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Juries and the Transformation of Criminal Justice in France in the Nineteenth & Twentieth Centuries$
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James M. Donovan

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780807833636

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807895771_donovan

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(p.1) Introduction
Juries and the Transformation of Criminal Justice in France in the Nineteenth & Twentieth Centuries

James M. Donovan

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter concerns itself specifically with the general rejection of sanction nullification. It notes that the preponderance of evidence shows that sanction nullification was the predominant form of jury nullification in France during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The chapter observes that for two centuries, the authorities dealt with jury resistance to sanction through a series of legal and administrative reforms that on one hand granted to juries more extensive legal powers in the imposition of punishment, and on the other hand removed more cases from their purview and ultimately destroyed their independence. It emphasizes that the important point about the French example is that it shows how through nullification, juries can profoundly modify the operation of the criminal justice system in ways never originally intended.

Keywords:   sanction, nullification, preponderance of evidence, jury, France, criminal justice

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