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Is the state senate adopting jury nullification?

Posted By Sharon McCloskey On April 17, 2013 @ 2:16 pm In Uncategorized | Comments Disabled

Or was everybody asleep at the switch?

On April 10, the state senate passed without objection Senate Bill 528 [1], which on its face purports to “clarify” the oath jurors are required to take under the state constitution.

Here’s what the constitution says:

Sec. 7.  Oath.

Before entering upon the duties of an office, a person elected or appointed to the office shall take and subscribe the following oath:

“I, _______________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and maintain the Constitution and laws of the United States, and the Constitution and laws of North Carolina not inconsistent therewith, and that I will faithfully discharge the duties of my office as _______________, so help me God.”

But S528 seeks to amend G.S. 9-14, which sets forth the oath for jurors, to say the following:

Each juror shall swear or affirm that he will take (i) the oath required by Article VI, Section 7 of the Constitution of North Carolina, by swearing or affirming to support and maintain the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution and laws of the United States not inconsistent therewith.

Is this what the senate means — that jurors are only obliged to support and maintain the laws of the United State which they deem consistent with the U.S. Constitution?

Certainly the language of S528 is contrary to that in the state constitution and is likely an oversight in need of correction.

Or is it?

 

 


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URLs in this post:

[1] Senate Bill 528: http://www.ncleg.net/Sessions/2013/Bills/Senate/PDF/S528v2.pdf

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