Letters to the Editor

From the week of January 8, 2004

Today, almost no one even knows about jury nullification. When I present the subject, people are almost always skeptical: If a juror can acquit just because he does not like a particular law, this can only result in anarchy! Or, We cannot have people making up laws as they go along! I respond that jurors exercising their rights are not making up new laws, but acting as a line of defense against bad laws. An unrestrained government -- i.e., one that makes whatever laws it willy-nilly wants whenever it willy-nilly wants to -- is far more dangerous than an educated populace that uses every available tool to restrain that government.

Far from being a crackpot "theory," jury nullification is a cornerstone of constitutional government and a truly free society.

Douglas F. Newman
Aurora

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