6th July 2012 17:53
Link to Post #1
This may have already been discussed, however, I think it is of extreme importance that ALL Americans are aware of this and so I am posting this wherever readers of freedom might be found. Although the jury nullifcation movement to educate Americans has been around for sometime, especially with the the excellent work of, the informed jury associaition, I have seldom come across too many articles about it. Jury nullification is a very old concept that fills the America's earliest literature. Jury Nullification is written into the State Consitution of Maine, as well as other states. But becasue it gives the power of the last word on any law back to the average citizen, the legal profession actively supressed the information for decades. The informed jury assosiation had excellent handouts to give to people, however it was not appreciated by the buraeucrats who wanted to make sure they controlled the jury as much as they could. You know what happens when these Americasn have too much information about their rights!
Last week or maybe two weeks ago, some of you may have seen that the Governor of NH signed into law that the jury needs to be informed of this basic and ancient right that the jurors have always had, jury nullification, where the jury not only decides the fact of the case, but also has the power to decide on the applicability of the law itself. In other words they can say they don't like the law or they don't like how it is being applied to the individual being charge and therefore find the accused innocent.
I knew fifteen years ago consistutitionals who were in the in the State Legistlature in New Hampshire that were talking Jury Nullification up. I am delighted that finally it got the spotlight that it deserved, and that the door has been open to start educating the juror about this. I can only hope this news will go viral so that every American, in every state knows and understands jury nullification. But this will not happen unless it is talked about over and over and over. For all you professional marketers out there, how many times does someone has to be exposed to something before it finally sinks in?
Today I was sent this this article also about Jury Nullification, which I include below. I am wondering why after all these years of suppressing this information it is now starting to get more press. The power is and always has been with the people. If you ever find yourself in the jury box, and they are trying to convict someone of a crime such as failing to obtain health insurance, you can decide whether you feel obamacare, or what ever other law this person is being charged with, is a law that is just and consitutional. If you feel that the law is unconsitutional or unjust, like many stemming from the patriot act, you can just find the person not guilty even though he or she may have committed the "crime" the state had charged them with: like not having healthcare, or growing a garden for food, or giving food to a homeless person.
It must have been a dozen years ago, maybe more, perhpas some of you remember this story concerning Jury Nullification. I think it took place in Illinois. I think the man;s name was Whitey Hall, I might not have the name right. But he was accused of not paying income tax. His attorney asked for the law that made him liable for income tax, of course that was brushed aside. When the jury assemble to judge the case, the requested from the judge the law that made this man liable for income tax. The Judge wrote a note to teh jury saying they had all the information they needed. The jury therefore concluded that if they were not given the law, that this man was accused of breaking then perhpas there wasn't really a law that he was breaking therefore they found him not guilty. This isn't the best example of jury nullifcation. But it shows the power of the jury putting its foot down against bad law or ganster prosectuors. It would have been a better example of jury nullification had there actually been a law, and the jury found the person not guilty anyways becasue the of the many unconsitutional violations that happen with such an act by the American or State governments.
Please read the article below and tell a friend about this last word that we the people haev even over the Supreme Court Decisions IF we use it.
Jury Nullification : Peers Refuse to Convict Disabled Vet in Pot Bust
This below talks about some history of this and thoughts of some of our founding fathers about the issue of how important it was for the jury to have the power to nullify a law. This was a good read.... worth the time. Its also a way to take our country back.
Jury Nullification : Peers Refuse to Convict Disabled Vet in Pot Bust
"Jurors should acquit, even against the judge's instruction... if exercising their judgement with discretion and honesty they have a clear conviction the charge of the court is wrong." ~ Alexander Hamilton, 1804.
'The Vietnam veteran walks with a cane, has bad knees and feet and says he uses marijuana to relieve body pain, as well as to help cope with post traumatic stress.'
Maybe this is how the war on marijuana ends.
A rural Illinois jury has found one of their peers innocent in a marijuana case that would have sent him to prison. Loren Swift (pictured below) was charged with possession of marijuana with intent to deliver, and he faced a mandatory minimum of six years behind bars.
According to Dan Churney at MyWebTimes , several jurors were seen shaking Swift's hand after the verdict, a couple of them were talking and laughing with Swift and his lawyer, and one juror slapped Swift on the back.
The 59-year-old was arrested after officers from a state "drug task force" found 25 pounds of pot and 50 pounds of growing plants in his home in 2007. The Vietnam veteran walks with a cane, has bad knees and feet and says he uses marijuana to relieve body pain, as well as to help cope with post traumatic stress.
This jury exercised their right of jury nullification. Judges and prosecutors never tell you this, but when you serve on a jury, it's not just the defendant on trial. It's the law as well. If you don't like the law and think applying it in this particular case would be unjust, then you don't have to find the defendant guilty, even if the evidence clearly indicates guilt.
In jury nullification, a jury in a criminal case effectively nullifies a law by acquitting a defendant regardless of the weight of evidence against him or her. There is intense pressure within the legal system to keep this power under wraps. But the fact of the matter is that when laws are deemed unjust, there is the right of the jury not to convict.
Jury nullification is crucially important because until our national politicians show some backbone on the issue of marijuana law reform, it's one of the only ways to avoid imposing hideously cruel "mandatory minimum" penalties on marijuana users who don't deserve to go to prison.
Prosecuting and jailing people for marijuana wastes valuable resources, including court and police time and tax dollars. Hundreds of thousands of otherwise productive, law-abiding people have been deprived of their freedom, their families, their homes and their jobs. Let's save the jails for real criminals, not pot smokers.
The American public is very near the tipping point where a majority no longer believes the official line coming from Drug Warrior politicians and their friends at the ONDCP, gung-ho narcotics officers protecting their profitable turf, and sensationalistic, scare-mongering news stories used to boost ratings. They are starting to see through the widening cracks in the wall of denial when it comes to marijuana's salutary medical effects on a host of illnesses and its palliative effects for the terminally ill and permanently disabled.
People are coming to realize that not only have they been sold a lie when it comes to marijuana -- they've been sold a particularly cruel lie, a self-perpetuating falsehood of epic proportions that has controlled U.S. public policy towards the weed for 70 years now. The extreme cruelty of the lies told about marijuana by drug warriors is in the effects this culture of fear and intolerance has in the real world -- effects like long prison sentences for gentle people who are productive and caring members of society.
Because citizens are coming to this long-delayed realization, we are going to be seeing more and more cases like this where juries have chosen not to punish people for pot. As this consciousness permeates all levels of society, it is going to get harder and harder for prosecutors to get guilty verdicts in marijuana cases -- and that's a good thing.
Maybe this is how the war on marijuana ends... Not with a bang, but a whimper, as cousin T.S. would say.
What You Can Do
* If you ever serve on a jury where the defendant is accused of a marijuana crime, don't forget about jury nullification. Tell the other jurors you don't have to convict, even if all the evidence points to guilt, if you don't agree with the application of the law in this instance. And if you can't swing your peers to your way of thinking, at least you can cause the jury to return a hung verdict.
* American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU): Drug Policy
* Change The Climate: Time to Tell the Truth About Marijuana
* Drug Policy Alliance: Alternatives to Prohibition and the Drug War
* Marijuana Policy Project
* National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML)
"It is not only the juror's right, but his duty to find the verdict according to his own best understanding, judgement and conscience, though in direct opposition to the instruction of the court." ~ John Adams, 1771.
The article is reproduced in accordance with Section 107 of title 17 of the Copyright Law of the United States relating to fair-use and is for the purposes of criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research.
Last edited by blake; 6th July 2012 at 17:59.
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6th July 2012 23:39
Link to Post #2