The power of III

Summum ius summa iniuria--More law, less justice

07 March 2011

Prosecutor in Barry Bonds trial wants jury nullification arguments barred

Another prosecution motion concerns the centuries-old concept of jury nullification.

Jury nullification occurs when jurors, despite the law and the evidence, acquit a criminal defendant, either because they believe the law is unjust or because they believe it is being used in an unjust way.

The doctrine governing federal courts in California [sic] is that while jurors can never be punished for a verdict, they can’t be told about their power to nullify and a trial judge must guard against any defense arguments that could lead to nullification.  

Prosecutors want Illston to prevent Bonds’ attorneys from taking a back-door route to jury nullification by barring them from asking questions of witnesses or presenting evidence that could indirectly lead to such a verdict.

“All jury nullification arguments should be prohibited, whatever incarnation they take,” prosecutors wrote.

Read more at the San Francisco Examiner: here

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