Jury Nullificatio

In: Social Issues

Submitted By blessingv
Words 1685
Pages 7
Team C: Jury Nullification
CJA/344
October 15, 2012

Team C: Jury Nullification Jury nullification has been a growing concern throughout the years for many Americans. Jury nullification is a constitutional doctrine that allows juries to acquit guilty defendants but who do not deserve punishment. Many believe that when this sort of action takes place the jury racially identify with the criminal defendant. There have been several cases for an example: the O.J Simpson case or the police officers in the Rodney King beating. The evidence was visible, but the verdict was not guilty. This paper includes how and if ethnicity influences courtroom proceedings and judicial practices, arguments against ethnicity-based jury nullification, contemporary examples of ethnicity based-jury nullification, and by choosing a position for or against ethnicity-based jury nullification. Ethnicity Influences and Judicial Practices
There have been plenty of attempts to advance equal justice in the United States (Ward, Farrell, & Rousseau, 2009). In the criminal justice administration disparity still remains a concern. Criminal justice research on sentencing has found disparity based on defendant characteristics as gender, race, and class. There have been two changes by many individuals to secure equal justice in the court system. Implementations of sentencing guidelines, reduce bias, and increased racial and ethnic group representation among arbiters of justice (Ward, Farrell, & Rousseau, 2009). This may diversify the pool of explicit and implicit bias that will reduce White advantages. Racial and ethnic composition of law enforcement and legal authorities has changed in selected jurisdictions (Ward, Farrell, & Rousseau, 2009). Many people expected this progress toward equal representation among legal authorities…...

Similar Documents

Jury Nullification

...In today’s legal system, a jury has the power to return a "not guilty" verdict even when the defendant is clearly guilty. In cases like this, the jury may decide that the law should not be applied in the particular case or that the law is unjust. Other times, it may be completely bias against the subjects in question. For example, during the Civil Rights era, an all-white jury may find another white man innocent, even if he clearly killed an African American. This power is called jury nullification and is not a justified response to any verdict. One of the main concerns of jury nullification is that it allows the people to take the law into their own hands. For example, one can imagine a wife being beaten and abused by her husband. He makes her life miserable and one day she snaps and is unable to take the pressure of his tyranny. After all the stress builds up, she ends up murdering him in his sleep. When standing trial the jury may feel sorry for the defendant. Though her actions may appear as self defense on the ability for her to live a happy life, she still had committed cold blood murder. She could have gone to the police about her husband. Some arguments of individuals in favor of jury nullification may be that it is a good thing because it empowers the jury to do what is right rather than just look at the facts of the case. As well as it gives the jury the opportunity to .. Although these are somewhat valid facts in favor of Jury nullification, it comes back to rule......

Words: 361 - Pages: 2

Jury Process

...The Jury Selection Process Taurean F Dawkins Strayer University Huntsville, AL February 10, 2013 Abstract “The Jury Selection Process” is a research paper that reviews the jury selection process in detail. First we will review the stages of the criminal trail and go in depth with the jury selection process. The paper will demonstrate why the jury selection process is necessary for the United States as well as its patrons. The paper will also provide a break down of advantages and disadvantages on the jury selection process. In addition to the information listed above, we will review some large profile court cases and its jury selection process. This will determine just how detailed and challenging the process can prove to be. The criminal trial process is a precaution that the United States Government has in place in order to protect the patrons of this country constitutional rights. By using the criminal trial process, they ensure that each civilian is offered a far and speedy trail. The criminal trail process has a number of different steps in order for it to flow seamlessly. The steps of the criminal trial process are as follows: trail initiation, jury selection, opening statements, presentation of evidence, closing arguments, judge’s charge to the jury, jury deliberations, and the verdict. Within this body we will be reviewing the jury selection process within detail. Within the Sixth Amendment of United States Constitution it points out that a......

Words: 1142 - Pages: 5

Jury Nullification

...Ethnicity-Based Jury Nullification Examples In California a jury convicted Ed Rosenthal in two-thousand three of growing marijuana which was a violation of federal law. During the case the jury did not know and was never allowed to hear that not only was Ed Rosenthal growing medical marijuana for medical patients, but he was growing and harvesting the marijuana for the city of Oakland, California. When the trial ended and the jury found out the true facts of the case they were outraged and the foreman of the jury was quoted in the New York Times as saying “it is the most horrible mistake I have ever made in my entire life.” Should Ed Rosenthal been convicted of growing marijuana? I feel that he should not have been convicted and the jury had a right to know the truth about which Ed Rosenthal was growing the marijuana for and for who it was being provided to. Another case would be that of Richard Paey of Florida, who is serving a twenty-five year prison sentence in Florida for distribution of a controlled substance. Richard Paey was a forty-six year old paraplegic man who became a paraplegic after being involved in a very serious car accident that badly damaged his back, and after having back surgery that did not go as planned, Richard Paey was left in indescribable amounts of pain. Richard Paey realized that He could relieve his pain by taking large amounts of opiate painkillers, but the amount of medication his doctor had prescribed him was not enough, and they could......

Words: 440 - Pages: 2

Jury Nullification

...Jury Nullification Jury selection plays a significant role in the criminal justice system. Their primary role of the jury lies within the courtroom setting during criminal proceedings. These individuals are charged with the responsibility of hearing testimony from the prosecution and defense and also evaluating any evidence brought before the court. Their understanding and interpretation of all testimony and evidence greatly determine the final result of the trial, the verdict. In many circumstances a jury may dismiss the testimony and evidence and inject their own personal opinions regarding the law. This is known as jury nullification. Jury nullification permits juries to acquit even when the facts of the case suggest they convict, and thus enables citizens to play a more active role in determining justice and what or whom should be punished (McNamara & Burns, 2009, p. 265). Influence of Ethnicity within the Courtroom An individual’s race or ethnicity can have a substantial influence on courtroom proceedings and judicial practices. Many people, regardless of their own race, have preconceived notions of individuals that are charged with a criminal offense. Much of these preconceptions are fueled by the media, especially when these cases involve a white victim and minority perpetrator or vice versa. The media tends to glamorize and indulge these types of crimes because they equate to good ratings. Often times this media coverage finds its way into the courtroom and......

Words: 1101 - Pages: 5

Jury Trial

...Jury Trial Analysis When an individual is charged with a crime, he or she becomes a criminal defendant. The United States Constitution provides these criminal defendants a number of rights that limit the fashion in which the government can investigate, prosecute, and penalize criminal behavior. These include, but are not limited to, the right to a speedy trial, the right to an impartial judge, and the right to an impartial jury. Criminal defendants have the right to a public trial. This ensures that the government will not carry out any hearings in secret that may violate the individual’s constitutional rights. There are times when the court will hold a closed hearing to protect the identity of a victim, such as a minor. A criminal defendant also has the right to be tried by a jury of his or her peers. The type of jury varies from state to states but these juries are made up of members of the community that have been randomly designated by the court and chosen by attorney for both the prosecution and the defense. This leads the criminal defendant into the right to ask for a swift trial. The most intricate premises of the criminal justice system are that when justice is delayed, it is denied. The right to a swift and speedy trial is essential in a structure that places equality and integrity above all else (FindLaw, n.d.). Diligent trials promote civility within the criminal justice system. A speedy trial is one that is without any postponements. The Sixth......

Words: 1137 - Pages: 5

Jury Nullification

...Ethnicity and the Courts Tina Martin-Fleming CJA/344 August 28, 2014 Thomas Bullock Jury Nullification is the process that allows members of the juror to acquit a defendant for crimes they do not feel is grounds for punishment. Although, many jurors may not know this is an option to many cases, it is still an option. If citizens use this option in many of the courtroom proceedings, there will be fewer people who are serving time in prison. On the other hand, this does interfere with the decision- making process. This paper will explain whether ethnicity influences courtroom proceedings and judicial practices. It will summarize the arguments for and against ethnicity-based jury nullification. Including contemporary examples of ethnicity-based jury nullification and my position for or against ethnicity based jury nullification and the defense of that decision. Explain whether Ethnicity Influences Courtroom proceedings and Judicial Practices In today’s society ethnicity does have an effect on courtroom proceedings and judicial practices. Crime has increased significantly over the years particularly in poverty stricken areas that are more likely to have a higher rate of crime than those other areas. This issue has raised many concerns of this criminal behavior. Racial issue still and will always be an issue with the court system as long as we as a people keep it in existence. To eliminate these barriers would be to educate the police and all persons who are seeking......

Words: 1252 - Pages: 6

Jury Nullification

...the Courtroom: Ethnicity Based Jury Nullification Josi Barth CJA/344 November 18, 2014 Bernice Baver Unfair Practices in the Courtroom: Ethnicity Based Jury Nullification On the television today, many of the most dramatic parts of the programming revolve around courtroom proceedings. An overzealous prosecutor asking tough and often damning questions to a pitiful guilty looking defendant is the main focus for the audience. The part that is often unseen and overlooked is ethnicity and the role it plays in the criminal justice system when it comes to courtroom proceedings and judicial practices. When it comes to these situations, there appears to be a certain amount of bias or indifference to minority citizens (The Criminology and Criminal Justice Collective of Northern Arizona University, 2009). Because of these biases, many minorities have little to no confidence in the court systems and subsequently are less likely to bring his or her case to court. For a further look into how ethnicity influences courtroom proceedings and judicial practices, one can analyze arguments for and against ethnicity based jury nullification and contemporary examples of jury nullification. Jury nullification is defined as the process that allows juries to acquit when the facts of the case suggest a conviction. This allows citizens to play a larger role in deciding guilt and who is punished (Mcnamara & Burns, 2009, Chapter 11). Ethnicity based jury nullification occurs when a......

Words: 1079 - Pages: 5

Jury Trial

...Jury Trial Analysis Raquel Hearns CJA/364 April 13, 2015 Jonathan Sperling The sixth amendment states that all accused criminals have the right to a trial by impartial jury of the state, in which the person allegedly committed a crime (Right to Jury Trial, n.d). The jury is a group of citizens selected from the state randomly, to decide whether or not the accused criminal is guilty or not guilty. Once the jury has heard and reviewed the evidence, it is their duty to determine the faith of the accused by rendering a verdict of guilty or not guilty. Although, this criminal process ends with the verdict of the jury, it all begins when a person is arrested by law enforcement for committing a crime. Once an arrest, the accused individual is booked. During the booking course the person is advised of the charges, paperwork is completed stating the offense including the person’s name, birth date, social security number and other personal information of that nature. Shortly after, the individual will be fingerprinted and photographed upon booking (Worrall, 2012). From that point forward, the person is detained for the following court procedures that include the initial appearance, the pretrial process, and the preliminary hearing. In addition to those steps, the arraignment and discovery process follows (Worrall, 2012). In the course of the initial process, the defendant stands before a judge and is informed of the former charges, as well as acknowledged of his or her......

Words: 1747 - Pages: 7

Jury Nullification

...family member’s or particular followers. If the jury is particularly White/ Caucasian, and the defendant is African- American, there is generally a bias that people are racially condoning that individual to prison or jail time, but if the whole jury is African- American, the jury might have some leniency towards that particular individual to the point of reaching jury nullification (Kennedy, 1997). • Include contemporary examples of ethnicity-based jury nullification. One example of a contemporary jury nullification is a case that happened in Pennsylvania in 2009. The event happened in rural Pennsylvania. The case was about two teenage boys at the time, Derrick Donchak, 19, and Brandon Piekarsky, 17. They brutally killed a Mexican immigrant by kicking him while convulsing on the ground (Neiwert, 2009). The man they killed was named Luis Ramirez. The jury panel were all White and had strong roots against Mexican immigrants (Neiwert, 2009). The article mentions that even the judge and the community itself, showed signs of being racially biased towards Mexican immigrants. After deliberation the jury basically found the teens not guilty of any charges. Luis Ramirez died at the hospital two days after the incident and the teens walked free from any kind of prosecution (Neiwert, 2009). •Summarize the arguments for and against ethnicity-based jury nullification. Some of the arguments against jury nullification are that jury nullification undermines the rules......

Words: 702 - Pages: 3

Diverse Jury

...Street Law for Youth Courts © 2006 A JURY OF YOUR PEERS: WHAT IS THE ROLE OF DIVERSITY IN JURIES? OUTCOMES As a result of this lesson, students will be able to: Identify the skills, experiences and values essential for ideal jurors Explain the popular concept of “a jury of your peers” and describe its application in youth courts and adult courts Define diversity and discuss the benefits of a diverse jury Define terms such as: grand jury, petit jury, summons, jury pool, jury venire, voir dire, removal for cause, peremptory challenge Describe the right to a jury given by the United States Constitution Explain why the jury system is important in a democracy, especially in a pluralistic society MATERIALS NEEDED Chalkboard and chalk or flipchart paper and markers (Optional) Several samples of help wanted advertisements. The ads should describe the type of candidate the employer is seeking. The particular job does not matter. HANDOUTS 1 Help Wanted (enough for each student) 2 The Rights to Juries According to the U.S. Constitution (enough for each student) 3 How Are Petit Juries Selected? (enough for each student, plus an extra copy) 4 Options for More Diverse Juries (enough for each student) 5 News Flash! (enough for each student) A Jury Of Your Peers 91 Street Law for Youth Courts ©2006 TRANSPARENCY OR POSTER (Optional) Strauder v. West Virginia PREPARING TO TEACH THIS LESSON Prepare the materials listed above. Write up and post the outcomes of the......

Words: 10412 - Pages: 42

Jury Paper

...------------------------------------------------- jury selection process Jocelyn Edwards April 15, 2016 CJS/221 Instructor EBONY PULLINS-GOVANTES Jocelyn Edwards April 15, 2016 CJS/221 Instructor EBONY PULLINS-GOVANTES An explanation of the jury selection process is known as several methods normally used to select the people that will serve on a jury. During this process you have several steps that occur and they are listed as the following: First thing first, you start off with a jury pool which is where the individuals are selected from a community simply by using a fair random method. Then, a list of names for the jury are collected from Voter's registration and driver's license or state ID renewals. Next, there are summonses mailed to different citizens and that’s where a panel of jurors are appointed to a courtroom and randomly picked to serve in the jury box. Third, the judge and attorneys have an option whether or not to challenge for a cause argument or use one of the peremptory challenges based on jurisdiction. Lastly, the jury in certain jurisdictions must be death qualified to remote those who are opposed to the death penalty. Here are a few cases that helped controlled the systemic discrimination of the courts in this process: 1880 decision of Strauder v. West Virginia, United States v. Nelson, Swain v. Alabama, Purkett v. Elem, and Batson v. Kentucky just to name a few. Jury nullification is used in relation to diversity because it's based on an......

Words: 859 - Pages: 4

Jury in Danger

...Jury in Danger. There were twelve people on the jury. Every one of them killed. No one knew who to blame, but they all suspected the prosecutor, Ash Mayfield. He had been accused of killing his wife, Jessica. The jury members were told to take their seats, as the bailiff announced that court was in session. Everyone had taken their seats while Mr Sultan called up his first witness. After about ten minutes or so, Mr Evans, Ash's lawyer, brought up his witnesses. It continued this way for about another hour or so and then it was time for everyone to go home. The judge announced that the very next day, the jury should have a verdict. When that day came, Mayfield was found not guilty. Five days later, the killings began. The twelve jury members from the Mayfield case were Karen, Linda, Diane, Martin, Louise, Tracey, Ben, Michael, Robert, Samantha, Simon, and John. If only they had known how miserable their lives were about to become. John was at a restaurant with his wife, Suzy. It was their first anniversary, and so they wanted to make it special. It was special alright, but for the worst. John and his wife were talking, when John had to go to the men's room. John was standing over the sink washing his hands. He suspected he was alone, but then out of nowhere someone came up from behind him and wrapped a rope tightly around his neck. He struggled and fought but his attacker was too strong. As John's face turned from pale to purple, he hit the......

Words: 839 - Pages: 4

Jury Nullification

...Jury Nullification Amanda Hughes, Casey Fazendin, Lorie Dixon, Marquita Gist, Vaishnovi Rajagopal CJA/344 Cultural Diversity Issues in Criminal Justice April 9, 2012 Major Williams Crime is an "action" or a behavior of an individual that violates the laws and faces consequences such as punishment. The relationship of crime and the laws are that society is governed by the government and created a set of laws which must be respected and by violating these set of laws would be considered as a "crime". Obviously, in these situations our criminal justice system plays an important role. "Criminal Justice refers to the aspects of social justice that concern violations of the criminal law". However, there are many people that still believe the criminal justice system is racially biased. Racial disparity and discrimination is one the most contentious concerns in our society since several decades. Jury Nullification is an act that “permits juries to acquit even when the facts of the case suggest they convict, and enables citizens to play more active role in determining justice and what/ whom should be punished” (Robert McNamara, 2009). In other words, Jury nullification consents the jury to return a non-guilty verdict when the defendant is certainly guilty. This paper scrutinizes on the pros and cons of race based jury nullification. Additionally, it describes against the race based jury nullification with proper......

Words: 1602 - Pages: 7

Jury Nullification

...Jury nullification has become controversial as several prominent African American scholars encouraged Blacks to acquit other Blacks because of perceived mistreatment of African Americans by the courts and, more generally, by the criminal justice system (MacNamara & Burns, 2009). An example of a situation involving race-based jury nullification is the case against Lemrick Nelson Jr. Nelson, a black teenager, stabbed and killed a Jewish scholar, named Yankel Rosenbaum, in 1991. During his trial, he was acquitted of all charges. After the trial concluded, Nelson’s attorney invited the jury to dinner to celebrate the verdict. This case is a clear example of race-based jury nullification because the jury was composed mostly of Blacks. Throughout history, there have been many studies that concentrate on how Blacks view the criminal justice system, and most of them agree that they mistrust it. Furthermore, there is also the phenomenon of “in-group bias”, which explains how jurors are more inclined into favoring individuals of their own race. Racial sympathy plays some role in the deliberations of some jurors, but a recent survey of the empirical literature in the Nebraska Law Review also points to a more nuanced conclusion: in many cases, minority jurors tend to favor defendants, regardless of race because they are suspicious of policemen of all races (Rosen, 1992). Even if the jury thought they had saved Nelson from unjust punishment, their thoughtless celebration shows......

Words: 463 - Pages: 2

Jury Nullification

...Jury Nullification In the American criminal justice system, the jury plays a significant role in the fate of a defendant who is on trial. The jury’s role is to evaluate the facts presented by both the prosecution and the defense, and decide whether those facts are substantial enough to convict, or not to convict, a person of the crime for which they are accused. This has been a cornerstone of American justice since before the country’s birth. The right of a trial by a jury of peers is an inalienable right guaranteed to everyone, and is protected by the Constitution. The rights of a jury are also inherent. A jury has a right to nullify, or disregard, the instructions of a court and the facts of a case in coming to a decision. Oftentimes, however, juries are intentionally not informed of this right. Many critics of jury nullification claim that its excercise and application leads to a lawless society (Scheflin, Van Dyke, 1991: 424). California’s jury instructions state that the jury must perform their duty uninfluenced by pity or sentiment for a defendant or passion or prejudice against them, while Maryland’s jury instructions state that while the facts about what the law says are meant to be helpful they may disregard them as they see fit (Bonsignore, et al:428). The practice of jury nullification in the United States dates back to the colonial period of our nation. In 1735, John Peter Zenger was arrested by the British government and......

Words: 820 - Pages: 4