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The Champion

July 2009 , Page 12 

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Reflections on Guns And Jury Nullification And Judicial Nullification

By Frederic Block

I had the pleasure of being a panel member on sentencing issues at NACDL’s seminar in Aspen this past January. After the meeting, Norman Reimer, the association’s executive director, told me that a future issue of The Champion would be devoted to jury issues and asked whether I would be willing to contribute an article recounting any experiences I might have encountered as a federal district court judge for the Eastern District of New York where I suspected that jury nullification was at play. I immediately thought of two recent back-to-back acquittals in felon-in-possession gun cases, and said I would.

The Trial of a Felon- In-Possession Case

Felon-in-possession cases are perhaps the simplest cases coming before a federal district court. Certainly, they require the simplest charge: all that is needed is for the jury to determine whether the defendant was previously convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for more than one year, whether the defendant knowingly and intentionally p

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