KEY FEATURES • A brief introduction to the U.S. judicial system and to the public policy dimension of judicial decisions provides context for the material. • Criminal and regulatory laws are presented with contrasting views on various contemporary public policy issues, including assault weapons, hate crimes, stand your ground laws, police use of deadly force, and much more. • A question for debate and learning objectives appear at the beginning of each chapter. The debate format features contemporary topical issues that engage students and ask them to consider various points of view. • Brief essays introduce students to each debate and put the issue into context to help students understand how policy issues arise in criminal justice and law. • Summaries of the positions follow the debate sections to ensure students have a clear understanding of the contrasting arguments. • “You Decide” exercises and discussion questions appear at the end of each debate to give students the opportunity to apply what they read to new and novel situations.

Juries: Nullification
3.3 juries: Nullification
Should Jurors Be Informed of the Right of Jury Nullification?
Learning Objectives
  • Know the definition of jury nullification.
  • Understand the historical background of jury nullification.
  • Know the law of jury nullification.
  • Comprehend the arguments for and against jury nullification.

Oppose Informing Jurors of the Right of Jury Nullification

Judge Harold Leventhal, majority opinion, United States v. Dougherty, 473 F.2d 1113 (D.C. App. 1972)

Support Informing Jurors of the Right of Jury Nullification

Judge David Bazelon, dissenting, United States v. Dougherty, 473 F.2d 1113 (D.C. App. 1972)

Introduction

Jury nullification is the conscious and deliberate decision of a jury to acquit a defendant despite the jury’s awareness that the defendant is guilty based on the facts and on the law.

Figure 2.1

Sarah Yeh

The English jury was transported to the American colonies. In perhaps the ...

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