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DO JUDGES COMMIT FELONIES? Are judges guilty of jury tampering . . . when they instruct jurors to ignore their own sense of right and wrong in order to enforce the law as given by the judge? when they attempt to identify and then excuse from jury duty anyone who knows that juries can refuse to use bad laws? when they issue "jury instructions" or make jurors take "oaths" calculated to guide them to a guilty verdict? If you answered "yes" to any of these, take heart! The problem has had a solution for a long time: John Adams, our 2nd president, in 1771 said of the juror, "It is not only his right, but his duty...to find the verdict according to his own best understanding, judgment, and conscience, though in direct opposition to the direction of the court." Noah Webster, in his very first dictionary (published in 1828), defined "jury" as twelve persons who "decide both law and fact in all criminal cases". U.S. Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes acknowledged in a 1920 decision that "the jury has the power to bring in a verdict in the teeth of both law and facts". If you think it's time you learned more about the power of the jury to vote according to conscience, and thus to stop the enforcement of bad law, call the Fully Informed Jury Association (FIJA) at 1-800-TEL-JURY for a free

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