Jury nullification is a weapon that most American citizens don’t know they have. During a jury trial, a jury can find the defendant guilty, not guilty, or they can nullify the entire trial if they think the punishment is unfair. This is exactly what happened recently in New Hampshire, where a Rastafarian man was facing marijuana charges. Per the Huffington Post:
A New Hampshire Rastafarian facing felony marijuana cultivation charges was declared not guilty on Friday because a jury believed that punishing him for the offense would be unjust.
59-year-old Doug Darrell was arrested in 2009, after a National Guard helicopter flying over his home found he was growing 15 marijuana plants in his backyard, according to WNTK. At Darrell’s trial, PRWEB reports, jurors nullified the case against him.
Prior to the trial, Judge James O’Neill instructed the jury of their right to jury nullification. After the jury heard arguments from both sides, they did just that. I think it should be mandatory in every marijuana case in every court in America that jurors be informed of their right to jury nullification. If average citizens knew that they didn’t have to convict someone for marijuana, I’d imagine they wouldn’t more times than they would. If you are serving on a jury for a marijuana related case, make sure to exercise your right and nullify the case!