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Jury Nullification Works (Kind Of) In Medical Marijuana Case

Posted on  August 29, 2012 by  News Admin

  Retrial Begins August 28 By Sharon Letts Two years, twenty thousand dollars, and one hung jury later, Orange County "Pro 215" collective Executive Director Jason Andrews, heads back to court August 28 with a retrial on State (Yes, State, not Federal) charges for "Sales and Trafficking of Marijuana" in the medically legal State of California. Jury Nullification 101 The trial is a lesson in Jury Nullification, as defined by Merriam Webster as "The acquitting of a defendant by a jury in disregard of the judge's instructions and contrary to the jury's findings of fact." In other words, if one juror disagrees with the evidence before them, they can render a "not guilty," rendering the entire proceedings a hung jury, with subsequent acquittal. This process can be traced to early colonial legal matters from 1735 and the case of John Peter Zenger's trial for seditious libel, as stated: [Juries] have the right beyond all dispute to determine both the law and the facts, and where they do not doubt of the law, they ought to do so. This of leaving it to the judgment of the Court whether the words are libelous or not in effect renders juries useless (to say no worse) in many cases. The practice was due to the colonist need for their own laws, in disagreement with the often brutal mandates brought down by British rule an ocean away. That said, it works well within the confines of State vs. Federal laws, especially concerning Cannabis as...