Trials are incredibly valuable fact-finding tools—particularly when the defendants are public employees.
Plus: New York City's crackdown on short-term rentals, Brazil's UFO investigations, and more...
Florida will now only require an 8–4 majority for a jury to recommend a death sentence. Alabama is the only other state that allows split juries to recommend death sentences.
"We can't be in a situation where one person can just derail this," DeSantis told a gathering of law enforcement officials.
Oregon was one of only two states that allowed for non-unanimous guilty verdicts until the Supreme Court outlawed them in 2020.
Unfortunately, in five separate cases today, they're outnumbered.
Convincing evidence of his innocence has been available for years. But the criminal legal system prioritizes procedure and bureaucracy over liberty.
The Supreme Court may soon consider if acquitted conduct sentencing is illegal.
A former guidance counselor served six years of a 25-year sentence thanks to a public defender's incompetence.
Third post in the symposium on the National Constitution Center "Restoring the Guardrails of Democracy" project. Walter Olson presents the Team Libertarian Report.
Michael Picard's free speech rights were violated when he was booked for telling passersby to "Google Jury Nullification."
Team Libertarian Report from National Constitution Center "Restoring the Guardrails of Democracy" Project Now Available on SSRN
I coauthored the report with Clark Neily and Walter Olson, both of the Cato Institute.
The project includes reports by conservative, libertarian, and progressive teams. I am coauthor of the Team Libertarian report.
John Adams called jury trials part of the "heart and lungs of liberty." Today, defendants are often punished for exercising that very right.
Such victims are often told they have no right to sue.
The agency’s tactics doomed the prosecution of defendants who allegedly planned to kidnap Michigan's governor.
The Second Amendment vs. the Seventh Amendment: The Terminal Decay of the Seventh Amendment and the Revival of the Second Amendment
The Second Amendment right is vibrant and prominent for many citizens. The Seventh Amendment right has shriveled to a husk of its former self.
Recognizing the difference between substantive and procedural rights helps enormously in understanding the battles over applying the first eight amendments of the U.S. Constitution to the states. Procedural rights have failed; not only have they not improved procedures, they have made things worse.
The Second Amendment vs. the Seventh Amendment: The Distinction Between Substantive and Procedural Rights
Substantive rights have a core that can be meaningfully interpreted and protected; they can exist independently of a particular government or a particular legal system. Procedural rights lack such an independent core because they are necessarily embedded in a whole system of legal procedure, and they depend on that system for their meaning.
The Second Amendment vs. the Seventh Amendment: Substantive vs. Procedural Rights; Part 1: Similarities and Differences
Although the affinities between the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms and the Seventh Amendment right to civil jury trial seem strong, there are crucial differences. The first concerns individual accountability and the ability to understand responsibilities; the second concerns the distinction between substantive rights and procedural rights.
Biden Campaigned on Ending the Death Penalty. His Justice Department Wants To Execute the Boston Marathon Bomber Anyway.
A new brief asks the Supreme Court to reinstate Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s death sentence.
Bad news for hundreds of imprisoned defendants in Louisiana and Oregon
Plus: An anti-tech crusader could be joining the FTC, threats to free speech at Columbia University, and more...
The system routinely excludes not only those who might be familiar with a given case, but also those who have relevant background knowledge that might improve the quality of jury deliberations.
Courts ignore constitutional guarantees while defendants awaiting trial languish in jail.
A 50-year-old precedent was tossed, which caused three justices to dissent.
Jurors remain free to exercise judgment and mercy in a criminal justice system that often lacks both.
SCOTUS Debates Whether the Right to Trial by Jury Should Mean the Same Thing in State and Federal Court
Understanding what’s at stake in Ramos v. Louisiana.
Plus: Amash says the "two-party system is hurting America," Zuckerberg gets deepfaked, Wonkette's lame defense of Harris, and more...
Unanimous juries (like the ban on excessive fines) might be an easy case; but at some point we will need a theory.
New York's Top Court Rules Immigrants Are Entitled to Jury Trials for Crimes that May Lead to Deportation
Many face getting tossed out of the country for minor crimes. This ruling could result in big changes.
Federal Judge Advocates Jury Nullification After Being Shocked by Overzealous Child Pornography Prosecution
It just makes sense to let jurors know about their already established power to exercise discretion over bad laws and ill-considered prosecutions.
End of a Jim Crow-era law a potential win for jury nullification.
Handing out pamphlets gets treated as a crime.
Reminds prosecutors that juries are supposed to serve as a check on government power