Thursday, June 21, 2012

jury uses common sense and refuses to convict

Radley Balko links to a happy story about a jury with common sense and courage. Dury jury selection, the prosecutor asked the prospective jurors "...if they believed beyond a reasonable doubt that the offense was committed, would they convict?"
...50 out of 130 jurors said no, they would not convict someone even if it was proven beyond a reasonable doubt...
“They said they weren’t going to make somebody a felon and ruin their lives over less than a gram of cocaine,” Dupont said.
Jurors often don't understand that a true choice is put in front of them. They actually <i>can</i> vote 'not guilty' even when the evidence says otherwise. The court doesn't like them to know this, so the judge isn't allowed (legal experts: is "not allowed" true? that's my understanding) to tell the;, the defense cannot tell them. And nobody tells them when there is a mandatory minimum sentence that will be applied if they decide 'guilty'.

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