Do juries have to follow the law?

Asked by: Trudie Mosciski DDS  |  Last update: February 19, 2022
Score: 4.9/5 (14 votes)

Juries Have the Power to Ignore the Law
(In civil cases, juries may be asked to answer specific questions about their conclusions.) A criminal case usually results in only one of two verdicts: Guilty or not guilty.

Can jurors refuse to convict?

Some juries have also refused to convict due to their own prejudices in favor of the defendant. ... Jurors cannot be punished for reaching a "wrong" decision (such as acquitting a defendant despite their guilt being proven beyond a reasonable doubt).

Why do jurors have the right to nullify the law?

Jury nullification occurs when a jury returns a verdict of "Not Guilty" despite its belief that the defendant is guilty of the violation charged. The jury in effect nullifies a law that it believes is either immoral or wrongly applied to the defendant whose fate they are charged with deciding.

Can juries nullify?

In its strictest sense, jury nullification occurs when a jury returns a Not Guilty verdict even though jurors believe beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant has broken the law.

What happens if juror disagrees?

If the jury cannot agree on a verdict on one or more counts, the court may declare a mistrial on those counts. A hung jury does not imply either the defendant's guilt or innocence. The government may retry any defendant on any count on which the jury could not agree."

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32 related questions found

What is black direction?

Broader applications. In Australian law, a "Black direction" is a direction by a judge to a jury to reconsider the votes of a small number of jury members. In Queensland, a judge may make a "Black direction" to a jury.

What happens if a jury is hung twice?

A mistrial is caused by en event during the trial that makes it impossible for the jury to fairly reach a verdict. If the judge declares a mistrial the case halts, the jury is dismissed and the parties start all over again with a fresh jury (or they may decide to settle the case without the need for another trial).

Can a judge overrule a jury us?

In any trial the judge is the ultimate decision maker and has the power to overturn a jury verdict if there is insufficient evidence to support that verdict or if the decision granted inadequate compensatory damages.

Was the OJ trial jury nullification?

In two recent high-profile cases, the criminal trial of O.J. Simp- son for the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman' and the criminal trial of police officers Stacey Koon and Laurence Powell for the beating of motorist Rodney King,' many in the press and public labelled these verdicts as jury nullification.

Should juries be informed about jury nullification?

​ For the most part, the answer is no. You should NOT discuss jury nullification with your fellow jurors. ... However, courts have also decided that they can remove jurors for considering their option to conscientiously acquit.

Can jurors vote their conscience?

As a juror, you have the right to vote your conscience, even if it means setting aside the law to conscientiously acquit someone who has technically broken the law. You cannot legally be punished for or required to change your verdict. In fact, there is no requirement for jurors to deliver a verdict.

Can a jury decide constitutionality of laws?

A jury is a group of people empowered to make findings of fact. During a court trial, the jury decides the truth of disputed facts while the judge decides the rules of law, including whether particular evidence will be presented to the jury.

What is nullification law?

Nullification, in United States constitutional history, is a legal theory that a state has the right to nullify, or invalidate, any federal laws which that state has deemed unconstitutional with respect to the United States Constitution (as opposed to the state's own constitution).

Does the judge or jury make the verdict?

In federal court, the jury decides the verdict. It's the judge's job to act as referee, ruling on issues of law before and during the trial. Federal judges keep up to date on many laws and rules such as: Federal Laws.

What is it called when a jury meets?

Deliberations: The name for the discussions held by the jury to decide the outcome of a case. Evidence: Any type of proof legally presented during trial through witnesses, records or exhibits. Felony: A serious crime carrying a penalty of more than a year in prison.

Why did the gloves not fit O.J. Simpson?

The glove was covered in blood. According to the prosecution, that blood seeped into the fibers of the leather and shrunk it, thus explaining why Simpson's hand did not fit inside. ... Marcia Clark famously opposed using the gloves at all. “I did not want [Simpson] to try on the evidence gloves.

How did OJ jurors vote?

The jurors had a tough time of it during the trial, being sequestered for eight and a half months and under intense media scrutiny. 10 were dismissed from their role by presiding Judge Lance Ito with the final 12 consisting 10 women and two men of different races—10 out of 12 voted to acquit Simpson.

What does deadlocked mean in a trial?

When there are insufficient jurors voting one way or the other to deliver either a guilty or not guilty verdict, the jury is known as a “hung jury” or it might be said that jurors are “deadlocked”. ... If a verdict still cannot be delivered, at some point the judge will declare a mistrial due to the hung jury.

Does the judge have the final say?

The short answer is yes, under some circumstances, a judge can set aside a jury's guilty verdict in a criminal case and enter a judgement of not guilty.

What is a mistrial?

A mistrial occurs when 1) a jury is unable to reach a verdict and there must be a new trial with a new jury; 2) there is a serious procedural error or misconduct that would result in an unfair trial, and the judge adjourns the case without a decision on the merits and awards a new trial. See, e.g. Williamson v.

Can a judge do anything?

The short answer is yes - within the context of the law. That is to say the judge knows how to use the law to allow him to do what he or she wants to. For example: In criminal court, a first-time offender may have committed a criminal act that the statue mandates a period of incarceration.

What is a mistrial without prejudice?

In the United States, if there is a mistrial, or the case is overturned on appeal, generally this is without prejudice and (in the case of a decision overturned on appeal) either all of the case is retried, or, if not all of the case is overturned, the parts that were overturned, such as a sentencing hearing, are ...

Can you be tried after a mistrial?

After a mistrial, the court may bring an individual back to trial later or the prosecution may choose to drop all charges. ... An individual can be tried for the same crime if the original court case did not result in a valid conclusion. This means the court can schedule another trial in the near future.

Do all jurors have to agree?

Jurors are NOT required to deliver a verdict for all, some, or any charge at all that they are asked to consider. When jurors report to the judge that they cannot agree in sufficient number to deliver a verdict, the jury is said to be “deadlocked” or a “hung jury”.

Do Australian juries have to be unanimous?

The finding of guilty or not guilty by a jury requires a unanimous verdict. That is, all 12 jurors must be in agreement. All 12 members of the jury had to have reached the same conclusion concerning the accused's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt before a conviction could be returned.