Sparf v. United States

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Sparf v. United States
Seal of the United States Supreme Court.svg
Submitted March 5, 1894
Decided January 21, 1895
Full case name Sparf and Hansen v. United States
Citations 156 U.S. 51 (more)
15 S. Ct. 273; 39 L. Ed. 343; 1895 U.S. LEXIS 2120
Prior history Error to the Circuit Court of the United States for the Northern District of California
Court membership
Case opinions
Majority Harlan, joined by Fuller, Field, White
Concurrence Jackson
Dissent Brewer, joined by Brown
Dissent Gray, joined by Shiras

Sparf v. United States, 156 U.S. 51 (1895),[1] was a case in which the Supreme Court of the United States held that federal judges were not required to inform jurors of their inherent ability to judge the law in a case. The decision was rendered by a five to four judge margin, with two dissenting opinions. The case distinguished itself from earlier precedent in Georgia v. Brailsford (1794) mandating that jurors be informed by the court of their right to judge the case's facts and law (jury nullification).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 156 U.S. 51 Full text of the opinion courtesy of