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Jury Nullification

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By Clarence Page | November 16, 1995
WASHINGTON -- Until the O.J. Simpson verdict shocked the nation, ''jury nullification'' was just another obscure little doctrine that hardly anyone but lawyers cared about.No more. Barber shops and beauty parlors are abuzz with talk of ''jury nullification,'' whether or not they call it by that name. By any name, it raises tough questions about when and where it is appropriate to let a guilty person go free and when, if ever, it is proper to take race into account.Jury nullification occurs when a jury acquits a defendant itbelieves to be guilty.
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NEWS
By Tony Newman | December 27, 2011
Should juries vote "not guilty" on low-level marijuana charges to send a message about our country's insane marijuana arrest policy? Jury nullification is a constitutional doctrine that allows juries to acquit defendants who are technically guilty but who don't deserve punishment. As Paul Butler wrote recently in The New York Times, juries have the right and power to use jury nullification to protest unjust laws. Mr. Butler points out that nullification was credited with ending our country's disastrous alcohol Prohibition as more and more jurors refused to send their neighbors to jail for a law they didn't believe in. He says we need to do the same with today's marijuana arrests.
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NEWS
By Tony Newman | December 27, 2011
Should juries vote "not guilty" on low-level marijuana charges to send a message about our country's insane marijuana arrest policy? Jury nullification is a constitutional doctrine that allows juries to acquit defendants who are technically guilty but who don't deserve punishment. As Paul Butler wrote recently in The New York Times, juries have the right and power to use jury nullification to protest unjust laws. Mr. Butler points out that nullification was credited with ending our country's disastrous alcohol Prohibition as more and more jurors refused to send their neighbors to jail for a law they didn't believe in. He says we need to do the same with today's marijuana arrests.
NEWS
By Dan Rodricks | December 2, 2009
A ll the cynics were wrong this time: A jury of her peers - nine women and three men, the majority of them black - found the city's first African-American female mayor guilty of a crime. We didn't have the jury nullification many had predicted - that is, acquittal in the face of strong, conclusive evidence, something that many lawyers, cops and judges have seen for years in the old courthouses on Calvert Street. Juries in Baltimore have a rap for being suspicious of police and prosecutors and sympathetic to defendants, most of whom are black.
NEWS
August 21, 2008
Witness intimidation in Baltimore had become such a threat to prosecuting criminals that State's Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy led a campaign to better protect witnesses. She has personally delivered copies of the bootleg video Stop Snitchin' to state lawmakers to emphasize the seriousness of the problem. Mrs. Jessamy has had to rely on federal prosecutors to go after some accused murderers and accomplices whom city juries just won't convict. Increasingly, her prosecutors have faced tough odds in trying to convict criminals.
NEWS
By Dan Rodricks | December 2, 2009
A ll the cynics were wrong this time: A jury of her peers - nine women and three men, the majority of them black - found the city's first African-American female mayor guilty of a crime. We didn't have the jury nullification many had predicted - that is, acquittal in the face of strong, conclusive evidence, something that many lawyers, cops and judges have seen for years in the old courthouses on Calvert Street. Juries in Baltimore have a rap for being suspicious of police and prosecutors and sympathetic to defendants, most of whom are black.
NEWS
By GREGORY KANE | March 3, 2001
WHAT, REALLY, do Americans learn from their history? Depressingly little, it seems. Lately, some Baltimoreans in particular have been ranting about the right to a trial by jury. Eric Stennett was acquitted in the death of Baltimore police Officer Kevon Gavin. A Baltimore County police officer, Paul Hoke, reacting with alarming dudgeon -- considering that he's a public official who carries a gun -- posted a missive on a police union Web site saying that trial by jury was "a problem." Hoke went on to call Baltimore residents "scum" on welfare who use heroin, and the city itself a place where the womenfolk routinely get pregnant by age 14. His remarks won him the admiration of many and the undying respect of one caller to The Sun, who called blacks "barbaric."
NEWS
By DAN RODRICKS | December 2, 2009
All the cynics were wrong this time: A jury of her peers - nine women and three men, the majority of them black - found the city's first African-American female mayor guilty of a crime. We didn't have the jury nullification many had predicted - that is, acquittal in the face of strong, conclusive evidence, something that many lawyers, cops and judges have seen for years in the old courthouses on Calvert Street. Juries in Baltimore have a rap for being suspicious of police and prosecutors and sympathetic to defendants, most of whom are black.
NEWS
By Dan Rodricks | January 18, 2009
Jurors in Baltimore city, typical jurors, they render verdicts from the gut," Warren A. Brown, the oft-quoted, camera-loving criminal defense attorney told a reporter last week. "To hell with the law, to hell with the facts; they will render a verdict that they think is fair, is right." And so jury nullification - men and women voting for acquittal while acknowledging that the evidence against a defendant is strong, even conclusive - is a phenomenon in Baltimore and something that looms in the matter of the criminal case against the city's first female mayor.
NEWS
By Hal Riedl | February 5, 2001
When Kurt Schmoke was elected mayor a year after being re-elected state's attorney in 1986, the Baltimore City Circuit Court judges chose his deputy, Stuart Simms, as his successor. Mr. Simms was elected easily in 1990. In 1994, he raised so much money that he discouraged all opposition, coasted to re-election and promptly entered the Cabinet of the new governor, Parris N. Glendening. The judges chose Mr. Simms' chief deputy, Patricia Jessamy, to succeed him. In 1998, she repeated the pattern of easily getting elected to a position to which she, like her predecessor, was originally appointed.
NEWS
By DAN RODRICKS | December 2, 2009
All the cynics were wrong this time: A jury of her peers - nine women and three men, the majority of them black - found the city's first African-American female mayor guilty of a crime. We didn't have the jury nullification many had predicted - that is, acquittal in the face of strong, conclusive evidence, something that many lawyers, cops and judges have seen for years in the old courthouses on Calvert Street. Juries in Baltimore have a rap for being suspicious of police and prosecutors and sympathetic to defendants, most of whom are black.
NEWS
By Dan Rodricks | January 18, 2009
Jurors in Baltimore city, typical jurors, they render verdicts from the gut," Warren A. Brown, the oft-quoted, camera-loving criminal defense attorney told a reporter last week. "To hell with the law, to hell with the facts; they will render a verdict that they think is fair, is right." And so jury nullification - men and women voting for acquittal while acknowledging that the evidence against a defendant is strong, even conclusive - is a phenomenon in Baltimore and something that looms in the matter of the criminal case against the city's first female mayor.
NEWS
August 21, 2008
Witness intimidation in Baltimore had become such a threat to prosecuting criminals that State's Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy led a campaign to better protect witnesses. She has personally delivered copies of the bootleg video Stop Snitchin' to state lawmakers to emphasize the seriousness of the problem. Mrs. Jessamy has had to rely on federal prosecutors to go after some accused murderers and accomplices whom city juries just won't convict. Increasingly, her prosecutors have faced tough odds in trying to convict criminals.
NEWS
By GREGORY KANE | March 3, 2001
WHAT, REALLY, do Americans learn from their history? Depressingly little, it seems. Lately, some Baltimoreans in particular have been ranting about the right to a trial by jury. Eric Stennett was acquitted in the death of Baltimore police Officer Kevon Gavin. A Baltimore County police officer, Paul Hoke, reacting with alarming dudgeon -- considering that he's a public official who carries a gun -- posted a missive on a police union Web site saying that trial by jury was "a problem." Hoke went on to call Baltimore residents "scum" on welfare who use heroin, and the city itself a place where the womenfolk routinely get pregnant by age 14. His remarks won him the admiration of many and the undying respect of one caller to The Sun, who called blacks "barbaric."
NEWS
By Hal Riedl | February 5, 2001
When Kurt Schmoke was elected mayor a year after being re-elected state's attorney in 1986, the Baltimore City Circuit Court judges chose his deputy, Stuart Simms, as his successor. Mr. Simms was elected easily in 1990. In 1994, he raised so much money that he discouraged all opposition, coasted to re-election and promptly entered the Cabinet of the new governor, Parris N. Glendening. The judges chose Mr. Simms' chief deputy, Patricia Jessamy, to succeed him. In 1998, she repeated the pattern of easily getting elected to a position to which she, like her predecessor, was originally appointed.
NEWS
By Clarence Page | November 16, 1995
WASHINGTON -- Until the O.J. Simpson verdict shocked the nation, ''jury nullification'' was just another obscure little doctrine that hardly anyone but lawyers cared about.No more. Barber shops and beauty parlors are abuzz with talk of ''jury nullification,'' whether or not they call it by that name. By any name, it raises tough questions about when and where it is appropriate to let a guilty person go free and when, if ever, it is proper to take race into account.Jury nullification occurs when a jury acquits a defendant itbelieves to be guilty.
NEWS
By FRANKLIN STRIER | July 21, 1994
Speculation is rampant about O.J. Simpson's chances at the hands of a jury. But the debate over fairness, pretrial publicity, celebrity and so on misses the point. It is an enduring and profound truth that juries have never been reliable vehicles for the equitable resolution of trial-court disputes.Here's why:* The American lay jury is a howling anachronism. Originally effective during colonial times as a bulwark against the judges appointed by England, the jury today has become a pawn in the hands of skilled and well-financed litigators.
NEWS
By DENNIS O'BRIEN | May 8, 1994
* Four Los Angeles police officers are captured on videotape beating Rodney King, and, when the case first comes to trial, a jury acquits the four officers of any wrongdoing.* Lyle and Erik Menendez admit killing their parents with shotgun blasts, but juries deadlock, and both cases end in mistrials after the defendants claim that their parents sexually and psychologically abused them for years.* Jack Kevorkian admits that he knew Michigan law prohibited assisted suicides when he put a mask over the face of a dying man and supplied him with carbon monoxide to help end his life.
NEWS
By FRANKLIN STRIER | July 21, 1994
Speculation is rampant about O.J. Simpson's chances at the hands of a jury. But the debate over fairness, pretrial publicity, celebrity and so on misses the point. It is an enduring and profound truth that juries have never been reliable vehicles for the equitable resolution of trial-court disputes.Here's why:* The American lay jury is a howling anachronism. Originally effective during colonial times as a bulwark against the judges appointed by England, the jury today has become a pawn in the hands of skilled and well-financed litigators.
NEWS
By DENNIS O'BRIEN | May 8, 1994
* Four Los Angeles police officers are captured on videotape beating Rodney King, and, when the case first comes to trial, a jury acquits the four officers of any wrongdoing.* Lyle and Erik Menendez admit killing their parents with shotgun blasts, but juries deadlock, and both cases end in mistrials after the defendants claim that their parents sexually and psychologically abused them for years.* Jack Kevorkian admits that he knew Michigan law prohibited assisted suicides when he put a mask over the face of a dying man and supplied him with carbon monoxide to help end his life.
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