Jury Nullification

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• Explain whether ethnicity influences courtroom proceedings and judicial practices.

Ethnicity does in fact influence court room proceedings and judicial practices. People throughout the years have experienced this by being part of a court proceeding or being the person actually involved in a particular case (Kennedy, 1997). There are times were the individuals involved in the court proceeding are actually they who make their case be influenced by their ethnicity due to their family member’s or particular followers. If the jury is particularly White/ Caucasian, and the defendant is African- American, there is generally a bias that people are racially condoning that individual to prison or jail time, but if the whole jury is African- American, the jury might have some leniency towards that particular individual to the point of reaching jury nullification (Kennedy, 1997).

• Include contemporary examples of ethnicity-based jury nullification.

One example of a contemporary jury nullification is a case that happened in Pennsylvania in 2009. The event happened in rural Pennsylvania. The case was about two teenage boys at the time, Derrick Donchak, 19, and Brandon Piekarsky, 17. They brutally killed a Mexican immigrant by kicking him while convulsing on the ground (Neiwert, 2009). The man they killed was named Luis Ramirez. The jury panel were all White and had strong roots against Mexican immigrants (Neiwert, 2009). The article mentions that even the judge and the community itself, showed signs of being racially biased towards Mexican immigrants. After deliberation the jury basically found the teens not guilty of any charges. Luis Ramirez died at the hospital two days after the incident and the teens walked free from any kind of prosecution (Neiwert, 2009).

•Summarize the arguments for and against ethnicity-based jury nullification.

Some of…...

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