Re: LAW: Re: Jury Nullification

Robin Hanson (
Mon, 14 Jul 1997 09:50:44 -0700 (PDT) writes:
>I've always had mixed feelings about jury nullification. Jefferson was
>surely right that jury nullification is one final bulwark against tyranny,
>but on the other hand, few things can compare to the injustice that can be
>doled out by a jury gone wrong in contradiction to the law and the facts.

Most private arbitration agreements do not choose to use juries. For
a few exceptions, see the p. B1 article in the Mon, 7 Jul 1997 Wall
Street Journal (7/7/97), "Private Jury Trials: Cheap, Quick,

Juries seem to be one of those extra expenses and inefficiencies one
may attribute to state, vs. private, law. We don't trust state law
enough not to use juries, but customers do seem to trust their private
laws enough to only use them rarely.

Btw, I was on jury duty a few weeks ago and the judge explicitly
mentioned nullification, explained its meaning, and then asked if
anyone had problems with ignoring that idea. None did. Either most
people lie about this, or there really isn't much public support for
the idea.

Robin D. Hanson