A three-judge panel of the San Francisco-based appeals court, in overturning the verdict, said a juror had had inappropriate communication with an attorney.
“Juror A” had asked the attorney during trial whether she had to follow the law or could vote her conscience because she suspected Rosenthal was growing marijuana for medicinal uses. The attorney told her she must follow the judge’s instructions to follow federal law or she would get in “trouble.”
“We hold that here the communication was an improper influence upon Juror A’s decision to acquit or convict,” the appeals court wrote.
Interesting that people don't know about "jury nullification" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jury_nullification. I guess that's why I never get on a jury. I do. It's a pre-constitutional tradition emerging out of English common law and I first learned about it in connection with the Peter Zenger trial http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zenger. It says the jury is sovereign. They can not only judge the guilt or innocence of the accused. But they can judge the law. Sort of like a one person veto.
Now, needless to say, the judge ain't gonna be to happy if you vote "not guilty". For example, in your opinion, the Drug Laws may unconstitutional, or they may be intrusive, or they may be draconian, or they may be just plain stupid. You may think that the cops planted it, or that the Prosecutors are picking on some poor dumb defendant. Or that the judge is just a horse's behind. Bottom line, for what ever reason, you can vote "not guilty".
My personal advice is if you do, keep your mouth shut. Do NOT elaborate. Don't discuss. Don't tell anybody anything. Just say "not guilty" when asked.
It doesn't matter if he was caught on video tape, recorded, and 22 people swear that they bought drugs from him. Just smile quizzically and say "I believe the defendant. Hence, I vote "not guilty"." and shut up.
There are cases where your fellow juror will report all sorts of stuff to the judge in their zeal to do their duty.
You have to be just a zealous doing yours.
:-) "Not guilty" ;-)
Did you have a preformed opinion? Nope! Did you apply the law as I explained it? Yup! Did you go into the deliberations with an open mind? Yes! Have you ever heard of the FIJA http://www.fija.org/or jury nullification? Nope!
How can you justify your verdict? I heard the defendant and believed him.
Bet you never get called for jury duty again! Yeah, I know it's completely random. Just register as a Libertarian and see how often you get called.
It's a rigged game.