Fully Informed Jurors Need to Know of Jury Nullification

By [post_author] –

September 5th 2008 

Jury Rights Day

September 5, 2008 marked the 338th anniversary of when jurors
refused to convict William Penn of violating England’s Conventicle
Acts, despite clear evidence that he acted illegally by preaching a
Quaker sermon. In refusing to convict Penn, the jurors ignored what
they knew to be an unjust law. This is known as jury nullification.

By refusing to enforce what they knew was an unjust law, the Penn
jurors served justice, and provided a basis for our First Amendment
rights to freedom of speech, religion, and peaceable assembly. For
refusing to find Penn guilty, the judge sent four of Penn’s jurors to
prison. Their exoneration fixed forever the English and American
doctrine that jurors have the responsibility to decide both matters of
law and fact in any case before them. Individual jurors are last line of
defense for people who are prosecuted under bad laws by overzealous
prosecutors and court officials.

The Founders intended that jurors would use their rights and
responsibilities to judge the law and the facts in every trial, and do
justice. The Sixth and Seventh Amendments were included in the Bill of
Rights to guarantee that every person brought to trial has Juror

Juror nullification is integral to our judicial system. It is one of
the “checks and balances” of justice required by a free society. An
individual juror has the authority to stop an unjust prosecution by
refusing to convict. No reason for the verdict is required. Most Grand
and Petit Jurors do not know about their authority. This authority must
be restored to protect us.

Our Founders embraced juror nullification as necessary to a free
society. Nullification is the test that all laws must pass. Juror
nullification has been used by jurors throughout our history to
“nullify” unpopular and unjust laws, ranging from laws against witches,
publishing the truth, free speech, religion, hiding slaves, and

The Fully Informed Jury Association (FIJA)
is dedicated to educating all Americans about the authority of the
Juror. FIJA publishes and distributes educational material but depends
upon grassroots activists to inform jurors of their rights and to
undertake state-level lobbying or ballot-issue efforts.

“Fully Informed Jurors Need to Know of Jury Nullification” by Iloilo Marguerite Jones

Iloilo Marguerite Jones, Executive Director

Michael Shaw and Roy Avila of Freedom Advocates interviewed Iloilo
Jones of the “Fully Informed Jury Association” on the KSCO Perspectives
radio show (1/10/2007). Find this show by going to Audio/Video – Radio
Shows and find A Juror’s Responsibility, or copy the following internet address: http://www.freedomadvocates.org/option,com_docman/task,doc_download/gid,117/Itemid,20/


This article contains links to outside sources not controlled by Freedom Advocates and therefore are subject to change.


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