jury nullification


Definition of jury nullification

: the acquitting of a defendant by a jury in disregard of the judge's instructions and contrary to the jury's findings of fact

Examples of jury nullification in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Joey Jackson, a defense lawyer and CNN legal analyst, raised the possibility of jury nullification. Ray Sanchez, CNN, 23 Dec. 2021 Thanks to a bit of jury nullification and some sharp legal work Hovind got off entirely, while Hansen was sentenced to eighteen months. Peter J Reilly, Forbes, 5 June 2021 One of the most famous cases of jury nullification occurred during the 1955 trial of two white men in Mississippi who were accused of murdering Emmett Till, a black teenager who had allegedly whistled at a white woman. John Blake, CNN, 5 Feb. 2020 The federal government eventually pressed charges, but at that point, jury nullification reared its ugly head. Nicole Hemmer, Vox, 18 May 2018 The Simpson case sparked endless chatter about policing, jury nullification and the criminal justice system’s treatment of black men. Jason L. Riley, WSJ, 1 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'jury nullification.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of jury nullification

1972, in the meaning defined above

Learn More About jury nullification

Time Traveler for jury nullification

Time Traveler

The first known use of jury nullification was in 1972

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near jury nullification


jury nullification


See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for jury nullification

Cite this Entry

“Jury nullification.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/jury%20nullification. Accessed 17 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for jury nullification

jury nullification


Legal Definition of jury nullification

: the acquitting of a defendant by a jury in disregard of the judge's instructions and contrary to the jury's findings of fact

Note: Jury nullification is most likely to occur when a jury is sympathetic toward a defendant or regards the law under which the defendant is charged with disfavor. Except for a statutory requirement to the contrary, a jury does not have to be instructed on the possibility of jury nullification.

More from Merriam-Webster on jury nullification

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about jury nullification


Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Color

  • a light greenish blue color
  • Name that color:
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!