Second Circuit to Decide on Jury Nullification

Nullifying Nullification: Will the Second Circuit Prohibit a Defendant’s Jury Nullification Defense?: (“A petition for a writ of mandamus currently pending before the Second Circuit has reignited an ancient debate over jury nullification—specifically, whether a jury may ever be informed of its power to nullify. In United States v. Manzano, the government has asked the Court of Appeals to command District of Connecticut Judge Stefan Underhill to: (1) bar defense counsel from arguing for jury nullification; and (2) preclude any mention of the applicable mandatory minimum sentences, which mention might itself prompt the jury to nullify.”)

Harvard’s Misunderstanding of the Sixth Amendment

Harvard Betrays a Law Professor—and Itself: (“Misguided students believe that defending Harvey Weinstein makes Ronald Sullivan unfit to be their dean. Apparently the university agrees. * * * I have been a professor at Harvard University for 34 years. In that time, the school has made some mistakes. But it has never so thoroughly embarrassed itself as it did this past weekend. At the center of the controversy is Ronald Sullivan, a law professor who ran afoul of student activists enraged that he was willing to represent Harvey Weinstein.”)

Justice John Paul Stevens on the Past and the Future

John Paul Stevens Looks Back on Nearly a Century of Life and Law, but Worries About the Future: (“John Paul Stevens spent more than a third of his near-century on Earth at the Supreme Court, where he often was on a different page from a majority of his fellow justices. * * * ‘It happens so often that you have to get used to losing,’ Stevens, 99, said during an interview this last week at his condominium here, just steps from the Atlantic Ocean. My batting average was probably pretty low.’ * * * But one particular loss lingers and, Stevens says, brings grim reminders almost weekly: the court’s 2008 decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, which found the Second Amendment protects a right to individual gun ownership unrelated to possible military service. * * * ‘Unquestionably the most clearly incorrect decision that the Court announced during my tenure on the bench, Stevens writes in his new memoir,‘The Making of a Justice.’“)

State Attorneys General Ask Congress to Approve Marijuana Money Banking

38 Attorneys General Ask Congress to Bring Marijuana Money into Banking System: (“The attorneys general of 38 states and territories sent a letter to congressional leaders on Wednesday, urging them: Please, let us bank the money generated by the country’s booming cannabis business. * * * Most states and several U.S. territories have legalized medical marijuana, and 10 states and the District of Columbia have legalized adult recreational use. But federal law still considers marijuana illegal, which exposes banks to legal risk if they handle weed-related money or transactions. * * * ‘This is simple: Not incorporating an $8.3 billion industry into our banking system is hurting our public safety and economy,’ California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, one of the signatories, said in a statement. ‘The SAFE Banking Act would reward taxpayers and small and local licensed businesses who play by the rules. We urge Congress to pass legislation to meet the demands of our growing economy.'”)

Judge Jails Hedge Fund Founder

Platinum Partners founder Mark Nordlicht Jailed for Intimidating Prosecutor During Federal Trial: (“A federal judge in Brooklyn jailed the founder of defunct hedge fund Platinum Partners after government lawyers said he accosted a prosecutor during a break in his trial. * * * Mark Nordlicht, Platinum’s founder and former chief investment officer, is on trial for allegedly defrauding investors. Federal prosecutors have accused Mr. Nordlicht and others of faking the firm’s performance figures to collect a hefty cut of all investment gains. Mr. Nordlicht has pleaded not guilty.”)