The power of III

Summum ius summa iniuria--More law, less justice
--Cicero.

17 March 2011

79 year old Jury nullification activist cant be brought to heel...

A true activist, a man with real cojones, Julian Heicklen:

Feisty jury nullification activist Julian Heicklen, a 79-year-old former chemistry professor, is facing federal charges of jury tampering up in New York for the act of handing out pamphlets advocating the power and responsibility of juries to judge the law as well as the facts (that is, to acquit if they think a law is unjust even if they think a defendent violated that law).

But his attempts to get arrested again for violating Judge Belvin Perry's ban on nullification pamphleteering near his courthouse in Orlando have so far failed. He's violated the order, but no one's arrested him.

read more here 

Fully Informed Jury Association FIJA:

"The primary function of the independent juror is not, as many think, to dispense punishment to fellow citizens accused of breaking various laws, but rather to protect fellow citizens from tyrannical abuses of power by the government.  The Constitution guarantees you the right to trial by jury.  This means that government must bring its case before a jury of The People if government wants to deprive any person of life, liberty, or property.  Jurors can say no to government tyranny by refusing to convict."

5 comments:

  1. I'm down for Jury Nullification so long as jurors take into consideration the Constitution, either the federal or the State. There must be a line that cannot be crossed. If jurors were to ignore a law simply because they don't like it or understand it, then we could risk lawlessness as no law would be safe so long as it rested on a juror's comfort with that law. Truly constitutional laws should be respected and upheld, even if they aren't popular with the jurors; however, this also requires a familiarity with both federal and State constitutions. Something which is incredibly unlikely given the level of mature understanding in legal and constitutional affairs/history in today's PC environment.

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  2. @Anon
    Very well said; the whole idea is to promote justice. Nullification by a jury should be done when the individuals on the jury recognize an injustice being perpetrated by the state. It is likely to be uncommon, but jurors should understand their rights and their duties to their fellow citizen. The jurors are purposefully kept in the dark by officers of the court, which substantially weakens the power of the citizenry over the state.

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  4. Reg T said...
    Actually, conviction of citizens for unConstitutional laws happens with fairly great frequency. There is no place in the Constitution that states it is illegal to possess any weapon whatsoever, and the Second Amendment was written to protect that right, but it is violated every time someone is convicted of any firearm or knife law other than a direct assault (threatening with present ability to carry out the threat) with such a weapon. Not to mention the more recent egregious violations of civil rights such as the conviction of David Olofson for loaning someone a malfunctioning rifle, or Brian Aitken, the man arrested in New Jersey and whose sentence was commuted by Governor Christie.

    Although it is constitutional for states to create laws that the Federal government does not have the authority to create, all drug laws pertaining to use and possession (again, other that an attempt to poison, administer illicitly against someone's will, force someone to take) are unConstitutional, and persons convicted under those laws should be protected by a jury of their peers. I am not a user, and would prefer some controls - perhaps the way alcohol is controlled - but the "War on Drugs" costs us billions in taxes, trillions in the cost of imprisoning violators over the years, and many lives. Along with much of our freedom from illegal search and seizure, etc.

    We have been brainwashed to think that a) because a law was passed by a legislative body it is legal, and b) that jurors cannot rule upon the law as well as the facts simply because the judge instructs a jury that it cannot. That is a lie that is perpetuated by all judges. The jurors don't simply have the ability to do so, they have a _duty_ to do so.

    Just as the Second Amendment was written to remind government that we retain the means to prevent tyranny (not for hunting or self-defense - the Founders had just fought a war for freedom that could not have been fought without firearms), so was the right of trial by jury codified (1215 the Magna Carta) in English law to remind government that one of our resorts against (judicial) tyranny was a jury of our peers present to rule upon the government's laws. That is what saved Peter Zenger in 1735.

    If jury nullification was practiced as it should be, it wouldn't matter how many laws Congress wrote, or executive orders a President wrote. A jury could nullify them and set the defendant free. No worries about Obamacare, Cap and Trade, "assault" weapons bans, or any other unConstitutional laws or regulations. If jury nullification was practiced, how long do you think the IRS would remain in business? The "War on Drugs"? Asset forfeiture? Eminent domain? Imagine how powerful we could become.

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