Race-Based Jury Nullification

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Race-based Jury Nullification

Cultural Diversity in Criminal Justice

Race-based Jury Nullification

Racial differences within the court system of the United States can create various interpretations of laws and the impartiality of such laws. Minorities within this country may believe that the criminal justice system has prejudices and may dismiss the legality of certain laws. Jury nullification is a process in which members of the jury exonerate a person of a guilty verdict although the evidence presented in the case overwhelmingly proves the person’s guilt. People within the jury may believe the laws are not fair, do not apply to the particular case, or they may empathize with the defendant (McNamara & Burns, 2009).
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The United States of America v. Marion S. Barry, Jr. After months of denying rumors and accusations of his drug use, former mayor of Washington, DC, Marion S. Barry, Jr., was caught engaging in illegal drug activity in a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) sting operation. The veteran mayor 's crime was caught on video tape by federal agents. On the night of January 18, 1990, FBI agents arrested Barry and brought him before a federal magistrate on misdemeanor drug charges of buying and selling crack-cocaine. Barry 's ex-girlfriend, former model Rasheeda Moore was a cooperating government witness in the FBI undercover operation. Moore allegedly lured the mayor to a hotel rendezvous for romance and drugs. Prior to Barry and Moore 's engagement, the FBI installed a hidden camera in the Washington, DC, hotel room. The camera provided United States attorneys and FBI agents with a real-time video feed of the events taking place in the hotel room (CBS Interactive, 1990). United States Attorneys and FBI agents watched as the mayor gave Moore money to purchase cocaine. Unbeknownst to Barry, Moore left the hotel room and purchased crack-cocaine from an undercover FBI agent standing-by at the scene. Upon Moore 's return, Marion Barry inhaled the crack-cocaine using a smoking apparatus. Immediately after this, FBI agents burst into the hotel room to make the arrest. A United States attorney holds that the set-up was
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