When New Hampshire Governor John Lynch signed HB 146 into law on June 18, the Granite State became the first in the nation to enact a measure explicitly recognizing and protecting the indispensable right of jury nullification.
New Hampshire’s jury nullification law reads, in relevant part: “In all criminal proceedings the court shall permit the defense to inform the jury of its right to judge the facts and the application of the law in relation to the facts in controversy.”
There is nothing novel about the principle and practice of jury nullification, which dictates that citizen juries have the right and authority to rule both on the facts of a case, and the validity of a given law. This is widely recognized in judicial precedents in both American history and in Anglo-Saxon common law dating back to the Magna Carta (or earlier). At the time of the American founding it was well and widely understood that the power of citizen juries – both grand and petit – was plenary, and that their chief function was to force the government to prove its case against a defendant – and the validity of the law in question.
In contemporary America, however, trial by jury has been all but abolished in practice. Reviewing recent Supreme Court rulings, legal commentator Adam Liptak of the New York Times observes that in its just-completed term, the High Court “has turned its attention away from criminal trials, which are vanishingly rare, and toward the real world of criminal justice, in which plea bargains are the norm and harsh sentences commonplace.” (Emphasis added.)
The fact that the right to a trial by a jury of one’s peers, which is supposedly sacrosanct, has become all but extinct illustrates the extent to which the U.S. “justice” system has become Sovietized.
After the Bolsheviks seized power in 1917, the jury system – which had been established under Czar Alexander II in 1864 – was abolished and replaced with “People’s Courts” composed of a judge and a panel of two to six Party-appointed “assessors” who heard all of the evidence and decided all questions of both fact and law. The assessors “became known as `nodders’ for simply nodding in agreement with the judge,” wrote federal Judge John C. Coughenour in an article published by the Seattle University Law Review. “People’s assessors virtually always agreed with judges; acquittals were virtually nonexistent…. [U]nlike our adversarial system, the Soviet inquisitorial criminal justice system neither prioritized nor emphasized the rights of individual defendants, but instead paid homage to the interests of the state.”
One very telling measure of the Regime’s fear of citizen juries – especially those informed of their right to nullify unjust laws – is found in the efforts expended by prosecutors to prevent cases from going to trial.
In his 1998 book (co-written with Lawrence M. Stratton) The Tyranny of Good Intentions, Dr. Paul Craig Roberts points out that “the vast majority of felony cases are settled with a plea bargain….” Many, perhaps most, “felonies” today involve no offenses against persons or property, no criminal intent, and are usually a product of an opportunistic prosecutor’s malicious creativity in confecting a criminal offense…………..
- New Hampshire Strikes a Blow Against the Sovietized Amerikan ‘Justice’ System (informationliberation.com)
- New Hampshire Strikes a Blow Against the Sovietized Amerikan ‘Justice’ System (usapartisan.com)
- Jury Nullification Is Now the Law (txwclp.org)
- New Hampshire Strikes a Blow Against the Sovietized Amerikan ‘Justice’ System by William Norman Grigg (pointsofhype.wordpress.com)
- Jury Nullification Is Now the Law (lewrockwell.com)
- N.H.’s Jury Nullification Law (dvorak.org)
- New Hampshire Adopts Jury Nullification Law (libertycrier.com)
- New Hampshire Adopts Jury Nullification Law (reason.com)
- New Hampshire Adopts Jury Nullification Law! (informationliberation.com)
- USA – Jury Nullification – A Power of the People (punpht.wordpress.com)