June 8, 2006 1:55PM

Jury Nullification and Perjury

Here’s an interesting personal account on the perils of jury nullification:

Julian Sanchez was called to jury duty in a drug case.

He was forced to decide whether to answer honestly when asked if he could convict a nonviolent drug offender (in which case he’d promptly be tossed from the jury), or to risk perjurying himself so he could nullify an immoral law once in deliberation.

Jury nullification is a right — perhaps even an obligation. Unfortunately, we’ve let prosecutors and courts effectively make it a crime.

We need a test case to move this issue before the Supreme Court. Prosecutors shouldn’t be allowed to hold the threat of perjury over potential nullifiers during voir dire.