Mark D. Fulwiler (mfulwiler@earthlink.net)
Thu, 26 Mar 1998 15:46:06 -0800

"Warrl kyree Tale'sedrin" <warrl@mail.blarg.net> wrote:

> I know I don't like the requirement for unanimous verdicts. A 5/6
> majority should be sufficient for a guilty verdict, or a simple
> majority for a not-guilty verdict. (However, in capital crimes, the
> death penalty *should* *not* be an option unless the verdict was
> unanimous.)

Isn't the idea of unanimous verdicts to provide an extra measure of
protection to minimize the number of innocent people sent to prison? A
5/6 requirement would send more guilty people to jail, but also more
innocent ones. As it is, even unanimous juries make many mistakes. A lot
of convictions are overturned after new evidence comes out after the

Considering that most criminal defendants have to go against all of the
resources of the state with one overworked public defender, I don't want
to make it any easier for the state.

Also, a 5/6 requirement would make jury nullification more difficult. As
it is, I could cause a mistrial by refusing to convict a victimless
crime defendant and the state might not try the case again. Hence, a
victory for freedom.