82 Va. L. Rev. 253 (1996)
Rethinking Jury Nullification; Leipold, Andrew D.

handle is hein.journals/valr82 and id is 271 raw text is: RETHINKING JURY NULLIFICATION
Andrew D. Leipold*
INTRODUCTION ................................. 253
I. THE SCOPE AND COSTS OF JURY NULLIFICATION      ..... 259
A. The Unavailability of Error-Correcting Devices ... 260
1. Leaving Mistakes in Place ............... 260
2. Placing the Blame ................... 263
a. Judgments of Conviction  ............ 264
b. Appeals of Acquittals  .............. 267
B.  Other Costs  .........................             276
1. No Special Verdicts ................... 276
2. Tolerance of Inconsistent Verdicts ......... 278
3. Discouraging Guilty Pleas  ............. 281
4. Skewed Judicial Rulings ................ 282
II. THE NECESSITY AND DESIRABILITY OF NULLIFICATION     . 283
A. Is There a Constitutional Right to Nullify? ...... 284
B. The Desirability ....................... 296
III. CAGING THE DOCTRINE   .................... 311
A. Nullification as an Affirmative Defense  ........ 312
B. Making Error-Correcting Devices Available ...... 317
1. Changes in Trial Practice ............... 317
2. Preventing Illegal Nullification  ......... 321
IV. CONCLUSION    .......................... 323
INTRODUCTION
URY nullification is one of the most potent forces in the criminal
law. Nullification occurs when the defendant's guilt is clear
beyond a reasonable doubt, but the jury, based on its own sense of
justice or fairness, decides to acquit.1 The nullification doctrine
* Assistant Professor, University of Illinois College of Law. My thanks to Wayne
LaFave, Eric Freyfogle, Donald Dripps, Kit Kinports, Rodger Heaton, and Yale Kamisar
for their thoughtful comments on drafts of this Article. My thanks also to Carrie May, M.
Daniel Heftier, and Leona Lewis for their invaluable help.
See Jack B. Weinstein, Considering Jury Nullification: When May and Should a Jury
Reject the Law to Do Justice?, 30 Am. Crim. L. Rev. 239, 239 (1993). The critical feature
of nullification is the jurors' decision to acquit even though they believe the defendant com-

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