Culture Conflict Between Moonshiners and the Government: An Explanation of Jury Nullification and Nolle Prosequi in Illicit Alcohol Offenses in Rural Communities
Creators:Green, Egan K.
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Publisher:Ohio State University. Libraries
Citation:International Journal of Rural Criminology, v3, n1 (June, 2016), p. 50-67
The distillation, distribution and use of illicit alcohol have historically been widely accepted in many rural communities. A conflict has long existed between this community acceptance and the law. As a result, agents attempting to enforce alcohol violations pertaining to moonshine have historically been frustrated by their inability to gather posses, find witnesses and win convictions in court. This article uses data collected from qualitative interviews to examine how this social acceptance of illegal behavior has contributed to this frustration and demonstrates how cultural conflict explains why prosecutors decline to prosecute defendants for criminal offenses, an act commonly referred to in legal circles as nolle prosequi decisions, as well as examples of jury nullification.