Pubdate: Wed, 13 Aug 2008
Source: New Times (San Luis Obispo, CA)
Copyright: 2008 New Times
Author: Ken Shamordola


If ever a court case was in need of jury nullification, the trial of 
Charles Lynch was a good example (Re: "Lynch guilty on all charges," 
Aug. 7, 2008). The jury could have acquitted, even if the defendant 
had violated a literal interpretation of the law. This concept was 
summarized by our second president, John Adams, who stated, "It is 
not only [the juror's] right, but his duty ... to find the verdict 
according to his own best understanding, judgment, and conscience, 
though in direct opposition to the direction of the court." This 
approach can be used if the laws are felt by the jury to be 
misapplied, inappropriate or, as in this case, contradictory. Most 
judges do not want jurors to be aware of this option. For more 
information see the Web site of the Fully Informed Jury Association,

Ken Shamordola

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