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Did you know that, no matter the evidence, if a jury feels a law is unjust, it is permitted to “nullify” the law rather than finding someone guilty? Basically, jury nullification is a jury’s way of saying, “By the letter of the law, the defendant is guilty, but we also disagree with that law, so we vote to not punish the accused.” Ultimately, the verdict serves as an acquittal.

Haven’t heard of jury nullification? Don’t feel bad; you’re far from alone. If anything, your unfamiliarity is by design. Generally, defense lawyers are not allowed to even mention jury nullification as a possibility during a trial because judges prefer juries to follow the general protocols rather than delivering independent verdicts.

Surprisingly, the Supreme Court has routinely agreed that judges have no obligation to inform juries about jury nullification. Paradoxically, jury nullification is permitted to exist as an option to all juries, yet this option cannot be discussed in most courtrooms.
[…]
Jury nullification is undoubtedly feared because of its ability to upset the system. A jury that considers drug laws to be outrageous can nullify. A jury that is aware of the mass inequality in incarceration rates and believes a defendant was targeted via racial profiling can nullify. A jury that believes a harmless defendant is a victim of the prison industrial complex rather than a perpetrator can nullify. This counter-verdict exists so that citizens can right the wrongs inherent in our supposed “justice” system.

Of course, as the New York Times points out, jury nullification hasn’t always been used to “do good.” Historically, racist southern juries have nullified cases involving hate crimes and overly optimistic juries have nullified instances of police brutality, unwilling to fault police officers. However, if you agree that an informed jury can produce the correct verdict, nullification remains a valuable tool in the pursuit of justice.
Jury Nullification: Why Every American Needs to Learn This Taboo Verdict (via jadedhippy)

misssprinklebottom:

moosezekiel:

pilgrimstateofmind:

ATTENTION FOR A SECOND, YO: 

Real talk, this animal (the Ordovician Helmet crab, aka the Horseshoe crab, aka the Atlantic’s most at-risk shelled animal) is of a species that is close to 450 million years old. They are considered endangered, and often wash up on the shores of Long Island (this big lady crab was at TR park in Oyster Bay)

Note: these animals are often used to extract their blue blood and cure diseases. They help the ocean out big time. And they are one of the longest-surviving species on the planet. They’re washing up and people don’t think to/are scared to save them because of their deceivingly harmless barbs. 

Take note, friends. Their barbs are NOT stingers. They cannot hurt you. Their pinchers aren’t pinchers, they’re just little legs that are actually really soft! The barb tail they have is actually what they use to stick into the ocean floor or the sand when waves knock them over or they flip onto their backs by accident. And you can help them out by flipping them back over very quickly and helping them scuttle back into the water if you see them struggling. 

This is way important. Just call me the Sarah McLachlan of horseshoe crabs.

save the Kabuto

oh wow I see these guys washing up a lot! I didn’t know they were endangered D:

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