About | HeinOnline Law Journal Library | HeinOnline Law Journal Library | HeinOnline

22 J. Psychiatry & L. 165 (1994)
Jury Nullification

handle is hein.journals/jpsych22 and id is 173 raw text is: The Journal of Psychiatry & Law/Spring 1994

Jury nullification
As we know, juries sometimes return verdicts contrary to law.
After all, they do not have to give a reason for their decision.
Returning a verdict contrary to law is known as jury nullifi-
cation. It occurs when the jury believes the defendant's con-
duct should not constitute a crime (although it does), or that
the defendant was morally (but not legally) justified in violat-
ing the law; or the jury may simply feel compassion for the
In the days preceding a trial in Michigan on assisted suicide,
Jack Kevorkian's lawyer, Geoffrey Fieger, said in statements
to the media that he would urge the jury to disregard the law.
Kevorkian was charged with violating the state's ban on
assisted suicide, a ban he claims is improper and immoral.
Foreseeing this argument, the prosecutor, by pretrial motion,
prevailed upon the trial judge to enter an order barring any
mention of nullification during the trial. However, pretrial
statements on nullification were reported extensively in the
The question of jury nullification has come up in a number of
much-publicized trials. Perhaps the most famous example
arose during the colonial era, when John Peter Zenger, a New

© 1994 by Federal Legal Publications, Inc.

What Is HeinOnline?

HeinOnline is a subscription-based resource containing thousands of academic and legal journals from inception; complete coverage of government documents such as U.S. Statutes at Large, U.S. Code, Federal Register, Code of Federal Regulations, U.S. Reports, and much more. Documents are image-based, fully searchable PDFs with the authority of print combined with the accessibility of a user-friendly and powerful database. For more information, request a quote or trial for your organization below.

Short-term subscription options include 24 hours, 48 hours, or 1 week to HeinOnline.

Contact us for annual subscription options:

Already a HeinOnline Subscriber?

profiles profiles most