"The jury has the power to bring a verdict in the teeth of both law and fact."
Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
(1841-1935) US Supreme Court Justice, also known as "The Great Dissenter"
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Here, not shooting the messenger but rather rating the quote as to substance and, on its face, 5 stars.
 -- Mike, Norwalk     
    Great and as it should be and apparently has been for 750 years, Mike is the only one that thinks no one knows this, problably because he just discovered it recently and like all naive people he thought he was the FIRST one to know it.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
    Waffler, how does it feel to be so consistently wrong. I learned it back in school, so I know everyone there knew it. Decades ago I assisted in helping set up common law courts and other Constitutionally recognized common law entities (all the other people there knew and understood it also) So, I'm aware of a lot of people that know this. Its really too bad the statist theocracy that now infests this land fights so hard against it.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    You stated several posts ago that few people know of jury nullification, that is all.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
    Few do know this. Nullification of law by jury is a check against tyranny -- what good is a 'law' if no one will convict someone of it? The War on Drugs is a good example. If jurors knew that they have the duty to judge the law as well as the facts, few would be convicted of victimless crimes like drug prohibition and the jails would not be overflowing with 2 million non-violent offenders. Rarely will you see a drug possession case go to trial because the defendent is threatened with decades of jail time if they attempt to get the jury to decide the case and the law. Worse is that lawyers are not permitted to tell juries they have the duty to judge both law and fact -- and I have heard no judge issue this statement to a jury in my lifetime. In fact, people have gone to trial in federal court for growing marijuana in states that have legalized marijuana for medical use and and issued state licenses -- the defendents were not permitted to tell the jury that they were following their state laws and that its use was for medical purposes -- the judge specifically states that the jury need only determine whether the law was broken, period. So we have the feds imprisoning terminally ill people for the next 10 years for simply treating their illness in accordance with state law. These folks usually die in prison. That is what a jury is for -- to protect the common man from political crimes, for that is all drug prohibition laws are.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
    Waffler, I suspect that very few lawyers even know of jury nullification. I asked a top criminal lawyer from Ohio about it a few years ago and he had never heard of it. This man was president of the Ohio Association of Criminal Defence Lawyers at one time. Judges love to keep jury nullification a secret as knowledge of this for juries would limit their power.
     -- jim k, Austin,Tx     
    Waffler, how legaleeze of you. My known many doesn't even show up on the radar of the US populous. Your second comment, compared to your first comment then makes you a liar.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    Nullification of law by jury is more difficult in today's court rooms as they represent admiralty-maritime courts, not common law courts. In admiralty law, the judge can ignore the verdict of the jury. Usually jury nullification is impossible as a single 'not guilty' verdict out of twelve is called a 'hung jury' and they retry the case or replace the juror with one who will convict. What you need is a jury foreman who will respect the decisions of ALL the jurors -- if there is one 'not guilty,' then the verdict is 'not guilty' period. It is not majority rule -- either unanimous conviction or defendent is not guilty.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
    I remember reading years ago about a trial in New Zealand where a sheep farmer was accused of stealing his neighbors sheep. The jury deliberated and found the man not guilty but he has to give the sheep back. The judge refused the verdict and sent them to deliberate again. The jury came back with a verdict of not guilty and he can keep the sheep.
     -- Ken, Allyn, WA     
    Every child should be taught this truth in every grade so long as he is in school.
     -- Jack Worthington, Reedley, California     
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