Archive for the ‘jury rights’ Tag

Police should have acted on confession – sort of   Leave a comment

Police should have acted on confession – Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Letters To Editor.

Mr. Vent Palmer is no doubt a relative of Eugene Vent, one of the Fairbanks Four. I agree with him that the police should have looked into the “confession” a bit quicker than they did, but let’s think about this a moment.

First, Mr. Holmes is a black man, so that word “racism” is ridiculous. The Fairbanks Four are Native. If the confessor had been white, do we think the police would have jumped more quickly to the bait?

Second, the Fairbanks Four were convicted in three different trials by three different juries. Do you really expect us to believe that out of 36 individual jurors hearing three sets of evidence that not one of them ever said “Hey, this is a crap case” and voted to hang the jury?

Third, and I’ve said this before — Mr. Holmes is serving a double life sentence already. He’s got nothing to lose by confessing to this. What does he have to gain? There’s big money out there for anyone who can get the Four freed. Mr. Holmes himself won’t benefit, but I understand he’s a baby daddy and he’s got a mom and ….

That’s why the police shrugged.

-Prosecutor Nullification vs. Jury Nullification   Leave a comment

The next time someone speaks up against jury nullification, ask their position on the FAR MORE COMMON prosecutor nullification.

via -Prosecutor Nullification vs. Jury Nullification.

The prosecutor is employed by the state. In Alaska, the judge is an appointed official subject to decadal voter retention — employed by the state. In many cases, the attorney is a public defender — employed by the state. In a trial, the only people who are not taking a paycheck from the same outfit that is prosecuted the defendant is the jury.

But the fact that most cases go to sentencing without ever being heard by a jury should concern us even more than that. An entire system conspires against the accused. We may think the public wants these laws that make certain activities criminal because our elected representatives enact the legislation, but that is not necessarily the case. If they knew that some of these laws would put their kids in jail for simple things like — for example — deciding to sleep in their car rather than drive home drunk — would they be that in favor of the law? But there’s no way to say it’s a bad law. Once it’s been enacted, good luck changing it, even if you know about it — until you get to the jury room and then you hold the power to nullify the law … assuming the case ever got to you.

Jury nullification bill to get hearing – Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Politics   Leave a comment

Jury nullification bill to get hearing – Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Politics.

Alaska State Representative Tammy Wilson (from North Pole, which is next door to Fairbanks) specializes in tilting at windmills. She deserves kudos for trying at least, though this begs the question — with the long history of jury nullification that can be found in the Founders’ writings and in Supreme Court cases as well as English common law, why should this law be necessary? I’m not saying it’s not. The current jury constraints are a fairly recent abridgement of liberty that it is, unfortunately, necessary to address.

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