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United States v. Rosenthal

    Brief Fact Summary.

    Defendant asserts that the lower court erred in granting the governments motion in limine to exclude evidence that would encourage a jury to disregard the controlling law.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law.

    Evidence that is otherwise inadmissible does not become admissible to facilitate jury nullification.

    Facts.

    Defendant contends that the court should have allowed him to present evidence to encourage the jury to disregard the controlling law. The government filed motions in limine to exclude any evidence regarding a jury nullification defense of “medical marijuana.†The government contended that this evidence would violate Federal Rules of Evidence 402 on the grounds that the evidence would be irrelevant. The lower court granted the governments motion to exclude the evidence.

    Issue.

    Whether the lower court erred in excluding the Defendant’s evidence to disregard the controlling law.

    Held.

    No, the lower court did not err in excluding the Defendant’s evidence to disregard the controlling law.

    Discussion.

    The criminal offense that Defendant is being charged with involved the “knowing or intentional manufacture of marijuana and not the purpose for which the marijuana was grown.†Further, the United States Supreme Court has noted that a juror does not have the right to nullify. Standefer v. United States, 447 U.S. 10, 22 (1980). Therefore, evidence, that is ordinarily inadmissible, does not become admissible to exercise jury nullification. Therefore, the lower court did not err in excluding the evidence.



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