Tuesday, December 27, 2011
HIP HOP JUSTICE
The NY Times confronts the issue of jury nullification, otherwise known as "just say No(t guilty)."
The Author, Paul Butler, is a former federal prosecutor, a professor of law at Georgetown, and the author of "Lets Get Free: A Hip Hop Theory of Justice."
The article starts:
IF you are ever on a jury in a marijuana case, I recommend that you vote “not guilty” — even if you think the defendant actually smoked pot, or sold it to another consenting adult. As a juror, you have this power under the Bill of Rights; if you exercise it, you become part of a proud tradition of American jurors who helped make our laws fairer.
Item: NYPD made 50,000 arrests last year just for possession of marijuana.
Item: Some states are seeking to take away the right to a trial by jury for drug possession because jurors are increasingly ignoring the law and issuing jury nullifications.
The next time some snotty 24 year old prosecutor seeks to have the court issue some misbegotten order prohibiting the defense from arguing that a juror is free to vote their conscience, remind the court that no less an authority (and great defense attorney) John Adams, said this: it is each juror’s “duty” to vote based on his or her “own best understanding, judgment and conscience, though in direct opposition to the direction of the court.”
See You In Court.
PS Check out "when clients cry in court". Boo hoo hoo.