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The failure to instruct jurors on their power to nullify also raises constitutional concerns. The right to a jury actually exists as part of a constitutional framework designed to protect defendants from potential government abuse. The Sixth Amendment states, “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a ... public trial by an impartial jury. ...” The Sixth Amendment right to a jury trial is “fundamental to the American scheme of justice,’ acting as a safeguard against the government. This constitutional safeguard is achieved through the “participation of the community in determinations of guilt and by the application of the common sense of laymen who, as jurors, consider the case.”
Robert E. Korroch (more quotes by Robert E. Korroch or books by/about Robert E. Korroch)
(1959- ) Lieutenant Commander US Coast Guard, lawyer
Korroch, Lieutenant Commander Robert E., and Major Michael J. Davidson, Jury Nullification: A Call for Justice or an Invitation to Anarchy?, 139 MIL. L. REV. 131, 142 (1993) citing Ballew v. Georgia, 435 U.S. 223, 229 (1977) citing Williams v. Florida, 399 U.S. 78, 100 (1970).