11 votes

Nullification - Key to the Jury Box

It is has been said that there are four safeguards against tyranny in a constitutional republic:
1) The soap box;
2) The ballot box;
3) The jury box; and
4) The ammo box.

When tyrannical or unconstitutional laws are passed that threaten our liberties, we have the "soap box", ie. the freedom to speak out, criticize and call for change; when such change or reforms fail to emerge, we have the "ballot box", or elections, to effectuate such change; and when elections fail to remove corrupt politicians, replace then with officials who respect the people and the constitution, or prevent tyrannical laws from being passed or repealed, we have the "jury box", ie. the power of the jury to prevent people who are arrested and prosecuted for violating tyrannical laws from being convicted and punished by the overwhelming power of the state. It is only after all such boxes fail us, that we have need to resort to the final safeguard of our liberties, the "ammo box", ie. force of arms. The jury box is essential to our liberties, as it stands as a final safeguard of our liberties before resort to arms.

The power of the jury to judge both the law and the facts of a case, and in effect "nullify" the instructions of the judge as to the law, or even the entirety of the law itself, is an awesome power that ultimately allows the jurors to be the ultimate "judge" of the fairness of the law, including its constitutionality. This power to pass judgment on the law itself is an exercise in sovereign power by each individual juror who in effect has the final say as to its validity and can check the mighty power of the state and stop it in its tracks. The power and duty to judge both the law and the facts of the case was well entrenched in the early history of this nation and the rulings of the Supreme Court and other commentators and authorities. In recent years it has been distained as a "right" by most Courts and by the bulk of the legal profession, who tend to believe that they, the legal experts, should be the sole judge of "the law" and its interpretation, leaving the jury to judge only "the facts" of the case.

Almost all sources grudgingly admit that the jury has the "power", if not the right, to ignore the instructions of the judge as to the law or even to ignore the law itself if it feels necessary to see that justice prevails. This is largely true because it has been well established in this nation that no judge can ever direct a guilty verdict in a criminal trial and that upon a finding of not guilty by a jury there can be no re-trial, since that would result in "double jeopardy" to the defendant, as prevented by the 5th and 14th Amendments. However, in the federal Courts and in almost all state Courts, jurors are prevented by law from being informed of this power to judge the law and in effect to ignore or "nullify" the Court's instructions as to the law, and judges and defense counsel are prohibited from informing jurors of this power or right, leaving them ignorant of this very essential power and duty and check upon the power of the state.

In order to rectify this situation, and boldly and clearly announce the power, duty and authority of the jury system to act as a final check on the abuses of an overbearing or tyrannical government, I propose the following amendment to the US Constitution:

PROPOSED AMENDMENT TO US CONSTITUTION:
"In all criminal trials before a jury in any State or United States Court, the Court shall inform the jurors as to the range of penalties and punishments provided for in the statute, that such jurors have the duty to judge both the law and the facts of the case, including their right to reject or nullify the law or the instructions of the Court, in whole or in part, and that no verdict of guilty shall ever be directed nor any verdict of not guilty ever questioned or set aside by the Court."

As events unfold in the coming months and years, it is not unlikely that the power of jurors to review and judge the law will be further limited, if not eliminated, by statutes or Court rulings that will prevent them from exercising their role as an effective check on abusive or tyrannical government. It is my personal opinion that this power of jurors is crucial to preventing such abuse and tyranny from gaining a foothold and spreading rapidly throughout this nation. What say you, fellow DailyPaulers?




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The juries right to judge constitutional intent

in a particular case is quite important to the people's capacity to know constitutional intent at any time.

Can we stop doing all the things we are doing that we do not want to do while still doing what we need to do?

Can any compete with the idiot box?

Especially when so few know or accept the purpose of free speech?

Can we stop doing all the things we are doing that we do not want to do while still doing what we need to do?

Idiot box is part of the soapbox, but it has been corporatized..

It's called the idiot box because of the corporatist government brainwashing shows and news programs, commercialism, etc...

There's no reason that the technology of television should not be used to spread maximum information.

Remember when History Channel was jokingly called the "Hitler Channel" by everyone, because WWII stuff was always on, and you could actually learn something watching it?

Now it's all Pawn Stars and American Pickers, seemingly 24/7...

The Discovery Channel too. Nothing but garbage on their now.

It's all being done on purpose. The next stage in dumbing us down. Just dumb enough so parents wont realize the lack of real-info their kids are getting.

I think guys like Alex Jones, Ben Swann, Glen Beck, Michael Savage, Drudge, Judge Napolitano, heck Ron Paul, I would've said Breitbart, you could even give Onion a piece/show, and a bunch of these other guys/outlets who are have been shunned by the corporatocracy and/or are just alternative media, should work something out and form their own cable TV Network/Channel. Lots of rich and influential people in media who'd put up money to get in that, that love liberty and loath the establishment. There'd be big money in it and it'd be good for everyone.

PEOPLE OPPOSING TYRANNY - Real Grass Roots!
Are you a POT or a PET - Person Embracing Tyranny?

Start at the state level

I think getting a Constitutional Amendment for this is too large an undertaking at this point. Also, I don't believe that the average politician either cares to support such an amendment or is intelligent enough to understand it.

Many states have a means of amending their state constitutions or statutes by way of popular vote, including getting a measure on the ballot via referendum, etc.

It can be as simple as creating an amendment or statute at the state level that requires all judges at state level courts or inferior to read to every jury their right to nullification. I'm thinking of something similar to how Miranda rights are applied at the time of arrest. Imagine if every jury at the state level or lower had to be told that they could nullify a bad law.

Go to ballotpedia.org and learn if your state allows direct legislation, etc. If state law allows, find out how many petition signatures you need and get your measure on the ballot. Even if it makes it on the ballot and fails miserably, you will have created a significant dialog and we will have a lot more informed jurors.

If such "Juror Rights" were read before each trial convened, we would see a lot of bad laws tossed out, prosecutors restraining themselves from pursuing cases that are likely to get nullifications, cops not arresting people when they know nothing will eventually come of it, etc. Don't have a stand-your-ground law in your state? Jury nullification will basically change the definition of justifiable homicide to include things like shooting your assailant while you visit an ATM. Marijuana and possibly other drugs will become legal per se when prosecutors know they can't score a conviction from a well-informed jury, especially considering support for marijuana legalization is over 50%, that's 6 out of 12 jurors. If only 1 out of the 12 jurors believes in the broad definition of the 2nd Amendment, people won't go to jail for possessing a firearm either concealed or open or loaded or even full-auto.

________________________________________

Yes!

This is what needs to happen. Agree entirely.

"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe."-- Albert Einstein

By whose authority?

It may be a good idea to consider the possibility that your mind has at least one lie working as if the lie is true: in your own mind.

I'm not claiming that it is.

I am offering a competitive response to your competitive offer of words (political or psychological power as opposed to economic or physical power).

A full reading of the following may help:

http://www.usa-the-republic.com/items%20of%20interest/trial_...

Peruse forensic information > speed read soundbites

I expect no one to read it, I did.

Once reading that you can then become familiar with the concept of government by the consent of the governed or Voluntary Association, whereby the practice of government by the consent of the government has already been in practice since (perhaps) before the preservation of recorded human history, including the form knowable as Trial by Jury, which is based upon sortition, or by "random lot," which means that no "side" involved in a controversy is afforded the opportunity/privilege/power to hand pick (cherry pick), or stack, the jury.

If you prefer to jump head first into a current nation wide effort to utilize common law juries in defense of Liberty, then you can set aside the offer to read the vital information linked and you can go here:

http://nationallibertyalliance.org/default.html

In Liberty you are no less powerful legally than any other human being NOT currently perpetrating crimes upon the innocent, AND excluding rocks, vegetables, chairs, wild animals, mad dogs, infants, insane people, and other things, or living beings not ready for responsibilities associated with accurate human moral accountability.

Step into the pool and volunteer to be a jurist at your leisure, at your own cost.

How is that for a start at a competitive response to your generous offer of words?

Joe

well I think he's doing it right

by proposing an amendment.

Please explain how a "common law" jury is going to do a damned thing. If the real jury convicts someone, the fact that a few partisan yokels vote otherwise before they get to their grand slam breakfasts at the local Denny's isn't going to impress the judge.

If you disagree, please explain why. I'm not going to patronize your fake law website.

"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe."-- Albert Einstein

Disagree?

The following are word choices made by an individual human being (which may be an assumption on my part or may be an established fact):

"...your fake law website."

There is no possible disagreement I can come up with concerning those word choices, since those word choices are merely false.

My error may be compounding as I type. What is the point at which any possible benefit is no longer possible when dealing with people who willfully fabricate falsehoods?

Joe

Not sure but in dealing with your type, I'm pretty close

common law grand juries. Roll eyes. What a joke.

"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe."-- Albert Einstein

Not solicited nor demanded

So what is the point of your offer of opinion?

Joe

another guy that talks like Beldar the Conehead

We are posting at an internet discussion forum. Do I need to continue to explain what that is, or does that help you grasp the concept of my reply? Also, I happen to know some things about the subject and therefore commented on it.

"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe."-- Albert Einstein

Forum rules

It is customary on forums for the trolls to self-govern their abusive behavior.

Just following orders?

Joe

yes, I'm just following orders

I met with my handler, beside his black ford crown vic with pie tin hubcaps and we discussed this issue thoroughly, before preparing Position Memorandum IG-205b which details that when you encounter someone speaking like Beldar Conehead, you are to immediately call them out. So, in other words, no.

"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe."-- Albert Einstein

How to accurately discriminate?

A liar lies?

"yes,......no."

Joe

are you really that slow?

You really couldn't tell that was a joke? Okay. Got it.

"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe."-- Albert Einstein

.

A constitutional amendment won't happen. Neither will the elimination of a trial by jury despite the wet dreams of the bipartisan totalitarians in DC and loud mouthed academicians in their Universites. I agree with everything else 100%.

FIJA.org is probably in the top 3 most important organizations in this country. They are doing the most and the best work in educating people about the most important civic act they can and SHOULD engage in with childish glee.

But you need to understand how to navigate the system. This means acquainting yourself with 'voir dire' aka jury selection. It's how the state purges juries of people who think for themselves. You have obligations under such circumstances and should you be called upon to participate in a Jury, there are a list of things you need to take into consideration beforehand to protect yourself so that you may protect others.

Start at my old post, here: http://www.dailypaul.com/265433/to-nullify-you-must-survive-...

But most importantly, help FIJA out. It's a hand full of people working damn hard on a shoe string budget to make this information available and to assist activists and citizens alike.

You make two points

You make two points:

1)"A constitutional amendment won't happen"; and

2)"Neither will the elimination of a trial by jury despite the wet dreams of the bipartisan totalitarians in DC and loud mouthed academicians in their Universites."

1- As to your first point, I agree that such an amendment is unlikely, given the difficulty of garnering popular support for such measure and steering through the cumbersome amendment process. However, it is worth considering broadcasting such an amendment or variations of it far and wide as a means of educating and popularising the need for such action. Dismissing the amendment or the amendment process offhand is a self-fulfilling prophesy.

2- It is your second point that I found more problematic. I think you are being dangerously naive in confidently asserting that "trial by jury" is safe from being eliminated, even as you acknowledge the broad opposition from "totalitarians in DC and loud mouthed academicians in their Universities" (including law schools, I assume). A cursory examination of American history shows a steady deterioration in the rights of the jury (especially the issue of "nullification") at the hands of the Court, which largely neuters the power of the jury, so what makes you think that these totalitarians are planning to stop their attacks on our jury system just because you think they won't?

PEOPLE OPPOSING TYRANNY - Real Grass Roots!
Are you a POT or a PET - Person Embracing Tyranny?