Opinion » Letters

Overturn a bad verdict




If ever a court case was in need of jury nullification, the trial of Charles Lynch was a good example (Re: “Lynch guilty on all charges,” Aug. 7, 2008). The jury could have acquitted, even if the defendant had violated a literal interpretation of the law. This concept was summarized by our second president, John Adams, who stated, “It is not only [the juror’s] right, but his duty ... to find the verdict according to his own best understanding, judgment, and conscience, though in direct opposition to the direction of the court.” This approach can be used if the laws are felt by the jury to be misapplied, inappropriate or, as in this case, contradictory. Most judges do not want jurors to be aware of this option. For more information see the Web site of the Fully Informed Jury Association, www.fija.org.

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