Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Misguided pro-Jury Nullification op-ed in the New York Times

Here. Like many things associated with marijuana legalization, the argument that jury nullification,like the initiative process, is always peachy keen is half baked. Jury nullification is the idea that juries should be free to not follow the law and instead not convict someone of a crime if they feel that the law that applies is unjust. While people like think of their pet causes as being championed by nullification, the fact is that if you open up the nullification door it will be used for other people's pet causes as well, ones that you don't agree with. The most salient paragraph in the op-ed, the one that nullifies the rest of it, is this:

"There have been unfortunate instances of nullification. Racist juries in the South, for example, refused to convict people who committed violent acts against civil-rights activists, and nullification has been used in cases involving the use of excessive force by the police. But nullification is like any other democratic power; some people may try to misuse it, but that does not mean it should be taken away from everyone else."

Of course, yes, I mean, if a jury in Kansas refuses to convict a person of killing an abortion provider because they object to abortion, it's just be a misuse of a kind and gentle power, not something that should harsh other people's mellow, right?

2 comments:

True anti-racist said...

I love the fact that u claim anti-racist in your headline... I guess anyone can claim any term they wish. You didn't even bother try to fit it into a sentence.. Irony of ironies - white people so blind to their destruction and privilege - oh and the idea of Anericans using disease to kill a population?! How preposterous!! (a dose of small pox anyone?, Syphillis in Tuskeggee anybody?! Remember those lil minor facts of history?!)

John Madziarczyk said...

Of course, because I disagree with decolonize I must be racist. Thanks for the thought.