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NCJ Number: 170746 Find in a Library
Title: Jury in Revolt? A "Heads Up" on the Fully Informed Jury Association Coming Soon to a Courthouse in Your Area
Journal: Judges' Journal  Volume:35  Issue:3  Dated:(Summer 1996)  Pages:10-12
Author(s): F B Rodgers
Date Published: 1996
Page Count: 3
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: An organization known as the Fully Informed Jury Association (FIJA) fosters the notion of a jury's right to disregard the law and a juror's oath.
Abstract: Some television commentators describe the acquittal of O.J. Simpson in terms of jury nullification, when a jury departs from the judge's instructions on the law and acquits a defendant it believes may have been technically proven guilty. Under the nullification approach, a jury may refuse to enter a verdict. Nullification efforts are aimed at building a constituency that will disregard the importance of following the law and a judge's instructions and administer justice based on personal feelings. Because jury nullification is an organized effort, judges must be vigilant during voir dire to ascertain such influences. The FIJA supports the de facto power of juries to refuse to convict, even when the government proves its case beyond a reasonable doubt. Further, the FIJA sees the jury as a bulwark of liberty against government tyranny and advocates a wide range of criminal procedure reforms to make jurors fully informed and empowered. The FIJA's message has attracted a potent mix of tax protestors, advocates of marijuana legalization, abortion protesters, libertarians, militia members, and enemies of big government. Under the Model Code of Judicial Conduct, however, trial judges are responsible for the fair administration of justice under the law. Jury nullification infects the fairness of the adjudication process and requires a judicial response.
Main Term(s): Court procedures
Index Term(s): Jury decisionmaking; Jury instructions; Jury nullification instructions; Jury selection; Jury subornation; Trial procedures; Verdicts; Voir dire
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=170746

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