Why jury nullification matters

Tab clearing:

After being deadlocked twice, a D.C. Superior Court jury yesterday acquitted a Marine amputee on felony charges of gun possession stemming from an arrest while he was on the way to Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

In the 2006 incident, Cpl. Melroy H. Cort, 24, and his wife, Samantha, were en route from their home in Columbus, Ohio, to Walter Reed. Cort's legs had been amputated above the knees when he was wounded by a makeshift bomb in Ramadi during his third tour of duty in Iraq.

The couple's car got a flat tire, forcing them to pull over at a car repair shop in the 5000 block of Georgia Avenue NW. While there, Cort said, he reached into the glove compartment, removed a 9mm pistol and put it in his jacket pocket.

Having that handgun with him would have been perfectly legal at home in Ohio and presumably on the military base at Walter Reed.  Had he not had a flat tire, he would not have stopped in DC.  Had he not stopped in DC, or arguably transported the firearm in his trunk instead of the glove compartment, he would have been protected by a federal law governing travel with firearms through jurisdictions hostile to gun rights. 

Prosecuting him for illegal possession of a firearm in DC is clearly unjust, but it took a jury to see that and act on it.  That's one reason we have juries.

This entry was published Thu Mar 28 01:28:21 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger and last updated 2013-03-28 01:28:21.0. [Tweet]

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