A Defense of Jury Nullification

  • Michael Huemer


In the practice of “jury nullification,” a jury votes to acquit a defendant despite sufficient evidence of lawbreaking, on the grounds that a conviction would be unjust, usually because the law itself is unjust or because the expected punishment would be unduly harsh. This practice is widely condemned by judges. Nevertheless, in the case of an unjust law or unduly harsh punishment, there are no good arguments against jury nullification, and there is one powerful argument in its favor: it is prima facie wrong to knowingly cause unjust harm to others. Thus, jurors are often morally obligated to disregard the law.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Huemer
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Colorado BoulderBoulderUSA

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