The legal difference between “should” and “must” But, after all, we are talking about New Hampshire.

Another unfortunate trend in the New Hampshire case law has been the following stance by the courts: We did give the jury a nullification instruction — so there is no merit to any complaint that the jury was not properly informed!! This is the so-called “Wentworth instruction,” which the New Hampshire courts have deemed the “equivalent of a jury nullification instruction.” See State v. Sanchez, 883 A.2d 292 (2005). The Wentworth instruction is a very lame and indirect instruction that hinges on the word “should.” The trial judge tells the jury something like, “If the prosecution has met its legal burden, the jury should find the defendant guilty.” The New Hampshire Supreme Court says that since the word “should” is uttered, the jury is notified that even if the state has proved its case beyond a reasonable doubt, “they could still acquit the defendant.” The nullification prerogative is right there–in between the lines, says the court.

via Jury Nullification Law Signed by New Hampshire Governor |


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