Jury Nullification Paper

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Jury Nullification Paper Therese Carlon June 3, 2012 Joseph Mariconda The United States Declaration of Independence has been viewed over the first two centuries as one of the definitive government documents that spell out both racial and ethnic equality for all Americans. However, there is a section of this worthy document that refers to one of the foundational premises for our founding freedoms: “That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness” (U.S. Declaration of Independence, 1776). In the South in the first half of the 20th century it was predominately African-Americans who felt the retribution of those in government who classified them as ‘less than human’, and treated them as such. After the smoke had cleared it became clear that the tenets so dramatically voiced in the Declaration did not survive into the 20th and 21st centuries. This paper will address a part of state and federal agencies that have been set over the citizens of this country to enforce and maintain law and order. It will also address the strong emotions and feelings expressed by the American minorities as to whether we, as a nation, have been successful in promoting liberty and justice for all. Does Ethnicity Influence Courtroom Proceedings and Judicial Practices A 1999 study was conducted to determine whether bias existed in the courtrooms of our nation and if so, to what degree. The name

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