Jurors Need to Take the Law into their Own Hands
The Washington Post
April 5, 2016

Justice Roundtable partner Prof. Paul Butler writes about his experiences as a former prosecutor:

“I learned about jury nullification while serving as a prosecutor in the District in the 1990s. As a rookie, I was warned that in nonviolent drug cases, it would be tough to get a conviction, no matter how strong my evidence was. The experienced prosecutors explained that the African American jurors ‘didn’t want to send another [B]lack man to jail.’

“As I tried cases, I gained enormous respect for the seriousness with which jurors approached their work. The jurors were often elderly African Americans who had moved to D.C. to escape the Jim Crow South, and they were honored to serve on a jury because they came from places where blacks didn’t have that privilege. These jurors had no problem convicting anyone of a violent offense, if the government proved its case.”

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