From: firstname.lastname@example.org (George Herbert)
Subject: Re: effects of launch costs (was Re: Returning to the Moon)
Date: 22 Sep 1999 00:26:54 -0700
Michael P. Walsh <email@example.com> wrote:
>> > No, it was an unfair trial. He wasn't allowed to cross-examine
>> > the witnesses. He wasn't allowed to have the jury hear his
>> > defense. They were not allowed to judge both the law and the
>> > facts.
>One key point is indicated by your remark:
>"He wasn't allowed to have the jury hear his
> defense. They were not allowed to judge both the law and the
>I will quote instructions from a California judge in a California
>case to a jury I served on.
>The jury is to determine the facts of the case and not the law.
>You will accept the instructions of the judge on what constitutes
>the law. [...]
As a general note, there is case law, constitutional convention debate,
and supreme court decision precedent that the jury can, in fact,
decide on the law and not just on fact in the US justice system.
This is exactly and precisely the concept of "jury nullification",
which is muchly disliked by prosecutors and judges, as it is
seen as taking over their authority, but is nonetheless well
established as a jury's perogative.
You are well advised to admit you believe in it if questioned
about it prior to trial, as one upset judge jailed a juror for
contempt who nullified a verdict in that manner after stating she
didn't believe it was something she'd do (not mentioning she was
a nullification rights activist) during the jury pool screening.
None of this is at all relevant to sci.space.* as far as I can
-george william herbert