Legal Aspects of Criminal Justice System
Jury nullification is basically the situation wherein a certain guilty person was given the judgment “not guilty” by the set of jurors or the jury itself when that person is believed to be guilty of the crime he or she is accused of. The Jury tends to play an immoral role against his or her job which is to give justified verdict to a certain crime and thus apply an altered decision into the accused.
An example of a jury nullified case is the famous case during the year 1735.
This case is the trial case of John Peter Zenger charged by the former Governor of the New York Colony, William Cosby. In this case, the verdict given by the Jury to Zenger is a “not guilty verdict” wherein all the facts where given that Zenger did all the crime which he is accused of (Institute, 1992).
Another case is the case of William Pen wherein he as the accused was acquitted by the set of juries. This happened in the year 1670 in London; his case was Preaching Quakerism. During this period four from the twelve chosen jurors made a non-guilty verdict which led them to spend time in prison and pay the damages they created but before they get into imprisonment, one of the judges made his plea and was able to nullify the unjust law (Institute, 1992).
In the negative side of the defendant, his rights were violated because the sixth amendment says that “a defendant should not be deprived and even oppressed from his legal concerns” (FindLaw, 2008). When jury nullification occurs the defendant will be deprived from knowing what’s really happening in the court wherein the case holds his/her right to freedom. The nullification of the Jury to the case could also affect the Judge final decision about the defendant if he or she will be acquitted. Thus, the judge final judgment could henceforth be negative for the accused or the defendant because the judge may think that the defendant just influenced the Juries who voted for the accused person’s acquaintance.
FindLaw. (2008). Right to a Speedy and Public Trial [Electronic Version]. Retrieved January 16 from http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data/constitution/amendment06/02.html.