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"Juror nullification" Have any of your heros done this?

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posted on Aug, 30 2010 @ 09:15 AM
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reply to post by yeahright
 





A narrow point of contention. Juries don't find anyone "innocent". They either find them guilty or not guilty, assuming they reach a unanimous decision. "Not guilty" doesn't mean "innocent", it means guilt couldn't be proven to the threshold beyond a reasonable doubt.


That a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty is a fundamental principle of American jurisprudence. That is the rule of law.




posted on Aug, 30 2010 @ 09:23 AM
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The following is my opinion as a member participating in this discussion.


reply to post by Jean Paul Zodeaux
 


I get that. But there is no criminal situation where a jury declares a defendant's innocence. The finding is either Guilty or Not Guilty. A jury doesn't declare innocence, they find the prosecution either met the burden of proof, or didn't.

Courts are in the business of guilty or not guilty. If you need to be declared "innocent" visit a religious institution.

Good explanation here.


As an ATS Staff Member, I will not moderate in threads such as this where I have participated as a member.



posted on Aug, 30 2010 @ 09:32 AM
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reply to post by yeahright
 





I get that. But there is no criminal situation where a jury declares a defendant's innocence.


Obviously you are not getting it. A jury has no need to declare a defendant innocence when the presumption of innocence is all ready in place.



posted on Aug, 30 2010 @ 09:40 AM
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The following is my opinion as a member participating in this discussion.


reply to post by Jean Paul Zodeaux
 


I don't believe a jury does have to, or can, declare a defendant's innocence, and never made the claim. My point is, you cannot make a claim that a person is innocent based upon a jury's decision. The legal distinctions are guilty or not guilty. Innocence is something altogether different. If you want to declare someone as innocent, it will have nothing to do with what a jury decided.

The designation of "not guilty" does not equal innocent. To say someone is innocent because a court found them not guilty is false.


As an ATS Staff Member, I will not moderate in threads such as this where I have participated as a member.



posted on Aug, 30 2010 @ 09:46 AM
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reply to post by yeahright
 





I don't believe a jury does have to, or can, declare a defendant's innocence, and never made the claim. My point is, you cannot make a claim that a person is innocent based upon a jury's decision.


I am not, nor have I ever claimed that a person is innocence because a jury declared them innocent. I am asserting that the presumption of innocence is a fundamental principle of American jurisprudence, and failing a guilty verdict, or plea bargain, or confession, that presumption of innocence remains when a jury acquits a person.



posted on Aug, 30 2010 @ 09:52 AM
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The following is my opinion as a member participating in this discussion.



Originally posted by Jean Paul Zodeaux
I am not, nor have I ever claimed that a person is innocence because a jury declared them innocent.


Fair enough. I obviously misread your post here which I quoted here.


As an ATS Staff Member, I will not moderate in threads such as this where I have participated as a member.


[edit on 8/30/2010 by yeahright]



posted on Aug, 30 2010 @ 10:04 AM
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I guess the OP is saying he's advancing the cause of Liberty in a way the "Heroes" never would. Not sure if he's right and don't know the details of the case but I'll go out on a limb and assume it's drug related and victim-less. In that case, I applaud his middle finger to the system.

A well informed jury is incredibly important so where is the education? In high school civics class? No. Are jury members informed after selection and before trial? I don't think so. Perhaps there's a day in law school where it's taught, I wouldn't know, but this area of law needs to be a part of our general education.

I'm awestruck because many people are just not interested; but what else can you do to a nation that's hell-bent on law mongering everyone into being a criminal?



posted on Aug, 30 2010 @ 10:16 AM
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reply to post by yeahright
 





Fair enough. I obviously misread your post here which I quoted here.


A presumption of innocence, and a verdict of not guilty is a reaffirming of that presumption of innocence, and a person is not innocent because a jury declared them innocent. They are legally innocent because the justice system was not able to find them guilty. A person not convicted of a crime is considered to be innocent by law. Thus, it is not the verdict of the jury that makes the legally innocent, it is the due process of law that all people have the right to. Playing games of semantics does not change that rule of law.



posted on Aug, 30 2010 @ 10:35 AM
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The following is my opinion as a member participating in this discussion.


reply to post by Jean Paul Zodeaux
 


In my opinion, it isn't semantics to say a jury doesn't find a defendant innocent. That was my original point. All sorts of people are walking around who have been through the process, found not guilty, and are far from innocent. We understand and accept that as a tradeoff for minimizing the likelihood of punishing the truly innocent.

The absence of a guilty verdict does not make a person innocent. That is a fact, and is contrary to what I thought you were saying with the statement, "because the jury found them innocent of any crime". The threshold isn't "you definitely didn't do it", but "it wasn't proven you did". A jury's finding of Not Guilty isn't the same thing as declaring Innocence. It's a personal thing and I'll drop it.


As an ATS Staff Member, I will not moderate in threads such as this where I have participated as a member.



posted on Aug, 30 2010 @ 10:47 AM
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reply to post by yeahright
 





In my opinion, it isn't semantics to say a jury doesn't find a defendant innocent. That was my original point. All sorts of people are walking around who have been through the process, found not guilty, and are far from innocent. We understand and accept that as a tradeoff for minimizing the likelihood of punishing the truly innocent.


More importantly, all sorts of innocent people who have never committed a crime have been unjustly arrested and brought to trial for a crime they did not commit. This is why it is important to make the distinction between convicted criminal, and innocent. It is not just to ask a person applying for a job if they have ever been arrested of a crime, as anyone can be arrested, but it is fair and just to ask if a person has been convicted of crime.




The absence of a guilty verdict does not make a person innocent. That is a fact, and is contrary to what I thought you were saying with the statement, "because the jury found them innocent of any crime". The threshold isn't "you definitely didn't do it", but "it wasn't proven you did". A jury's finding of Not Guilty isn't the same thing as declaring Innocence. It's a personal thing and I'll drop it.


The absence of a guilty verdict affords that person tried of a crime the very same presumption of innocence they had going into trial, and the insistence that one not found guilty does not make them innocent can very easily become slander or libel depending upon the circumstances, which is a crime. Using the failed prosecution of a person as an excuse to question their innocence is not an excuse to harm that persons character and well being. If you are so sure a person is guilty of crime then prove it. Failing that, the person you are so sure is guilty of a crime has fundamentals rights just the same as you do.



posted on Aug, 30 2010 @ 11:45 AM
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The following is my opinion as a member participating in this discussion.



Originally posted by Jean Paul Zodeaux
This is why it is important to make the distinction between convicted criminal, and innocent.


Which you CANNOT do based upon the results of a trial. The distinction is guilty or not guilty. If you're going to consider every person acquitted as declared innocent, you're driving screws with a hammer. Which you're certainly free to do. But you're in both cases using a tool for something other than its intended purpose.

A person is innocent (or not) based upon the objective reality of the situation, which we may never be able to determine. Whatever assumptions we choose to make don't affect that, regardless of the outcome of a trial. Calling a person acquitted "not guilty" would be accurate. Presuming them innocent and stating a court proceeding officially declared them innocent, are two different things, and that goes beyond semantics, in my opinion.


As an ATS Staff Member, I will not moderate in threads such as this where I have participated as a member.



posted on Aug, 30 2010 @ 12:03 PM
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reply to post by yeahright
 





Which you CANNOT do based upon the results of a trial. The distinction is guilty or not guilty. If you're going to consider every person acquitted as declared innocent, you're driving screws with a hammer. Which you're certainly free to do. But you're in both cases using a tool for something other than its intended purpose.


That is a load of crap! Again, a person who has been accused of a crime, not convicted of that crime has the right to declare themselves innocent. They also have the right of reasonable expectation to be treated as innocent, and your game of semantics is a suspicious one. The fact of the matter is that police officers often ask people they've pulled over if they have ever been arrested, not if they have ever been convicted of a crime but if they have ever been arrested.

It is in fact a big reason that lawyers regularly advice people to not talk to police officers. If a person has been arrested unjustly and answers the police officers question it will not matter to that police officer whether or not there was a conviction or not, and use the fact that an arrest had taken place as an excuse for suspicion. This is just one of the problems with government and why it is necessary to create Constitutions to restrict government with a due process of law.




A person is innocent (or not) based upon the objective reality of the situation, which we may never be able to determine.


Try making such a claim about a person who has been acquitted from a crime and not at all interested in showing tolerance of that kind of defamation, and see how far your reasoning gets you. Why is it that you think playing games of semantics gives you the right to slander or libel a person not convicted of a crime, I wonder? The burden of proof is upon the prosecution, and if you hope to defame someone as a criminal, you best be able to prove it, or you yourself may very well have to defend yourself against slander or libel charges.




Whatever assumptions we choose to make don't affect that, regardless of the outcome of a trial.


And yet, when I point out the irrefutable point of law that presumption of innocence is a fundamental principle of American jurisprudence, you claim that you get that...until you don't get it, then suddenly assumptions are dismissed and we're back to square one, where you advocate that a simple arrest and prosecution of a person is reason enough to call them a criminal.




Calling a person acquitted "not guilty" would be accurate.


Presumption of innocence means presumed innocence until proven guilty. If found not guilty then what is accurate is that the presumption of innocence remains and that person is to be presumed innocent, that would be accurate, and a point of law.




Presuming them innocent and stating a court proceeding officially declared them innocent, are two different things, and that goes beyond semantics, in my opinion.


A presumption of innocence places the onus upon the prosecution, and when a person is presumed innocent that person needs no court proceeding to declare them innocent, and this is where your game of semantics is merely an advocacy of defamation. If you can prove a person is guilty of a crime then prove it, if you cannot they have a right to the presumption of innocence just the same as you do. This is the rule of law.



posted on Aug, 30 2010 @ 12:27 PM
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The following is my opinion as a member participating in this discussion.



Originally posted by Jean Paul Zodeaux
That is a load of crap!


Seriously? You think a court has the ability to declare a person innocent? If objective reality is defamation, then so be it. Innocence as a declaration is irrelevant in a criminal proceeding. It's guilty or not guilty. That's the mission and the task and the responsibility. A jury can no more "declare" you innocent than they can declare you intelligent.

For some reason you seem to be unable or unwilling to draw a distinction between not guilty and innocent, which frankly, surprises me.

It isn't the responsibility of the jury to declare someone innocent. They can't and don't do that in any official capacity. It's outside the scope.

OJ was found not guilty. I still wouldn't be comfortable with him dating my sister. Michael Jackson was found not guilty in a molestation case. I sure wouldn't have allowed him to watch any relative of mine.

These guys were both not guilty as determined by a jury. Did the jury find them innocent? Do you consider them to be innocent?

If a jury's not guilty verdict in a criminal proceeding means you're innocent, why can you still be sued in a civil case, since your innocence has already been established?

Just more crap, I guess.


As an ATS Staff Member, I will not moderate in threads such as this where I have participated as a member.



posted on Aug, 30 2010 @ 01:06 PM
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reply to post by yeahright
 





Seriously? You think a court has the ability to declare a person innocent?


You're not paying attention. A person not convicted of a crime does not need a courts declaration of innocence because presumption of innocence all ready exists.




If objective reality is defamation, then so be it.


What objective reality are you talking about? If objective reality says the person is guilty then proving such guilt shouldn't be so hard, should it? Where's the proof of a crime absent a conviction? The objective reality of a failed prosecution is that guilt was not proven, and as such the presumption of innocence remains as it was before and during the trial.




Innocence as a declaration is irrelevant in a criminal proceeding.


Innocence is the presumption, which is not irrelevant, it is a matter of law.




It's guilty or not guilty.


The game of semantics you play is pedestrian. It is guilty or not guilty because in a criminal proceeding it is the government asking for a verdict. They can not by law ask if the defendant is innocent because by law a presumption of innocence is all ready afforded the defendant, thus the question becomes guilty or not guilty. Your game of semantics seems to be a game that wants to be played to justify smearing the character of any person who has been arrested and tried of crime, regardless of their innocence. Why else play the game?




For some reason you seem to be unable or unwilling to draw a distinction between not guilty and innocent, which frankly, surprises me.


It should not surprise you in the least why I take the stance I do, and it has nothing at all to do with drawing a distinction between not guilty and innocent, it has everything to do with respecting the rights of others. Why does that surprise you?




It isn't the responsibility of the jury to declare someone innocent. They can't and don't do that in any official capacity. It's outside the scope.


You are purposely twisting words in order to do what? A presumption of innocence is the first principle to understand in a criminal proceeding. Any member who claims they presume guilt before the trial has even begun will be dismissed, and will not be a part of that jury. A presumption of innocence. Do you understand what that means? It is not your place to declare people who have been arrested, tried, and acquitted, guilty of a crime, unless you can prove that guilt. Failing that guilt the presumption of innocence remains intact, and you insinuating guilt of a person in spite of acquittal is slanderous, or libelous.




OJ was found not guilty. I still wouldn't be comfortable with him dating my sister. Michael Jackson was found not guilty in a molestation case. I sure wouldn't have allowed him to watch any relative of mine.


O.J. was actually found liable in a civil court of law, which tends to diminish his acquittal in the criminal case, although a civil case has a lower standard for burden of proof. Further, OJ has gone out of his way to get arrested and convicted of other crimes to the point that he has earned the title of criminal. He has done so through conviction. Micheal Jackson has not earned that title and your bias does not impress me in the least. Your willingness to malign someones character failing any credible proof says far more about your character than it does Micheal Jackson's.




These guys were both not guilty as determined by a jury. Did the jury find them innocent? Do you consider them to be innocent?


As to the Nicole Simpson murder, yes I actually do consider OJ to be innocent of the charge brought against him. I think the jury acted correctly in that matter. I also think the jury acted correctly in the matter of Spector, who was convicted of murder. I most certainly think the jury acted correctly in the matter of Micheal Jackson. Prove Micheal Jackson was actually molesting children then I will listen to you, failing that, I will support your decision not to let, (presuming Jackson was still alive and actually wanted to watch your children), Jackson watch your children because you have the right to make that decision, you do not have the right to maliciously malign Jackson's character. That is not a right.




If a jury's not guilty verdict in a criminal proceeding means you're innocent, why can you still be sued in a civil case, since your innocence has already been established?



You keep insisting on playing these games of semantics but I assure you that if a civil suit is brought against a person acquitted from criminal charges, and the jury in the civil suit renders the same decision, that all efforts to malign that persons character and brand them a criminal have been exhausted and it is high time the presumption of innocence afforded by law from the beginning be paid its due respect.




Just more crap, I guess.



You've made it perfectly clear how little respect you have for due process of law and the presumption of innocence, and you bet it is just more crap. Your attitude that we let the guilty walk in order to protect the innocent is the oxymoronic reasoning most government sycophants use in order to undermine the principle that restrictions are placed on government to prevent them from running roughshod over peoples rights.



posted on Aug, 30 2010 @ 02:18 PM
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The following is my opinion as a member participating in this discussion.



Originally posted by Jean Paul Zodeaux
You've made it perfectly clear how little respect you have for due process of law and the presumption of innocence, and you bet it is just more crap. Your attitude that we let the guilty walk in order to protect the innocent is the oxymoronic reasoning most government sycophants use in order to undermine the principle that restrictions are placed on government to prevent them from running roughshod over peoples rights.


What I've attempted to make clear, and obviously failed, is the fallacy of the statement you made here, to wit:


If a person has been acquitted of a crime, either they were acquitted because the jury found them innocent of any crime...


Which you can drag out, dissect, restate any way you'd like and it's still WRONG. I have enough respect for due process to at least not purposefully misstate it. Any projection and assumption you make about my "attitude" is yours alone.

A petit jury cannot, will not, and does not find or declare anyone to be innocent. Ever. Period. If you want to ensure your rights are respected and not trampled upon, it might behoove you to at least have a fundamental grasp of what a court does and doesn't do in a criminal proceeding. Finding a defendant innocent isn't an option. Any time you read an article which states "the jury found the defendant innocent" or words to that effect, is a good sign whoever wrote it hasn't a clue.

And let me add, I don't believe you WANT a jury in a criminal case to have the ability to make that call. It shifts the burden of proof to include an option which doesn't exist today - innocent.

Discuss among yourselves. It's become too tedious for me and is beginning to border on getting personal.

As an ATS Staff Member, I will not moderate in threads such as this where I have participated as a member.



posted on Aug, 30 2010 @ 02:51 PM
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reply to post by yeahright
 





What I've attempted to make clear, and obviously failed, is the fallacy of the statement you made here, to wit:


Yes you have undoubtedly failed. You have hoped to play a game of semantics simply because I phrased an action of a jury as fining innocence. Your game of semantics, clearly addressed in the last post, where you want to go but, but, but, they don't say "innocent" they say either "guilty" or "not guilty" so they can't be finding a person innocent, ignores the fact that by law a presumption of innocence all ready exists and the exact wording of either guilty or not guilty is worded as such in response to the prosecution that asks for a verdict of not guilty or guilty because by law the prosecution is bound by the presumption of innocence. Of course, I don't buy for a single second that you are stupid, and believe your failure stems from an effort far more nefarious, and that is to undermine the rule of law.




A petit jury cannot, will not, and does not find or declare anyone to be innocent. Ever. Period. If you want to ensure your rights are respected and not trampled upon, it might behoove you to at least have a fundamental grasp of what a court does and doesn't do in a criminal proceeding.


Do not pretend for a single second that you are a defender of rights, my friend. You are the person who willingly drug out an old and failed attempt to frame Micheal Jackson as a child molester, now that Jackson himself is dead. Where have you found your "objective reality" to speak with such assurance to insidiously imply Micheal Jackson is a child molester? The National Enquirer? John Stewart jokes is it? The main stream medias relentless obsession with Jackson, is this your "objective reality". The facts, and the objective reality is that you have not one iota of evidence let alone proof that Micheal Jackson is a child molester, but in spite of that, you have willingly indicted this man, a dead man, of a crime no jury was willing to convict him of. This is your honor, or lack of it, and taking advice from such a person is far from prudent.




And let me add, I don't believe you WANT a jury in a criminal case to have the ability to make that call. It shifts the burden of proof to include an option which doesn't exist today - innocent.


This is utter nonsense, and you are taking your game of semantics to ridiculous extremes now. It has all ready been established why juries do not answer in a matter of a verdict "innocent" and that is because a prosecutor can not ask for such a verdict because the presumption of innocence is presumed. However, a jury that acquits can declare not guilty because based upon the facts they found that the person charged with a crime was innocent. I think you have played this game to add to the all ready gray and murky understanding too many people have the law, and to further the all ready common presumption of guilt people harbor from a simple arrest and/or trial, regardless of the acquittal. I think you are a government sycophant who cares little for the rights of individuals.




Discuss among yourselves. It's become too tedious for me and is beginning to border on getting personal.


I did not bring up any persons name regarding guilt or criminality, you did. I have only fought for the right of all people to be presumed innocent until proven guilty of a crime. This has been my effort, along with that of asserting that juries have the authority to judge the facts, and the law. In fact, since this thread is really about jury nullification, I certainly do take personally that you and others have attempted to derail the thread and make it about semantics. It is far more important that people understand that when acting as a juror, in spite of what prosecutors or judges might say, they have the legal authority to nullify an act of legislation, and this is what should be being discussed rather than the pithy games of semantics on what a jury says when rendering a verdict.



posted on Aug, 30 2010 @ 07:00 PM
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Innocent UNTIL proven guilty.

Where is the problem with the distinction?

Oh by the way, been on jury trials, two to be exact.

Both found not guilty.

If there were evidence of criminal behavior beyond a reasonable doubt, they would have been found guilty.

Since they were not found guilty, there classification as INNOCENT remains.

Once you strip off the layers of dirt on an onion, what do you have underneath, ONION.

That should be straight forward enough.

By the way, I am waiting for my summons on a non criminal trial.

Whereby the defendant (not criminal) is charged with a color of law charge. I will definitely be judging the LAW as well as the guilt of a so called criminal (actually a person charged with a crime is just a defendant, not a criminal).

To do no harm or to not infringe on another's rights to Life, Liberty or Property.

Anyway, jury nullification is the last bastion of defense against a tyrannical government.

Why do you think they removed the right to jury trial on tax cases?

Hmmmm, there is a good question!



posted on Aug, 30 2010 @ 07:22 PM
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A little more on topic -

So you told off a Judge and are feeling like a Hero? Why were you in court? What did you do to be in court?

Did it do you any good or just get you in more trouble?



posted on Aug, 30 2010 @ 08:00 PM
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I could have hoped for a more straightforward approach to the topic, but as far as I can tell, we are discussing the relatively uncommon and generally very risky proposition of claiming innocence not because you did not do the thing of which you are accused, or because you did so under extenuating circumstances, but instead because the law under which you are accused is not actually law, either by reason of its contradiction of inalienable rights or of higher laws.

I consider this to be an obviously valid point requiring very little said on its behalf. If the legislature makes an unjust law and the police bring someone before a court in which I am a juror because of it, there is obviously no way that the state can coerce me as a juror to render a verdict of guilty, if not by reason of morality then simply by practicality; how can they ever know my mind and know if I found a reasonable doubt or just disapproved of the law?

But a word of caution must be spoken against too broad an application of this principle. It is, as a matter of fact, left to any juror who is willing to disregard the courts instructions (or who may disregard them without consciously deciding to do so) to determine what the natural rights of man are and are not. A juror can decide, in the privacy of his soul, that I have the right to shoot my girlfriend's secret lover, or that I don't have the right to defend myself against police brutality, but if he does so, he invites things into our society that the vast majority of us may not want in our society, or perhaps worse, parcels out to only one man a right that the court should have established for all. So this is an extremely undemocratic and inconsistent way of determining the rights of human beings.

Not speaking as the man who may or may not go to prison and learn new and interesting facts about sodomy, but merely in an academic context, I find it preferable that a juror simply stand up and say "Your honor I can not render a verdict of guilty or not guilty because the alleged action is not criminal according to any constitutional law", than to simply acquit without forcing the court to set a precedent for the other 300-someodd million Americans who might still be abused in the same way.



posted on Aug, 30 2010 @ 09:10 PM
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Most excellent conversation I nearly missed!

I have to say, it is uncommon to the extreme; even to the point of outrageous exception, that any justice will allow such a declaration to stand.

In fact, there are scores of examples of litigation where the judge completely crushed the option outright, and even forbade any discussion of the principle in the courtroom; going so far as to threaten with contempt of court anyone who dared broach the topic while they sat on a case.

The American BAR association is beyond apathetic to the principle (just ask any practicing lawyer what they think of it - I guarantee a reaction in line with stating that you've seen Elvis, or a UFO).

However, let us please not lose the intent and the application of "Juror Nullification."

It's intent is to ensure that the community governed is not bullied into a state of sheepish acquiescence under an unjust law.

It is far too easy for those in positions of civil authority to literally "create" criminals by decree. I haven't met a prosecutor yet who hasn't demanded the right to consider a person guilty of a crime because 'technically' they were; irregardless of circumstantial consideration.

The people are the ULTIMATE authority in both principle and practice. The courts may not LIKE the idea, but until such time as they manage to rewrite Jurisprudence it is so.

A crime cannot be defined by the authorities without the consent of the governed; hence the governed CANNOT be denied the right and privilege to refuse to either indict or convict any person who they believe is being wrongly prosecuted.

I could fill pages with tails of juries that could have simply said, "Let him/her go. We deem there is no crime here to prosecute and the prosecution's case is being applied contrary to the will of the society and the community." But they were denied the knowledge that it was their prerogative. (In many cases the restriction was imposed by surreptitious jurisdictional manipulation and tacit conspiratorial consent of people we elect to serve.)

Ultimately, this is about sovereignty. The institution (the courts) does NOT rule over the people. And if for WHATEVER reason, no matter how inconsistent with "evidence" or "precedent" the Jury CAN acquit anyone. The legal system is quite clear in this regard.

Isn't it surprising that not even law students are introduced to this debate? Doesn't seem curious that the BAR association has nearly nothing to say on this point? I think so.

[edit on 30-8-2010 by Maxmars]



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