By writer Katy Khaos

Have you heard about jury nullification? It’s a way for jurors to vote ‘not guilty’ if they think the law a defendant is being charged with is unjust and it shouldn’t be a crime in the first place.  If you are asked to serve jury duty, this is a great opportunity to judge the law itself!  You can veto a bad law by refusing to convict, even if you think the person is actually guilty of said crime.   Jurors often choose to nullify laws if there is no victim or if the penalty doesn’t fit the crime.

Even though judges will never tell you of this little known right, it is still perfectly legal! Jurors cannot be punished for how they vote on verdicts.  Since only unanimous ‘guilty’ juries can convict for most federal cases, as long as one juror votes ‘not guilty’, the defendant will not be convicted and cannot be charged with the same crime in the future.

Jury nullification has been going on for hundreds of years. Northern abolitionists refused to convict slaves from fleeing their masters under violations of the Fugitive Slave Act. People commonly nullified alcohol control laws in the 1920s during Prohibition. Most recently, it has been used to combat the costly and immoral drug war being waged by the State. In 2012, a New Hampshire man was growing weed in his backyard and he openly admitted it but explained it was for personal, religious and medical use.  He was acquitted by the jury and it was a major victory for true justice.

Activists around the world are waiting to see if one juror has a conscience in the Ross Ulbrict/ Silk Road trial.  He built a deep web, anonymous website that others were using to commit (victimless) crimes such as buying and selling drugs.  Ross didn’t commit these crimes himself.  If he is found guilty, this will be a precedent setting case for the idea of transferred intent. Tech companies will then start to worry about being held responsible for the content posted on their websites and apps. Many are hoping a juror will vote not guilty and free Ross from 30+ years in prison.

The Fully Informed Jury Association has recommended…READ MORE