An editorial recently published on a popular law website argues that black people on juries should use jury nullification to acquit anyone who commits any crime against a white man.
The author, a black lawyer named Elie Mystal, argues that black jury members and their “white allies” must clog up the court system and refuse to convict defendants accused of committing crimes against white males as a form of protest against what he sees as police brutality against black Americans.
Mystal argues that this should be extended to every crime committed against white men, including murder.
From Above The Law:
“Black people lucky enough to get on a jury could use that power to acquit any person charged with a crime against white men and white male institutions. It’s not about the race of the defendant, but if the alleged victim is a white guy, or his bank, or his position, or his authority: we could acquit. Assault? Acquit. Burglary? Acquit. Insider trading? Acquit.
Murder? … what the hell do you think is happening to black people out here? What the hell do you think we’re complaining about when your cops shoot us or choke us? Acquit. Don’t throw “murder” at me like it’s some kind of moral fault line where the risk of letting one go is too great.”
Jury nullification is a process by which jury members can refuse to convict a defendant, even if they think the defendant is guilty, simply because they disagree with the law or how it’s being applied.
“We can bitch and we can march and we can refuse to stay in Trump hotels. But until the system stops giving white people something they want — the orderly procession of justice — then they will not be motivated to change the system,” he continues, stating, “I WANT CHAOS IN THE PROSECUTOR’S OFFICE. And you can’t accomplish that with a bomb or a gun.”
The editorial comes in the wake of the recent mistrial in the case of Michael Slager, a white South Carolina police officer who shot and killed Walter Scott, an unarmed black male. The incident was captured on video and went viral. A new trial will commence “as quickly as possible,” according to South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley.
Due to jury decisions that Mystal dislikes, like Michael Slager’s case, he doesn’t see “why minorities should be expected to help white victims achieve the justice they so regularly deny people of color.”