Somewhere in his voluminous writings, criminal defense attorney Norm Pattis, a very “good” – quote marks intended – lawyer, makes the case for jury nullification. His argument runs along these lines: We trust jurors with our property, our lives and our sacred honor, why then should we not trust them to bring in a just verdict athwart the instructions of a judge or the presentation of highly edited evidence?
In the modern (Kafkaesque?) trial, the defense and prosecution are permitted to argue during various sidebars and out of the hearing of a jury the fine points of law according to which this or that piece of evidence, germane or not, should or should not be presented to the jury. Why not allow all evidence, save fictional evidence, to go to the jury and allow lawyers to argue at trial whether or not the data is pertinent?