By: Damien B.
In A Nutshell
Most people think that the verdict in a criminal or civil prosecution can only return a verdict of “guilty” or “not guilty.” However, it has been a long-standing cornerstone of common law that a third verdict can also be returned by a jury. That verdict is one of “nullification,” which in layman’s terms basically means that although the defendant is guilty in the eyes of the jury, that same jury does not think that the defendant deserves to be punished for his or her crime. With this third option in delivering a verdict, the jury can “nullify” the charge(s) against the defendant and set him or her free, even though the returned verdict is still “guilty.” Continue reading