Law/Justice

Prosecutors have too much power. Juries should rein them in.

By Glenn Harlan Reynolds

Washington Post

Glenn Harlan Reynolds is the Beauchamp Brogan Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Tennessee. He blogs at InstaPundit.com.

If there’s strong evidence that you’ve committed a crime, there’s still hope. Despite the evidence, those responsible for convicting you may choose to let you go, if they think that sending you to jail would result in an injustice.

That can happen through what’s called “prosecutorial discretion,” where a prosecutor decides not to bring or pursue charges against you because doing so would be unfair, even though the evidence is strong. Or it can happen through “jury nullification,” where a jury thinks that the evidence supports conviction but then decides to issue a “not guilty” verdict because it feels that a conviction would be unjust.

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