Nullifying the Rule of Law
March 01, 1996
Jurors Ignoring the Law Accomplish Nothing but Anarchy in Microcosm
What do nineteenth-century anarchist Lysander Spooner, the O. J. legal defense team, some elements of the militia movement, the Los Angeles juries that failed to convict the Menendez brothers of murdering their parents and that acquitted the brutal assailants of Reginald Denny, and the activists who promote the idea of “fully informed juries” have in common?
They all symbolize the notion that juries can and should refuse to heed the instructions given them by the trial judge, and that jurors should instead follow their own consciences and “nullify” those instructions by doing what they personally feel is just.
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