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Jury Nullification and Marijuana

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The jury nullification law has finally landed in Hampshire. Criminal lawyers and law scholars have been deliberating on the issues around and covering the intensity and cultivation of these uncommon law.  The jury nullification law gives the right jurors to declare an individual guilt even if the state has taken the effort to prove such individual guilt.  This a controversial law that allows defense counsels   in mostly criminal cases to “inform the jury of its right to judge the facts and the application of the law in relation to the facts in controversy”. Most law scholars attribute that the jury nullification law has existed in the United States of America constitution for a longer period than most have realized.  Even with the approval of this controversial law it’s rarely used and applied in the United States cultivated and high modern courtrooms.

New Hampshire will be the first state to institute such law which provides a new landscape on how criminal cases would be handled. The perceptions is that, the Judge will occasionally inform the jury of the right to exercise the “nullification” after carefully considerations of the case or in any case the defense counsel should be able to inform the jury to exercise the right the right and the duty upon deliberations of certain cases. Indeed the jury nullification could also be prerogative to the convictions of murder cases and other most serious cases.  According to the its criminal Jury Instructions guidelines of New Hampshire Bar Association indicates that possibly the judge will instruct jurors, “Even when the State has provided an argument and evidence of each and every element of a particular offense charged beyond a reasonable doubt, the jury can still find the defendant not guilty of the charges if the jury develops a conscientious feeling basically that in any case a not guilty verdict would be of fair result considering the available case. In any otherwise case, the judge does not have to inform the jury of the powers to exercise such kind of duty. Its basic that the jury nullification law be exercised by the jury with prerogative of the instructions from the judge upon best requested by the alternate defendant or upon objective considerations of the nature of the case or if a particular case warrants such kind of an action.  In particular a magazine in New Hampshire collectively called the law very controversial and ideological to the realities of the Unied States of America constitution, a fathomed thought of bringing a little bit justice to the New Hampshire statesmen and women.

Jury Nullification and Marijuana

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Different narcotics cases in the State of New Hampshire and larger New York have provided for such law. Hence the following are two cases in both states which analyses the steps and controversies that are affected by pursuing the jury nullification law. In Laconia a man by the name Douglas Darrell was cleared of all charges before him after a three year court battle under the jury nullification law. Mr. Douglas had been accused of growing marijuana at the edge of his backyard; thereby he was indicted by the Belknap County for manufacturing pot, a one count. His attorney Mark Sisti, while giving his last deliberation argued and requested the presiding charge should be able to give the brand jury a consideration for the jury nullification law. Thereby the jury was expected to ignore all the facts presented to them about the case even if they would find the evidence and facts to be true, and present a deliberated decision to acquit the defendant. In another meaning, the jury would overrule the effects of the facts and evidence presented to them if they find that the “law under which the defendant is accused is unjust, or that exigent circumstances justified the actions of the accused or (if) for any reason that appeals to be logic or passion , the jury has the power to acquit”. And in every way the laws have the right abide by the decision by the jury if presented in such kind of circumstances, (WICKHAM, 2012).

The controversies presented in the Douglas case are based on the evidence presented by the presiding Narcotics coordinator in New Hampshire. The evidence presented indicated that Huge, the Narcotics Coordinator noted a small amount of Marijuana grown in the walls of Mr. Douglas from a helicopter while flying with a Arm national guard who later said that he was the one who saw the Marijuana thereby indicating it to Huge. In his defense, attorney Sisti representing Douglas indicated that Mr. Douglas was a Rastafarian, and in a Rastafarian faith Marijuana was considered a sacramental. Also the small amount found in the field as evidence showed that Mr. Douglas intended to use the Marijuana for personal consumption but not for sale. Third, attorney Sisti indicated that there was misrepresentations of the affidavits on how the Narcotics spotted the Marijuana was reckless with intentions of flying too low on a private properrty and spotting Marijuana would guarantee for a search warranty on such haste. Then attorney Sisti presented to the presented to the judge and jury a recommendation for considerations for jury nullification. Hence after a three day deliberations, the jury acquitted the defendant citing the insufficient considerations of the State on the issue and the feeling that Mr. Douglas was not guilty.

Perhaps the most controversial case considering the jurors nullification law is the case between the United Sates versus Thomas. The Thomases were indicted to more than ten counts of trading, distributing, growing and abuse of Marijuana in the northern New York county grand jury. Hence in the jury there was a jury No.5 who it’s indicated to be black was disturbing jurors by tapping his legs and hands during the trial. The issue was reported to the judge who after seeking directions from the state to interview the jurors in private in an effort to keep the independence of the jurors and determine the character of the jury and consider a dismissal. But after insistence from the defendants the jury retained hi seat. But upon completion of the case, the jury deliberations gave no fruit after some time. The jurors again complained that jury No. 5 was abetting the deliberation process and declaring the defendants not guilty on the basis that they had the right to grow and trade Marijuana on the basis of social and economical reasons. He was arguing that economical reasons are ones which forced the defendants to engage in narcotics trade hence they should be cleared without considering the law due process. The jury was later dismissed by the judge pursuant to Rule 23 (b) and replaced with an alternate jury pursuant to Rule 24(c). The rules indicated that in any case a jury is abetting the legal just methods of deliberations and dragging the deliberations, the judge had the power to dismiss the jury and allow the remaining 11 jurors to deliberate and present a judgment. The case was appealed when the defendants were found guilty on the basis of dismissal of the jury. The Supreme Court found the case to have loopholes in the dismissal of the jury and directed for a fresh trial.

The two Marijuana cases present the jury nullification interests and captions. The first case shows the implementation of the jury nullification to acquit an individual who grew Marijuana for personal reasons and for faith. Hence the jury nullification law is significant to protection of the rights of individual and a just process which was earlier curtailed by the legal process.

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