"Jury lawlessness is the greatest corrective of law in its actual administration. The will of the state at large imposed on a reluctant community, the will of a majority imposed on a vigorous and determined minority, find the same obstacle in the local jury that formerly confronted kings and ministers."
U.S. v. Dougherty, 473 F.2d 1113, 1130 at note 32 (1972).
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Reader comments about this quote:
I'm not sure how to rate this. There are so many non-truths, mixed with half truths, mixed with simple truths. There are 3 philosophies of law. Natural law (that which has natural consequences, existed before man and will exist after man); legal positivism (what ever carnal man says is law is law, no matter the natural consequences); and, legal realism (what ever the most powerful can get away with) The quote reeks of a legal positivism and a legal realism base. Under the laws of nature and nature's God / representative republic / de jure Constitution, a lawless jury would be one that supported tyrannous rules and statutes of kings, statist theocracies, and otherwise malefactors (by way of example, that which supports compelled compliance, license, victimless crimes, larceny with impunity and all other actions that would impugn inalienable rights). If the Court is here talking about a jury that has nullification authority, power, and ability in an atmosphere of determining fact and law, I give it 5 stars a multiple of times.
 -- Mike, Norwalk     
    "Jury lawlessness" is the court's phrasing of the very lawful and basic duty of 'nullification of law by jury' most often referred to as 'jury nullification' which in my opinion is also a poor substitute. Considering the date (1972) it is understandable that the Court would use this phrase so as to keep the view that the jury is subservient to the court and thus the 'law.' But in fact, as Mike has pointed out before, the jury are the 'judges' of both law and fact and the 'magistrate' is an administrator of due process according to law.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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