Author to speak in Nelson on jury nullification

In the Canadian justice system, jurors can hand down a verdict of not guilty even if the facts clearly point to legal guilt.

In the Canadian justice system, jurors can hand down a verdict of not guilty even if the facts clearly point to legal guilt. What are the implications of this tremendous yet secretive power?

This action by a jury (called jury nullification) is what all of Henry Morgentaler’s juries did. Morgentaler was tried four times for conducting abortions in the 1970s and ‘80s when providing abortions was illegal. He admitted conducting abortions, but correctly predicted “no jury would convict me.”

In the subsequent Supreme Court ruling that decriminalized abortion, the court also banned lawyers from mentioning to juries the possibility of jury nullification. Juries are still allowed to return whatever verdict they wish, but after the Supreme Court ruling no one is allowed to tell them about it, and most do not know.

Keeping this power secret from juries has a number of potentially serious consequences, such as in the case of Robert Latimer, who killed his quadriplegic daughter out of compassion. The jury was sympathetic but thought it had to find him guilty.

Dr. Gary Bauslaugh, who recently wrote The Secret Power of Juries, speaks in Nelson on Monday, October 21, 7:30 p.m. at the Old Church Hall (corner of Victoria and Kootenay) about famous examples of jury nullification, both positive and negative, and on arguments for and against jury nullification.

The event is sponsored by Nelson Centre for Inquiry. Admission is by donation.

Just Posted

‘Surrounding a community with a fire break won’t help’

RDCK offers fire danger assessments to homeowners

Caribou panel hears from critical public

About 250 people turned out Wednesday evening to give feedback on the provincial government’s caribou recovery plans.

Mungall to host CleanBC open house in Nelson

Michelle Mungall is hosting an open house on CleanBC at L.V. Rogers on Tuesday from 4:30 to 6 p.m.

LETTER: Garbage truck was in the shop

From Chris Gainham of the City of Nelson

Youth climate strikers present to regional district

Next continent-wide school strike for climate planned for Nelson May 3

Parliament Hill 4-20 organizers predict record crowd after legalization

A celebration? Yes, but organizers say concerns remain about the government’s decisions on legalization rollout

Seven tips to travel safely this Easter long weekend

An average of three people are killed, and hundreds more injured, each Easter long weekend in B.C.

Parents say Austrian climber missing in Banff National Park ‘lived his dream’

David Lama, Hansjorg Auer and American climber Jess Roskelley have been missing since Wednesday

Six months after legalization, high prices and supply issues boost illicit pot market

It has been six months since Canada became the first industrialized country to legalize recreational cannabis

Seattle’s 4-20 ‘protestival’ enjoys tolerance, some support – and B.C. could do the same

Seattle’s Hempfest a large-scale occasions with vendors, prominent musical acts and thousands of attendees

B.C. mountain biker sent home from hospital twice, despite broken vertebrae

Released in Maple Ridge to go home with three fractured vertebrae

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, multiple people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

B.C. RCMP receive application for Police Cat Services

RCMP announced the launch of the Police Cat Services unit as an April fools joke

Most Read