Legislation

Lone Star FIJA has a model legislative language for the Texas Legislature.  We are currently seeking sponsors for the 87th Legislative Session for that legislation.

Here is an intro to the key aspects of the proposed bill:

Key Provisions

  • Allows defendants to inform jurors of their right and power to judge the law as well as the facts and to acquit based on conscience.
  • Requires judges to allow nullification defenses.
  • Removes strikes for cause when a jury prospect “has a bias or prejudice against any phase of the law upon which the State is entitled to rely for conviction or punishment.”

Applies to:

  • Criminal trials.
  • Civil trials where the state is or its subdivisions are seeking to collect or retain civil or administrative penalty.

Implements the Following Element of the Texas Bill of Rights:

Article 1, Section 8, last sentence:

"And in all indictments for libels, the jury shall have the right to determine the law and the facts, under the direction of the court, as in other cases." (emphasis added).

Rationale

  • Fully informed jurors can better dispense justice and protect liberty, thereby preventing people from being imprisoned wrongly and reducing prison
  • Jury nullification is an important way to inform governmental representatives about the changing conscience and values of the community, free from special interest
  • Fully informed jurors are democratic in that they give more control of the actions of the government to the people, and they are more republican because they protect the rights and liberties of the people.
  • Jury nullification is a process of law that keeps the law from mechanistically grinding up the lives of individuals by injecting the wisdom and common sense of the people into the process.

 

Click here for a one page intro to this jury nullification bill.

Click here for a two page intro to jury nullification and the Lone Star Fully Informed Jury Association (Lone Star FIJA).

Click here for a law school paper looking at the evidence that the framers supported jury nullification.

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  • Tom Glass
    published this page 2021-01-25 15:54:44 -0600