Monday, September 08, 2014

Doug Darrell Acquitted Of Marijuana Charges Through Jury Nullification In New Hampshire

A New Hampshire Rastafarian facing felony marijuana cultivation charges was declared not guilty on Friday because a jury believed that punishing him for the offense would be unjust. Doug Darrell was arrested in 2009, after a National Guard helicopter flying over his home found he was growing 15 marijuana plants in his backyard, according to WNTK. At Darrell's trial, PRWEB reports, jurors nullified the case against him.
Jury nullification occurs when a jury concludes that a defendant is technically guilty, but fails to convict the defendant on the grounds that the law in question is unjust. While jury nullification is legal, judges frequently do not inform juries of this power, and may prohibit defense attorneys from doing so, according to the University of Missouri.
At Darrell's trial, however, the jurors were fully informed of their nullification power, the Laconia Daily Sun reports.

Juror Cathleen Converse, self-described as a "straitlaced little old lady," explained her reasoning in an interview with Free Talk Live.
"Mr. Darrell is a peaceful man," she said. "He grows for his own personal religious and medicinal use. I knew that my community would be poorer rather than better off had he been convicted.”

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