Nullification Essay

1163 words - 5 pages

The role of the jury has been the product of ongoing debate and controversy. Two dichotomous perspectives argue for opposing views about what the power of the jury should entail. A common perspective emphasizes the jury’s role as a “fact finder” which should “follow the law” and determine accuracy of the case being presented before the court. (Horowtiz, Willging 166) An opposing perspective concludes that the jury’s role also includes the ability to provide a referendum on the law if they view law is unjust or being applied unjustly in a process known as jury nullification. Horowitz and Willging describe jury nullification as a situation in jurors do not convict the defendant because the “strict interpretation of the law would result in an injustice or a violation of the moral conscience of the community.” (Horowtiz, Willging 166) Individuals who do not support the ability of the jury nullify a law claim that it is “one sided” and consequently only confers an advantage to the defense. (Horowtiz, Willging 166)
The jury is an integral part of the United States legal system and its existence is specified in the United States constitution under the 6th amendment. (Constitution) Various critical issues surrounding jury nullification require close examination such as the processes overall constitutionality and how the process should be applied in U.S. legal policy in regards to juror instructions. (Horowitz, Willging 166) Essentially, the issue straddles the concept of juror empowerment, asking the question what kinds of powers are appropriate to bestow upon the jury. Jury nullification should become a more substantial part of the legal process and jurors should be informed of their ability to represent the “moral conscience of the community.” (Horowitz, Williging 166)

Background and Literature Review
A key case which occurred shortly after the ratification of the Constitution provides insight into the historical precedent of the role of jury nullification. (Horowitz, Willging 167) The case entitled Georgia V. Brailsford officially recognized the ability of the jury to weigh the legitimacy of the law when considering a sentence. (Horowtiz, willging 167) Additionally, the case was presided over by the first Chief Justice, John Jay, which adds even more veracity to the ruling. (Horowitz, Willging, possibly don’t include) The ruling established the role of the jury as a vanguard to protect the citizenry from “harsh and unjust laws.” (Horotwiz, willging 167)
Horowitz and Willging write that the ability of the jury was championed because of the nature of the “agricultural community.” (Horowitz, Willging) The authors cite Howe’s suggestion that rural farmers would prefer to have been judged by their “neighbors.” (Horowitz, Willging) The issue of jury nullification was once again reviewed in the United States v. Battiste case. The opinion delivered by Justice Story articulated the point that the “jury are the judges of law, as well as the fact.”...

Find Another Essay On nullification

The Missouri Compromise vs. the Nullification Crisis

985 words - 4 pages The Missouri Compromise and the Nullification Crisis were both very noteworthy events in American history. The significance of the two not only laid in the events themselves, but also the time period in which they occurred and what they foreshadowed. In short, the Missouri Compromise was an act of Congress passed in 1820 between the two faction of United States Congress, that is, the pro-slavery faction and the anti-slavery factions. The

Andrew Jackson and the Nullification Crisis

846 words - 4 pages Andrew Jackson had led the nation from 1829 to 1837. During his presidency, there were two issues he had faced, one of them being the Nullification Crisis. The Nullification Crisis was a major issue led by John C. Calhoun, who at the time was Andrew Jackson’s vice president. Calhoun and the supporters of the nullification believed in state’s rights, and that the states could reject federal laws if they believed it to be unconstitutional. It all

Jackson vs. Calhoun and the Nullification Crisis

1437 words - 6 pages lasted until after the resolution of the Nullification Crisis. Nullification is the refusal of a state to recognize a federal law within its boundaries and deem that law unconstitutional. In this case, South Carolina, led by John C. Calhoun, refused to recognize the protective tariffs in 1828, and 1832, saying that they benefited the North and injured the South. At this point in time, the American system of government was fairly new and the

Jury Nullification and Its Effects on Black America

3566 words - 14 pages Jury Nullification and Its Effects on Black America      It is obvious that significant improvements have been made in the way that the criminal justice system deals with Blacks during the history of the United States. Blacks have not always been afforded a right to trial, not to mention a fair one. Additionally, for years, Blacks were unable to serve on juries, clearly affecting the way both Blacks and whites were tried. Much of this

Jury Nullification and Its Effects on Black America

3856 words - 15 pages -Americans ought to be punished is better made by African-Americans themselves.'1 The means by which Butler proposes for Blacks to implement these decisions is termed jury nullification. By placing the race of the defendant above the facts of the case, and thus producing either an acquittal or a hung jury, Butler hopes that Blacks will be able to keep a large portion of Black males out of prison.Although several commentators have voiced criticisms

National Tariff Policy Between 1816 and 1832

1990 words - 8 pages Part A: Plan of Investigation I will investigate the question of whether the national tariff policy between 1816 and 1832 impacted the development and acceptance of the nullification doctrine in South Carolina? I will evaluate the national tariff policy during the early 1800's and analyze how these tariffs may have impacted the acceptance and support of nullification in South Carolina. I will examine the economic conditions of South

Reaching Comprimise: An Arm Bends Inwards

1382 words - 6 pages . Though, Jackson wasn’t always successful. In 1824, he lost a presidential election to John Quincy Adams, and because of the bitter loss, Jackson’s supporters decided to sabotage Adams’ presidency by proposing an outrageous tariff on manufactured items, such as wool and textiles, which was intended to portray Adams as favoring his home region, North, over the south and west (“Nullification Crisis: Tariff of 1828”). Contradicting Jacksonians’ intension

Henry Clay, John C. Calhoun, And Daniel Webster And Their Differing Vi

595 words - 2 pages unconstitutional, and he presented this theory in his “Doctrine of Nullification”. Daniel Webster strongly disagreed with this proposal and showed this by giving powerful support to President Jackson in resisting the attempt by South Carolina to nullify the ‘tariff of abominations’, as they called it; a shipping tax passed in 1828 that they saw as unfairly favoring the industrial North. Henry Clay, the Great Compromiser, didn’t seem to be

Emerging Sectional Conflicts in the United States From the Years 1828-1840

533 words - 2 pages federal government and what powers each of them had. This started mainly in the south with the "nullification crisis." The idea of nullification was that states could veto a federal decision such as a tariff or treaty if they didn't approve of it or want to abide by it. It started when John Quincy Adams passed what South Carolina called the Tariff of Abominations just before he left office. South Carolina hated it because they said it was ruining

Andrew Jackson Essay

603 words - 2 pages appointed Roger B. Taney. He ordered Taney to remove federal money into state banks called "pet banks." This action was a violation of the Bank's charter, but Jackson claimed that the election had given him a mandate to destroy the Bank.Jackson's eagerness to defend the destiny of the republic led him to attack South Carolina's nullification controversy. In 1832, Congress passed Tariff act that raised high prices on cloth and iron. Southern opposition

The Sectionalism of the 19th Century

1330 words - 6 pages enforced certainly did not appeal to the South in any way. Although nullification was not a new idea, The Nullification Crisis beginning in 1828 was the most impactful case yet. It was a result of a tariff on imported goods that was initially arranged to protect American industries from being driven out of business by cheaper, foreign-made goods. It had such a negative impact on the South that they nicknamed the Tariff of Abominations. South Carolina

Similar Essays

Nullification Essay

1592 words - 7 pages Slavery was combated by the northern states with the use of nullification. State nullification is the act of nullifying or voiding an act from the federal government. Nullification is also a way for the states to protect their citizens from the federal government. Nullification is essentially of the people of the states or the states themselves saying no. This is a form of civil disobedience sanctioned by the state. There is a lot of talk

Jury Nullification Essay

2169 words - 9 pages Jury Nullification Jury NullificationShannon CollinsCJA/423 - Criminal Diversity in Criminal JusticeInstructor: Kenneth Bitting, M.A.October 31, 2007In this weeks project we are to recapitulate the arguments that are both in support of and opposed to race-based jury nullification. Including recent examples of race-based jury nullifications and to conclude by making a choice if we are in favor of or against race-based jury nullification and to

Jury Nullification Essay

1456 words - 6 pages Jury NullificationJury nullification is defined as the power of the individuals on the jury to judge the law itself and to refuse to convict the defendant if, in their judgment, the law is unjust. Jurors may also believe a law to be unconstitutional, unfair, discriminatory or misapplied in the particular case. (Libertocracy). For a trial to be legitimate, the jury must be informed that they have the right and duty to judge both the law and the

Jury Nullification Essay

1907 words - 8 pages Jury nullification is when a jury acquits a defendant who it believes is guilty of the crime he is charged (Hickey, 2010. p. 370). This is because the jury chose to ignore the facts of the case and the judge instructions, and based his or her decision on personal opinion. If we are going to allow jury nullification we may as well not take up the tax-payer’s money to even take it to trial. Nullification – The act of making a law null and void