According to this article, a New Hampshire jury refused to convict a man for growing marijuana in his back yard.  Why is this important?  Citizens who serve as jurors have the right to acquit a defendant for any reason, even if the reason is that the law that the defendant allegedly broke is unjust.  They can acquit if they believe the enforcement of the law in a particular circumstance would be unjust.  A juror is not required to “check their conscience at the door.”

The problem arises in many cases (I tend to focus on Georgia), in that Judges refuse to let the Jurors know their rights.  Judges refuse to instruct the Jurors on their ability to render a verdict based on their belief that a particular law or its enforcement would not be reasonable.  Further, if an attorney attempts to educate the jury in this regard, the attorney may be held in contempt and jailed.

This case in New Hampshire is one more step in the right direction, but there is still a long way to go.  If you want to educate yourself about jury nullification, or look at how your particular State handles the issue, more information is available at the Fully Informed Jury Association.

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