Jury Nullification And Its Effects On Black America



It is obvious that significant improvements have been made in the way
that the criminal justice system deals with Blacks during the history of the
United States. Blacks have not always been afforded a right to trial, not to
mention a fair one. Additionally, for years, Blacks were unable to serve on
juries, clearly affecting the way both Blacks and whites were tried. Much of
this improvement has been achieved through various court decisions, and other
improvements have been made through federal and state legislatures. Despite
these facts, the development of the legal system with regard to race seems to
have become stagnant.
Few in this country would argue with the fact that the United ...

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articles and books have been published devising means
by which to reduce variance within the system, the most recent, and probably
most contentious, is that of Paul Butler, Associate Professor of Law, George
Washington University Law School, and former Special Assistant United States
Attorney in the District of Columbia. Butler's thesis, published in an article
in the Yale Law Journal, is that "for pragmatic and political reasons, the black
community is better off when some nonviolent lawbreakers remain in the community
rather than go to prison. The decision as to what kind of conduct by African-
Americans ought to be punished is better made by African-Americans themselves."1
The means by which Butler proposes for Blacks to implement these decisions is
termed jury nullification. By placing the race of the defendant above the facts
of the case, and thus producing either an acquittal or a hung jury, Butler hopes
that Blacks will be able to keep a large portion of Black males ...

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discrimination in the justice
system because specific cases do not necessarily entail widespread
discrimination. However, Butler does cite past and contemporary administration
of the death penalty, disparities between punishments for white-collar crimes
and punishments for other crimes, more severe penalties for crack cocaine users
than for powder cocaine users, and the high rate of incarceration of African-
American men.2 All arguments regarding Butler's thesis must be framed within
the context of these problems, if not directly addressing them.
Although Butler lists it last, he does note that the problem of high
incarceration rates among Black males is the one noted most frequently. ...

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Jury Nullification And Its Effects On Black America. (2008, January 8). Retrieved January 21, 2018, from http://www.essayworld.com/essays/Jury-Nullification-Its-Effects-Black-America/77148
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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 1/8/2008 11:44:26 AM
Category: Legal Issues
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 3832
Pages: 14

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