12 Citizens Have More Power Than The Entire Legislature

When a citizen is asked to serve on a jury in a criminal case, he or she is able to override the legislature and decide which laws should be enforced. Think about non-violent drug crimes, gambling, insider trading and prostitution. Let’s assume that the prosecution proves her case beyond the shadow of a doubt. All the juror has to do is vote to acquit (despite the weight of the evidence and the obvious guilt of the accused) to create a mistrial. If all 12 jurors vote the same way – acquittal will result. Shortly after, law enforcement will get the point. No more arrests for the law of which the public disapproves will be made. The law effectively disappears. This is jury nullification and it occurs when the jury finds a defendant innocent simply because they disapprove of the law. It’s been around for a thousand years and its importance may be growing in America. It empowers ordinary citizens to rebel against laws they consider to be unfair, oppressive, or just plain wrong. In this encore episode, Clay Conrad joins Bob a leading Texas criminal defense attorney and author of “Jury Nullification: The Evolution of a Doctrine.” Is jury nullification anarchy or is it the purest form of democracy? Learn the power of a single citizen.