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News Link • Constitution

Jury nullification

• Las Vegas Review-Journal
John Jay, co-author of the Federalist Papers and first chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, may have been a bit ambivalent on this topic, but he, too, tipped his hat to the juror, writing in a 1794 jury instruction "that on questions of fact, it is the province of the jury, on questions of law, it is the province of the court to decide. But it must be observed that by the same law, which recognizes this reasonable distribution of jurisdiction, you have nevertheless a right to take upon yourselves to judge of both, and to determine the law as well as the fact in controversy. … (B)oth objects are lawfully, within your power of decision."

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