Jury Nullification Paper
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Jury nullification is “a jury’s knowing and deliberate rejection of the evidence or refusal to apply the law either because the jury wants to send a message about some social issue that is larger than the case itself or because the result dictated by law is contrary to the jury’s sense of justice, morality, or fairness” (Keneally, 2010, p. 942). Nowadays ethnicity does not influence courtroom proceedings and judicial practices. Mainly is money that influences such. On the flipside, the jury has to be diverse so that the decision is unbiased. Money moves the decisions of how trials go. If you have a poor African American on a murder trial, given, if it goes that far, most of the time he would be found guilty even if it were in self-defense. If the defendant were a wealthy white person, the jury would find a way of how it was justified, as it was in the case of State of Florida v. George Zimmerman. He was found not guilty under the stand your ground law. It can be argued that ethnicity does not matter, as well as, ethnicity does matter, when it comes to court proceeding. Arguably, if the State of Florida v. George Zimmerman case was the other way around, State of Florida v. Trayvon Martin, Trayvon Martin would be facing prison time. This is the problem with the courts.
I think that the only way to solve this is to have the jurors, and judged blindfolded during cases, this way they couldn’t see what race the defendant is and could possible make it a fair trial, or simply never have the parties present in front of judges or jurors. I believe that if the State of Florida v. George Zimmerman case was done this way, George Zimmerman would have served some time in prison, how is it that this person can get away with murder, when another person in the same situation cannot just because of his or her race. When it comes to diversity in a court room, I firmly believe in a trial in a jury of your peers. “The phrase dates back to the signing of the Magna Carta in England. At that point, the provision ensured that members of the nobility were tried by a jury comprised of fellow nobles, rather than being judged by the king. Now, however, “a jury of peers” more accurately means “a jury of fellow citizens.”” (“Jury of peers,” 2014, para. 2).
A jury of people in the same situation, or type of lifestyle or economic stage would be a better jury, for the defendant and just any ordinary “Joe Smith” would be helpful for the prosecutor. Another way jury nullification by race could be addressed is to get rid of the juror and just answer these questions was a crime committed, what was the crime, who did it, were there any witnesses, any evidence? Just going by this if it was murder, robbery, grand theft, assault, etc. No matter the outcome at the end of the day, a crime is a crime and the offender has to pay for his wrongdoings. Personally, I think that jury nullifications should not be allowed, if a person committed a crime they should be punished for it. Why should someone get away with committing a crime just because they have money? If juries would get tougher on crime, the percentage of recidivism would probably drop, and who knows it might end for all we know. New methods or systems should be tried out in studies to see how they work, and if they do work, figure out how to make it work in an actual court of law.
Keneally, J. M. (2010). Jury nullification, race, and the wire. Retrieved from http://www.nylslawreview.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/16/2013/11/55-4.Keneally.James-M.pdf What is a jury of peers? (2014). Retrieved from http://criminal.findlaw.com/criminal-procedure/what-is-a-jury-of-peers.html