Jury Nullification

Jury Nullification
Paula Hess, Carriss Austin, Natasha Porter, Sarah Wyatt, LaToya Baskerville
CKA 344/Cultural Diversity in Criminal Justice
December 19, 2011
Stephen Humphries

Jury Nullification
Race-based jury nullification is a controversial topic. The arguments both for and against the practice are enough to get one thinking about the entire process. Recent history has given us some interesting examples of how race-based jury nullification can affect the outcome of a criminal trial. Based upon all information presented, choosing a position about race-based jury nullification is difficult.
What is Jury Nullification?
According to Multiculturalism in the Criminal Justice System, jury nullification allows juries to acquit a defendant even if the facts and evidence of the case say they should do otherwise (MacNamara & Burns, 2009, p 265). However, this brings about the question of whether black juries should acquit other blacks because of the perception of blacks being mistreated by the criminal justice system.
In Defense of Race-based Jury Nullification
Article-based Defense
Jury nullification occurs when a jury comes to a verdict of not guilty even when it is contrary to the facts that point to a different and more obvious guilty. Race-based jury nullifications occur when the jury is compromised of citizens of mostly one particular race who comes to the same type of verdict, but seemingly more in favor of the defendant who is of the same race as the majority of the jurors. The first example shows that there are many clear occurrences of this kind of legal outcome.   As stated in the U.S. News & World Report (Leo, 1995), “Enormous injustices were inflicted on blacks over the years, and not just in the south, where blacks accused of attacking whites were almost automatically convicted. But as the system has changed, with more black jurors showing up, a different kind of racial surprise appeared.”  
This publication makes a defining note of...