Guilty, Not Guilty, Nullify: Imagining a Three Option Verdict in the United States Criminal Justice System

** Due to unforeseen circumstances, Dr. Chakravarti has been unable to travel to Scotland to deliver this lecture in person. We’ve made arrangements to have her deliver the lecture as scheduled via video conference. Though we are disappointed by this turn of events, we are grateful for Dr. Chakravarit’s perseverance. We look forward to your participation. **

sonali_chakravartiVenue: Sir Duncan Rice Library (7th Floor Seminar Room)
Date: May 17, 2017, 16:00-18:00

Associate Professor Sonali Chakravarti, from the Department of Government at Wesleyan University,  will deliver a talk titled “Guilty, Not Guilty, Nullify: Imagining a Three Option Verdict in the United States Criminal Justice System.

Please find an abstract below for the talk.

Our own Professor Peter Duff, from the School of Law (University of Aberdeen), will serve as a discussant for the event, providing remarks in response to Professor Chakravarti’s work.

This event is hosted by the Legal Research Society, the Centre for Citizenship, Civil Society, and Rule of Law – with the generous support of the School of Law. The event will be followed by an informal social hour for research students and staff – additional details will be forthcoming once confirmed.

Abstract:

Jury nullification refers to the power American juries in criminal cases have to find a defendant “not guilty” despite adequate evidence, thereby “nullifying” the power of the law in that particular instance. It may also be seen as the power of the jury to grant mercy in cases where they think a “guilty” verdict is too harsh. While the status and practice of jury nullification has been of interest to legal scholars for many years, political theorists have not focused on it as a tool within democratic life, even though it is consistent with renewed theoretical interest in participatory practice. This talk will argue that jury nullification represents an important developmental stage in the concept of radical enfranchisement – a step where the jury must decide whether or not to punish, as a critical juncture, separate, from an assessment of the evidence.

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