AS A JUROR, you have the power to reject the application of law and the evidence and decide a case on your own conscience.
The jury's purpose has always been to assess whether a law has been brokenand whether the law itself has been justly applied – that is: should the case havebeen brought to court, when there is no victim, no loss and no danger to other people or society?
THE QUESTION TO BE ASKED IS:
DOES THIS PROSECUTION REFLECT THE PURPOSE OF THE LAW?
Where a jury deliberately rejects the evidence or refuses to apply the law either because the jury wants to send a message about a social issue or because the result dictated by the law is against the juror’s sense of justice or morality – this is called jury nullification.
YOU THE JUROR HAVE THE RIGHT TO ACQUIT SOMEONE ON THE GROUNDS THAT THE APPLICATION OF LAW IS WRONG IN A PARTICULAR CASE, OR EVEN THAT THE LAW ITSELF IS WRONG.
When to nullify:
Consider a prosecution under the Misuse of Drugs Act, where a person has cultivated of cannabis in private, for their own use only. There may be no suggestion of supply to others – no other people were involved, no profit intended.
We should ask: was this law introduced to punish people who grow or use a plant to their benefit, when they do no harm at all to other people and are no danger to society?
Of course not – it was meant to reduce damage from drugs misuse!
Then maybe such a prosecution is a mis-application of the law and good reason to return a verdict of NOT GUILTY, whatever the judges and barristers say. It is a juror’s right.