, whether you like it or not, gives you the right to f*ck with someone else's trial.
The trial is owned by the state. The state is the one who conscripted you. How does it not? How can the state claim rights in relation to you when it does not observe yours?


How exactly would trials go down under your system? The idea of a voluntary jury sounds fairly laughable to me, and I assume that you would advocate something along those lines.
What's laughable? You pay professional jurors, or just plain judges, and they make an expert determination of the facts. So it's not just the whole no more conscription, it also has the advantage that these people actually have some idea what they are doing.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
I-am-a-panda
Posts: 15,380
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2/4/2010 1:19:25 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
inb4 50 threads of OMFG I have a case for the new LD on Jury nullification!!!!!!! halp!
Pizza. I have enormous respect for Pizza.
Cody_Franklin
Posts: 9,484
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2/4/2010 1:38:38 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/2/2010 4:43:40 PM, Volkov wrote:
At 2/2/2010 4:32:03 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
Why? If a jury believes that the charges are unjust, why does it matter that the evidence proves guilt? What gives you the right to regulate the decisions that a jury makes?

Uh, because the jury is working for the judiciary? That's like asking what gives an employer the right to regulate what their employees do in the workplace. The answer is obvious.

One - how exactly is the judge going to "regulate" their decisions without restricting their freedom to decide as they please, and infringing on their right to deliberate privately?

Two - the jury did not apply for a job with the judiciary. They were forcibly brought to the courtroom. It's nothing like an employer-employee relationship, since it's not voluntary, and therefore, isn't subject to the same kinds of restrictions.
Cody_Franklin
Posts: 9,484
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2/4/2010 1:44:00 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/2/2010 10:31:59 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
At 2/2/2010 4:34:34 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
At 2/2/2010 4:08:59 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
Anyone you conscript to serve as your little jury slave has every right to sabotage the work they were conscripted for.

Oh, goodness gracious. I'm sorry, but the wording makes that sound absolutely absurd. I don't think that being "conscripted" for jury duty, whether you like it or not, gives you the right to f*ck with someone else's trial.
The trial is owned by the state. The state is the one who conscripted you. How does it not? How can the state claim rights in relation to you when it does not observe yours?

The state isn't claiming rights for itself - it is doing so for the defendant. Why is it fair to f*ck with the defendant's trial just because you "don't want to be there"?


How exactly would trials go down under your system? The idea of a voluntary jury sounds fairly laughable to me, and I assume that you would advocate something along those lines.
What's laughable? You pay professional jurors, or just plain judges, and they make an expert determination of the facts. So it's not just the whole no more conscription, it also has the advantage that these people actually have some idea what they are doing.

It seems like the so-called "professionals" would be more vulnerable to things like bribery, much like politicians, since they aren't just random people off of the streets. Also, who exactly pays for these jurors?
mattrodstrom
Posts: 12,028
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2/4/2010 4:47:12 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/2/2010 7:30:57 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
At 2/2/2010 5:16:06 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
At 2/2/2010 3:53:26 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:

It's not a contradiction if the jury acquits on the basis of the defendant breaking an unjust law.

lol, so.... the law doesn't really count if it's "unjust".

Well then, it wouldn't be nullified.

At any rate, what do you mean an unjust law "doesn't really count"? By what standard?

"doesn't really count" By the standard of the punishment not being meted out (as the law prescribes for the guilty) despite the perp being guilty of the act.

The problems with differing commitments to and understandings of "Justice" is why 'the law' is necessary in the first place.

Okay. And, if one does not agree with the majority's (the law's) conceptualization of "Justice", why should that man put up with it?

I didn't say they should. If they respect their political system they should try to legally change the unjust law and, i would say, they have no moral obligation to follow the law.

But I would say in order to have law be meaningful it must be enforced; again, it's purpose is defeated if it is not.

jury nullification discount the very reason there's law in the first place; that is to have a regular standard, which though imperfect, can be regularly applied and looked to to hold people responsible for (somewhat agreed on; if not absoutely so) immoral acts.

I'm not sure where you pulled that purpose from. Laws are limits on action - specifically, government action, if you look to the Constitution;

The constitution, yes, law generally; no.

ergo, jury nullification - juries acquitting as a response to charges brought by unjust laws - seem to fit that purpose quite well, especially considering that not everyone agrees on a concept of justice.

So no standard. No equal treatment before the law.The state convicts people or doesn't willy nilly on the whims of the morality of the jurors.

The point of Law is to have a standard of moral/acceptable behavior to be enforced such that people can feel secure in their rights and expect some level of justice for unjust harms. Without the law people can hardly expect this.

Again, it may not be perfect, but is a practical way of approaching justice.

If a Law's unjust it should be changed, not ignored.

Ignoring law undermines the purpose of the whole system.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
Cody_Franklin
Posts: 9,484
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2/4/2010 5:01:20 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/4/2010 4:47:12 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
At 2/2/2010 7:30:57 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
At 2/2/2010 5:16:06 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
At 2/2/2010 3:53:26 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:

It's not a contradiction if the jury acquits on the basis of the defendant breaking an unjust law.

lol, so.... the law doesn't really count if it's "unjust".

Well then, it wouldn't be nullified.

At any rate, what do you mean an unjust law "doesn't really count"? By what standard?

"doesn't really count" By the standard of the punishment not being meted out (as the law prescribes for the guilty) despite the perp being guilty of the act.

Why deal the punishment if the law is bad to begin with? "Because the law prescribes it" is completely circular.

The problems with differing commitments to and understandings of "Justice" is why 'the law' is necessary in the first place.

Okay. And, if one does not agree with the majority's (the law's) conceptualization of "Justice", why should that man put up with it?

I didn't say they should. If they respect their political system they should try to legally change the unjust law and, i would say, they have no moral obligation to follow the law.

Nullification - refusing to operate based on what the law prescribes. They're doing exactly what you say they ought to do. Besides, the unpopularity of the PATRIOT Act didn't seem to change very much - revolt over unjust law isn't what it used to be.

But I would say in order to have law be meaningful it must be enforced; again, it's purpose is defeated if it is not.

If a law is unjust, it isn't meaningful to begin with; ergo, it ought not be enforced; ergo, jury nullification is an effective means of ensuring that this does not happen.

jury nullification discount the very reason there's law in the first place; that is to have a regular standard, which though imperfect, can be regularly applied and looked to to hold people responsible for (somewhat agreed on; if not absoutely so) immoral acts.

I'm not sure where you pulled that purpose from. Laws are limits on action - specifically, government action, if you look to the Constitution;

The constitution, yes, law generally; no.

Is/ought fallacy. The law "generally" is supposed to be subject to constitutional limitations; it may not be that way, but it ought to be.

ergo, jury nullification - juries acquitting as a response to charges brought by unjust laws - seem to fit that purpose quite well, especially considering that not everyone agrees on a concept of justice.

So no standard. No equal treatment before the law.The state convicts people or doesn't willy nilly on the whims of the morality of the jurors.

That's how it is even without jury nullification - much like how the constitutionality of passed legislation depends on the political tendencies of Supreme Court Justice

The point of Law is to have a standard of moral/acceptable behavior to be enforced such that people can feel secure in their rights and expect some level of justice for unjust harms. Without the law people can hardly expect this.

Jury nullification =/= anarchy

All juries currently hold the power of nullification; however, they've never nullified things like laws against murder, rape, theft, and the like - fugitive slave laws, prohibition, and the War on Drugs are where we have seen the majority of nullification take place.

Again, it may not be perfect, but is a practical way of approaching justice.

Enforcing unjust laws is neither practical, nor (by definition) just.

If a Law's unjust it should be changed, not ignored.

Leave it up to the government to change it; in the meantime, allow juries to ensure that it isn't applied.

Ignoring law undermines the purpose of the whole system.

No it doesn't - it undermines the ability of the government to apply unjust laws to otherwise-innocent defendants. You're trying to take us on a slippery slope by assuming that nullification of one law inevitably leads to the destabilization of the whole system; however, the centuries-old existence of the power of jury nullification (even if discouraged by the courts) suggests otherwise.
mattrodstrom
Posts: 12,028
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2/4/2010 5:14:22 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
@cody

I say that the only reason for the law is to have a standard of Justice to apply.

This standard is compromised completely if it need not be applied.

What is your reasoning for the existence of the law?
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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2/5/2010 11:46:29 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/4/2010 1:44:00 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
At 2/2/2010 10:31:59 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
At 2/2/2010 4:34:34 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
At 2/2/2010 4:08:59 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
Anyone you conscript to serve as your little jury slave has every right to sabotage the work they were conscripted for.

Oh, goodness gracious. I'm sorry, but the wording makes that sound absolutely absurd. I don't think that being "conscripted" for jury duty, whether you like it or not, gives you the right to f*ck with someone else's trial.
The trial is owned by the state. The state is the one who conscripted you. How does it not? How can the state claim rights in relation to you when it does not observe yours?

The state isn't claiming rights for itself - it is doing so for the defendant. Why is it fair to f*ck with the defendant's trial just because you "don't want to be there"?
Dude, somehow I doubt the defendant is going to mind jury nullification. :P



How exactly would trials go down under your system? The idea of a voluntary jury sounds fairly laughable to me, and I assume that you would advocate something along those lines.
What's laughable? You pay professional jurors, or just plain judges, and they make an expert determination of the facts. So it's not just the whole no more conscription, it also has the advantage that these people actually have some idea what they are doing.

It seems like the so-called "professionals" would be more vulnerable to things like bribery, much like politicians, since they aren't just random people off of the streets.
Why wouldn't random people off the streets accept bribery? Their careers arent even at risk, since they aren't making a career of jury duty. It's precisely professionalism, and the added scrutiny and time invested that entails, that makes accepting bribes a worse choice. You think politicians are bad now, just imagine when they didn't have to try to get elected over and over again because it wasn't a career sort of thing.

Also, who exactly pays for these jurors?
The state, why?
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.