Posted October 27th, 2019
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Author’s Note, July 12, 2020 – In the original version of this essay, I had written a few lines speculating that clearer and more concise laws would tend to the public good by making it easier for juries to understand the law and thereby to reach an accurate verdict in trial. As written, however, it could have been misinterpreted as advocating for “jury nullification,” a legal concept wherein a jury reaches a verdict based on its own opinion of the law’s justice, rather than merely establishing the facts of a case. Such action usurps the powers of making and interpreting laws entrusted by the people to the legislature and judiciary, respectively. As the discussion of juries was not essential to the argument laid out in this essay, I decided to remove the lines in question. In the process of revision, I also made some minor changes to wording and punctuation at points throughout the essay.