I stumbled about an American legal concept today, called “jury nullification”…
Basically it is about the power of a jury to not only question the guilt of a defendant but also the law which was used to arrest and indict him.
Even if a judge instructs the members of an American jury that they can and should only judge a defendants behaviour according to the letters of the law, that is actually bullshit.
You can set someone free, if you think the law itself is morally wrong…
Don?t know why medical marijuana comes to mind or that you will never hear if the defendant grew it for medicinal purposes in the trial, because, you know, you are only his peers judging his case and federal government does not want you to use that pretty head of yours.
What is interesting is that officers of the court, and that includes the defendants lawyers (!?!), are not allowed to mention the concept of “jury nullification” during the trial.
If you are a potential member of a jury and you show knowledge of the concept of “jury nullification” you will very likely not sit in the jury.
If you mention this concept to other jurors before the verdict and imply that you might go that route, some courts will try to remove you from the jury.
“Jury nullification” has been used several times in the US history, sometimes to defend freedom of speech, sometimes to get free the murderers of equal rights activists that very clearly guilty.
Why do I post this?
Because you will never hear this if you are a juror. It is practically the only veto power to laws you think are bullshit you will ever have.
And because apparently people in power do not want you to know and as long as the internet and thoughts are free…
Frankly, this is one of the most important checks and balances in place in the American system and it is an outrage that it does not only not seem to be public knowledge, but that courts actively mislead jurors by telling them that they have to judge someone according to the law.