Civil Liberties

Fully Isolated Jury Association

|

Many libertarians embrace ye olde Anglo-Saxon belief that it is the jury's power and responsibility to judge the law as well as the facts–which is a quick way to get them kicked off juries when they reveal it, but that's not the point right now. The point is that courts tend to get really, really mad at people who inform/remind potential jurors of this power and responsibility. And in Florida, Judge Belvin Perry Jr. of the Ninth Judicial Circuit this week issues an order insisting that:

restriction upon expressive conduct and the dissemination of leaflets and other materials containing written information tending to influence summoned jurors as they enter the courthouse is necessary to serve the State's compelling interest in protecting the integrity of the jury system;

and thus Judge Perry has barred

dissemination of all leaflets and other materials to summoned jurors containing written or pictorial information tending to influence summoned jurors, as well as approaching a summoned juror for the purpose of displaying a sign to, or engaging in oral protest, education or counseling with information tending to influence summoned jurors…on the Orange County Courthouse complex grounds….which includes the adjacent courthouse parking garage, the courthouse courtyard, and all other grounds surrounding the courthouse…

Since it is difficult to know beforehand who is or isn't a summoned juror on a courthouse ground, this in effect shuts up any communication with anyone on this significant matter of judicial philosophy. (We aren't talking about gentlemen, say, telling a juror that you'd best acquit Sammy the Snake if youse knows what's good for youse.)

The Fully Informed Jury Association (FIJA) is annoyed.

I've written in the past about the case of Antonio Musumeci, who had his camera taken for shooting on courthouse grounds. (His right to shoot was vindicated in court.) What he was shooting was police harassment of FIJA activist Julian Heicklen. Heicklen himself, according to his website Tyranny Fighter, has now been charged with jury tampering by a court in the Southern District of New York and after failing to show up for a hearing on the matter, has a warrant out for his arrest.

NEXT: Hernando de Soto on "Egypt's Economic Apartheid"

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. It’s not just an olde Anglo-Saxon belief. Chief Justice Jay affirmed it:

    “It is presumed, that juries are the best judges of facts; it is, on the other hand, presumed that courts are the best judges of law. But still both objects are within your power of decision. . . . you [juries] have a right to take it upon yourselves to judge of both, and to determine the law as well as the fact in controversy.”

  2. There is good to this also. The Escambia County Sheriff Morgan liked to address the jurors as they arrived at the court house each morning and hand out business cards. This was stopped late last year. Nothing like a little reminder before you go in who the sheriff is, talk about intimidation.

  3. Blevins’ order violates the first amendment. He should be impeached, tried, and imprisoned for his attack on the civil rights of the people of Florida.

    -jcr

    1. How so?

      The first amendment says “Congress shall make no law…”, not “Judges may issue no order…”.

      1. Because the 1st, via the 14th, applies to the states, and the judge is an agent of the state.

      2. Right, there are two steps.

        Congress can make no law, and therefore such an order from a judge may carry no legal authority.

      3. When a judge issues an order, why the hell does anyone have to follow it? Is it a law? Was it legislated as law and signed by the chief executive of the jurisdiction?

    1. A jury that may acquit for reasons unrelated to the facts is a jury that may convict for reasons unrelated to the facts.

      And how is this stopped currently? While a judge may overrule the jury in some instances, I fail to see how personal biases and beliefs don’t currenlty enter into every court decision.

      We will always be a nation of MEN, because laws are executed and interpreted by men. Selective execution of laws is a reality, not a possibility.

    2. A jury that may acquit for reasons unrelated to the facts is a jury that may convict for reasons unrelated to the facts.

      A jury cannot (or should not) in good conscience convict someone of a crime if the law is bullshit.

      That’s what nullification means.

      They are making the law null because it can’t pass the smell test.

      Saying the jury may convict for reasons other than the facts is to give the jury power to create law.

      Talk about a false dichotomy.

      1. Exactly, it isnt jury nullifaction when a jury convicts despite the facts, that isnt what the word means.

        Nullification isnt ignoring the facts, it is a judgement of the law.

        Some idiots dont seem to get this.

        1. Some idiots don’t seem to understand that juries sit in judgement of the defendant, not in judgement of the law. If you manage to get 12 libertarians on a jury, and all twelve vote not to convict, the court WILL NOT record that the law has been judged!

          It’s absolute nuttery to think you can overturn a law just by sitting on a jury.

          1. Some idiots don’t seem to understand that juries sit in judgement of the defendant, not in judgement of the law.

            Bullshit, juries judge facts and the law. JOHN FUCKING JAY SAYS SO.

            And virtually every other legal scholar ever.

            1. No one claims that the law is null and void going forward. That isnt what “judging the law” means.

              1. No, but it is what many nullification proponents say.

                My beef isn’t with the idea that you can vote not to convict. That’s a no brainer. You can vote not to convict for any damned reason you want, including not liking the prosecutor’s tie. My beef is with those who think they can get laws overturned just by sitting on a jury.

                1. Eventually, they can. Prosecutors dont like losing and they are friends with representatives.

                2. I have never heard a nullification proponent say that.

                  Straw man.

            2. My beef is with those who think they can get laws overturned just by sitting on a jury.

              I’m going to be careful with the distinction between law and legislation in this reply, so maybe you’ll get the point.

              A jury can declare a legislation to be null, that is declare it not to be law.

              It means they can refuse to convict because they refuse to recognize the legislation as law.

              Government decides legislation, but society ultimately decides the law.

              When this happens enough then those in power (hopefully) take notice and amend or repeal the legislation to bring it in line with the law.

              Does that make more sense?

              1. Makes more sense, except that “the law” as you mean it does not actually exist. My apologies to Bastiat, but “the law” is way to ephemeral a concept to survive the rigors of reality. Ditto for its first cousin natural rights. “The Law” is fine for philosophical discussions, but it does not apply to the reality we physically live in.

                It’s a nice word for a nebulous concept, but do not mistake it for a concrete reality.

                If you want to enact changes in the real world you have to deal with the actual legislation.

                1. If you want to enact changes in the real world you have to deal with the actual legislation.

                  Did you even read what I wrote?

                  I’m getting the impression that if legislation prohibiting murder were to be repealed that you would decide it is OK to kill people.

                  Not only that, but you would actually go out and do it.

                  And then you would be genuinely surprised when vigilantes arrived at your doorstep, because after all in the real world of legislation what you did was perfectly legal, moral and not wrong in any way.

          2. Some idiots don’t seem to understand that juries sit in judgement of the defendant, not in judgement of the law.

            You can’t judge the defendant without judging the law. A jury that applies the law as written is accepting the law as written. If rejecting the law is a judgment on the law, then accepting it is equally a judgment on the law.

      2. Actually, it is an interesting intellectual exercise. What about laws that tie the hands of the state? Could jury nullification rightly apply there as well?

        Lets say there was evidence that you were told to disregard – evidence that the defendant was guilty. But it was obtained by means that are against the law. Is it ok to convict anyway, in the interest of “justice”?

        I know where we come down – but what about in the abstract “I’m a juror, I also judge the law” world?

        1. The judge in that case should declare a mistrial.

          I think this is also an example of not jury nullification. They are judging a law, they are judging a rule of procedure.

        2. Actually, it is an interesting intellectual exercise. What about laws that tie the hands of the state? Could jury nullification rightly apply there as well?

          Lets say there was evidence that you were told to disregard – evidence that the defendant was guilty. But it was obtained by means that are against the law. Is it ok to convict anyway, in the interest of “justice”?

          I know where we come down – but what about in the abstract “I’m a juror, I also judge the law” world?

          This is a viable hypothetical to ponder. Undoubtedly any action has potential unintended consequences, but I see nullification as a tool that has the ability to counter the already biased judicial system. Procedural requirements and outright malfeasance already weighs the system towards the State and away from the jury.

        3. If the judge does what judges normally do, the jury would have no idea that the evidence was obtained illegally. Fourth amendment questions are for the judge, not the jury, to decide and suppression motions are heard outside the jury. If an attorney tried to argue to the jury, during a trial, that the evidence was obtained illegally the prosecutor would object and the judge would cut the attorney off at the knees, on the grounds the testimony would be irrelevant to guilt.

        4. What about laws that tie the hands of the state?

          How does a law tie the hands of the state?

          The state has no power except that which is granted to it by laws.

          Everything else belongs to the people.

          To put it another way, the people are free to do anything that is not prohibited, while the government may only do that which is authorized by law.

          To say that laws tie the hands of the state is to say the state can do anything that is not prohibited by law, and the people may only do that which is allowed.

      3. That’s why convicts have the right to appeal their convictions, but prosecutors only get one crack at prosecuting the defendant. It’s (theoretically supposed to be) tilted in favor of freeing the wrongfully accused/convicted and guilty alike, and against convicting the innocent.

        Get a bad jury that convicts in bad faith, and appeal. Get a “bad” jury that nullifies and acquits, and that’s it.

    3. This website explains it all and answers all questions relating to Jury Nullification. http://www.apfn.org/pdf/citizen.pdf

  4. Barry your opinion is unpersuasive. It contains all the logic of a theist telling me that knowledge of good and evil comes from their stone-age book(s).

    The more checks on politicians the better. So viva jury nullification, viva state nullification.

    1. My only discomfort with the concept of Jury Nullification is that like so many other whims of the people, it may not result in justice. For instance, we libertarians are and have become highly skeptical of police power, yet we must admit that by-and-by, most people reflexively support the actions of the police. So what happens when a cop shoots an innocent civilian in cold blood, and his conviction is nullified?

      1. Better N* guilty go free than 1 innocent go to jail.

        *pick your own standard.

      2. But is that really nullification?

        Jury nullication is a refusal to convict because the law is found to be unjust.

        In that case, they are finding the law against murder unjust, they are finding the “facts” to be different. Even anti-nullifiers agree that juries are the deciders of fact. It is the judgement of law that is in question.

        This seems to be a common problem on nullification threads, actual nullification counter examples are rarely given.

        1. But is that really nullification?

          Jury nullication is a refusal to convict because the law is found to be unjust.

          I’m not a lawyer, so I can’t answer this. Good points though. I don’t know where “the law” ends and “police procedure” begins.

          I think that for purposes of discussion we can say that the police operate under different “laws” than civilians do, but are allowed to do so by “procedure”.

          Example: If I walk down the street and see my neighbor standing in front of his house, doing something with his fence, holding something sharp and pointy while he wears headphones in his ears, and I approach him from behind and yell “Drop the knife… DROP THE KNIFE, DROP THE KNIFE!!!” and as he begins to turn around I fire four bullets into his backside from 20′ away, I’m probably going to jail for a very long time.

          Did I violate a law, or did I violate a “procedure”?

          1. You violated the law. As did the cop.

            The fact that the cop wont be charged doesnt, in any way, change the fact that he violated the law.

            1. The fact that the cop wont be charged doesnt, in any way, change the fact that he violated the law.

              But if he is charged and the jury refuses to convict because they believe he followed procedure (which his defense attorney will argue during trial– hence didn’t ‘violate the law’) then can we conclude that the jury believes that the law as its written is unjust?

              1. No.

                And it wont go to trial, because prosecutors are pussies.

                1. We’ll see about that. I still say that by your definition above that if by the facts he violated the law, but the jury refuses to convict, that would fall under the definition of jury nullification.

              2. “procedure” as I used it above refers to legal procedure for collecting evidence, not to cops shooting people in the back procedure.

                Cops following “procedure” in that sense has nothing to do with trials. Thats like an auto-worker saying he was following procedure when the robot killed the guy.

                1. “procedure” as I used it above refers to legal procedure for collecting evidence, not to cops shooting people in the back procedure.

                  I wasn’t referring to your use of procedure when I wrote my post. The two had nothing to do with eachother. I was making the point that for purposes of discussion, I think that most of us would agree that the law is implicityly different for cops than it is for civilians, by virtue of the fact that hardly a cop ever gets disciplined, let alone convicted for questionable shootings because as long as they “followed procedure” then no crime occurred, even though if you and I did the exact same thing, we’d go to jail.

                  1. I agree with all that, but its much more due to “prosecutorial nullification” (a term I just made up).

                    As far as your 2:01 post, if kind of depends. Does the jury find the facts fit within the law or do they decide the law doesnt apply to cops? The 2nd would be jury nullification. The first would be similar to finding “self defense” or “he needed killin”. Both of which are fact based, not judging the law based.

                    1. Well I guess if the definition of jury nullification is that when the jury acquits, the foreman stands up and says, “The facts of the case are irrelevant, we find the defendent innocent on the grounds that the law is unjust” I suppose that’s fair. My guess is, whether it’s jury nullification or not, you get acquitted and the reasons why are left in the air until media or someone else queries the individual jurors.

                    2. No, the foreman doesnt have to say it. Im just saying its nullification if that is the reason.

                      I would guess that most nullications go unnoticed.

      3. To me the most damning thing about that video is the woman that is startled and then just keeps walking. Are we so desensitized to the police that anytime they fire their weapon it must be justified???

        1. Are you kidding? A member of the state killed an innocent person in front of her in cold blood–what do you expect her to do? Even if she had a gun, what could she do?

      4. So what happens when a cop shoots an innocent civilian in cold blood

        Just a nit…cops are civilians too. That arent in the military.

  5. The state and its minions are not accountable. Time to replace it with something else that *is* accountable to people.

    1. George, were you also arrested/assaulted outside a courthouse?

  6. Barry makes some good points, but as with anything, sometimes libertarians will take movement in the right direction, ‘by hook or by crook’…
    From ending the war on drugs to highway robbery (arbitrary speeding violations) i’d rather see the occasional true criminal go free than innocents railroaded by unjust laws OR ‘men’.

    And where else should this topic be debated, considered, etc, BUT the courthouse steps.
    The judge is an authoritarian douchenozzle.

    1. Barry makes some good points

      No he doesnt. Not a single one.

  7. “Jury of your peers” – so shouldn’t most people have stupid and uninformed jurors?

  8. It’s well known that those in control of a monopoly (either on power or an economic interest) will go to extraordinary lengths to eliminate threats to itself. But hell, even the mob is sometimes more subtle than this fucking buffoon.

    Sounds like a perfect little FIJA project to randomly distribute material simply summarizing pro and con points on the issue in the areas the overbearing petty tyrant in a robe named. Place the burden on his arrogant ass to prove that a) they were targeting only potential jurors, and b) advocating one approach over another.

    In other words, BEG for this asshole to throw them into the briar patch he thinks he’s cleverly fabricated, and help the hilarity ensue as he’s exposed for the pompous jackhole he is.

  9. The FIJA guys are right. And wrong. They are right in that a jury can refuse to convict. If you’re on a jury deciding the guilt or innocence of a someone who smoked pot, there is no law that compels you to vote to convict.

    But they are also wrong when they say a jury can nullify a law. That’s bullshit. If twelve jurors can legalize pot with a single verdict, then what’s to stop twelve sociopaths from legalizing murder? This sort of legal crankery needs to stop, it marginalizes the liberty movement as a bunch of nutters.

    If you get lots of juries refusing to convict, then maybe the government will figure out it’s not worth it to continue enforcing a law. But as far as I can tell that has never before happened in history.

    1. “But as far as I can tell that has never before happened in history.”

      Here ya go!

      http://tinyurl.com/6dnw7vo

      1. nice use of lmgtfy!

      2. Sorry, not finding any examples in your sarcastic link. I see a few individual cases of “not guilty” verdicts, but NONE of the government deciding to stop enforcing a law because juries were refusing to convict. FIJA is mistaking statuatory law for common law. A failure to convict is not a precedent!

        1. “…government deciding to stop enforcing a law because juries were refusing to convict”

          This might help!

          http://tinyurl.com/4duorx6

          1. Your Google-Fu is most admirable.

        2. Later, during Prohibition, juries often nullified alcohol control laws,[22] possibly as often as 60% of the time.[23] This resistance is considered to have contributed to the adoption of the Twenty-first amendment repealing the Eighteenth amendment which established Prohibition.

          You dont say.

          1. I notice that the government continued returning runaway slaves up until the start of Civil War, and continued jailing bootleggers until instant the 21st was passed. At no time did the government say “oh let’s not enforce this anymore.”

            1. Sure they did. By passing the 21st. That was the government saying “lets not enforce this any more”.

            2. The heck kind of standard is this?

              “I don’t recall the government stopping enforcement until they stopped enforcement.”

              No, jury nullification does not take a law off the books. But it does selectively prevent enforcement and force the reexamination of laws.

              1. Your reasonable app is very funny. I downloaded Chrome just to try your app. Brandy piss off.

      3. Next time try to read what I actually wrote.

        1. Next time read the links that are supplied to you.

    2. This sort of legal crankery needs to stop

      John Jay, 1st Chief Crank of the United States.

    3. They can ostinsibly nullify a law (for that single case, not beyond) for any reason at all. Including “I hate black people” or “Whitey is out to get us” or “screw The Man”.

      I think the libertarian view is that people should be fair arbiters of what is a just law, and what is a just application of the law. Libertarians can be a bit Pollyanna-ish. That doesn’t make them wrong.

      1. Congress (or state reps) often pass laws for reasons exactly like that. How many of the drug laws were passed because of hatred of blacks or the chinese? Same for gun laws.

        Ive never heard that as a reason to take the power of passing laws out of the hands of the legislature.

    4. If you get lots of juries refusing to convict, then maybe the government will figure out it’s not worth it to continue enforcing a law. But as far as I can tell that has never before happened in history.

      Well, except for the whole freedom of religion and freedom of the press things.

      But what good are those?

      1. If you want to refuse to convict while sitting on a jury, go ahead. I will do the same. But I’m not going to imagine that I’m going to be legalizing marijuana for the entire jurisdiction just because I vote not to convict a pot head. That’s silly.

        1. Fair enough. I was just pointing out that the Penn and Zenger juries did indeed set precedents that were important enough to make it into the First Amendment.

          But your point that the FIJA folks are a little wacky to think that they will change law is well taken. I see jury nullification as an exercise of rights and a path to educate the public on those rights. It is at best a means to embarrass prosecutors, not a miracle legislative cure.

          1. 21st amendment says otherwise. And that isnt horribly different that MJ legalization.

        2. I’m going to imagine it just to tick you off. You’ll get to read my full report here about how I think I repealed a law by doing the right thing.

    5. But they are also wrong when they say a jury can nullify a law. That’s bullshit. If twelve jurors can legalize pot with a single verdict, then what’s to stop twelve sociopaths from legalizing murder? This sort of legal crankery needs to stop, it marginalizes the liberty movement as a bunch of nutters.

      While this is logically possible, it is not logically PLAUSIBLE. You have to bypass the tiny probability of getting 12 jurors who believe that murder should be legal and if that actually occured, it would be improbable to think that new legislation wouldn’t be quickly erected to replace it.

      1. Also, it confuses the idea that the morality of murder is derived from its legality. Murder is one of those moral propositions that people hold to regardless of what the law states. If the courts said that murder was legal, I doubt we would have many people accepting this premise.

      2. No it’s not plausible. But neither is the idea of a lone jurist overturning the war on drugs.

        1. Do I smell straw burning?

          If 60% of MJ cases are nullified, the law will change.

        2. Did CA get 5/12ths of the vote to legalize marijuana? Roughly that?

          If every jury in CA has on average 5 people who voted for legalization on it and even half of those they start nullifying MJ prosecutions, they wont need to pass the referendum.

          1. They will still need to pass the referendum because the law will still be on the books, and 40% of defendants will still be going to jail over it.

            Vote not to convict because you think the law is unjust. But don’t vote not to convict because you think you are overturning the law.

            1. Vote not to convict because you think the law is unjust.

              Thats what jury nullification is.

            2. The state legislature would take the law off the books at that point, no need for a referendum.

          2. 46.5% of CAians voted for Prop 19. If 1/6th of them nullify, the nullification rate would be 62%.

            1. Not liking a law and thinking that it’s okay to disobey the law are two entirely different things.

              1. Not liking a law and thinking a law is immoral are two different things also. Hence the 1/6th.

              2. “When law and morality contradict each other, the citizen has the cruel alternative of either losing his moral sense or losing his respect for the law.”
                –Bastiat

                Or the citizen may not recognize legislation as law, but rather his own moral sense.

      3. See the movie How To Murder Your Wife. You may also notice therein the origin of a certain Futurama cartoon character’s name, although its maker coyly won’t admit it.

  10. In a case of jury nullification, does the jury actually state that the law itself is unlawfull or do they merely refuse to find guilt on the defendant?

    1. They refuse to find guilt.

      You need a series of nullifications of the same law before the legislature gives in and overturns it.

      1. Thanks, robc. This was my understanding and argues against the idea of a rare event of “12 sociopaths” overturning rape, theft, murder, etc.

  11. We of FIJA seek to obey the law.
    No person can obey the law if it is not revealed to him.
    The government courts hold the known legal duty?evasion of which is a crime?to reveal the laws related to an action, upon request of the People, or by failure to do so reveal that no related law exists.
    Chief Judge Belvin Perry, Jr. has issued an “Administrative Order” apparently carrying the weight and effect of law, baring American People from engaging in their lawful freedoms of assembly and speech to peacefully distribute pamphlets, on public property, related to the laws, rights and authority of jurors.
    Because various jurisdictions of law in the US have retained “laws”, said by officers of the courts and government to be “laws”, that contradict each other, and because the US Supreme Court has ruled that an inferior law contradicted by a superior law holds no weight or effect as law, and because it is impossible to obey laws that contradict each other, we ask to be informed if a purported law is the prevailing law, not contradicted by any superior law, thus the highest law of various laws purported to be applicable for an action.
    The use of power of office to affect a damage, such as to deny a right under claim of authority in law, constitutes a crime. Fraud, evasion of a known legal duty, malfeasance and perjury to oath of office are among such crimes.
    A contradiction or ambiguity in the law is evident. Americans seeking to lawfully exercise their lawful rights are subject to being arrested, thus damaged, by Chief Judge Belvin Perry, Jr.’s action.
    Because a contradiction in laws is evident, and a damage is threatened by the power of office of Chief Judge Belvin Perry, Jr. we respectfully insist that Chief Judge Belvin Perry, Jr. or the court of Florida, certify, under penalty of fraud and other laws, which involved law prevails, not contradicted by any superior law: Chief Judge Belvin Perry, Jr.’s Administrative Order; or the right of the People to freely express their views in regard to this matter.
    We must conclude that a failure or refusal to clearly answer our request within ten (10) working days, constitutes the Judge’s and court’s acknowledgement that the referenced Administrative Order was inferior to superior law, thus fraudulent and an attempt to use power of office to damage American citizens by denying them their rights, calling into question the current legitimacy of the officers of the courts of Florida.
    http://www.FIJA.org

  12. Sorry if I’m being obstinate with my replies, but the sense I get from the posters in this topic is that jury nullification is a magic silver bullet that will slay the eebil state. Nonsense.

    It seems like a promising tactic, because you only need 1/12th of the population to enact libertarian changes to society. But it ignores the other 11/12ths of the population. To get a free society you will need more than 1/12th on your side.

    It was stated above that because of jury nullification 60% of alcohol prohibition cases did not lead to conviction. That’s 7/12th of the population at least. Does the libertarian movement have anywhere near 7/12ths of the population? Not even close! Is there enough just to legalize marijuana? Closer, but still no cigar.

    It’s said that the majority wants to legalize marijuana and the jury is the way to do it. But the majority wanting to legalize marijuana and the majority thinking it’s okay not to obey a law are two very different things. As libertarian we may not understand this, but it’s how most people think. To most people not liking a law is an insufficient excuse for not obeying the law. Most libertarians included.

    In order for jury nullification to convince legislators to repeal marijuana prohibition, you need 7/12ths of the populace who not only want to end the prohibition, but who also think they law should not be obeyed. That’s a damned high bar to hurdle.

    Give me a call when you think you have that many people.

    1. Sorry if I’m being obstinate with my replies, but the sense I get from the posters in this topic is that jury nullification is a magic silver bullet that will slay the eebil state. Nonsense.

      No one made this assertion, nor is it insinuated, so this is another strawman.

      1. What do you expect from a Brandybuck?

        They’re all queer.

      2. I direct you to robc below…

        1. I neither asserted it nor insinuated it.

    2. Math fail.

      It only takes about 7% of the population to create a 60% nullification rate.

      You only need 1 nullifier on the jury. If 7% of the jury pool is in favor of nullifying law X, there is a 60% chance that at least one nullifier will be on the jury.

      1. With 32% support, the nullification rate exceeds 99%.

        So 32% of the population can effectively veto any criminal law.

        1. This is why the statists fear jury nullification. 1/3 of the population could then shut down any criminal law.

          And really, its much lower than 1/3, because in the mind of the state, the law is shut down way before it gets to a 99% failure rate.

          1. “I note one proposal to make this Congress a two-house body. Excellent, the more impediments to legislation the better. But, instead of following tradition, I suggest one house of legislators, another whose single duty is to repeal laws. Let the legislators pass laws only with a two-thirds majority… while the repealers are able to cancel any law through a mere one-third minority. Preposterous? Think about it. If a bill is so poor that it cannot command two-thirds of your consents, is it not likely that it would make a poor law? And if a law is disliked by as many as one-third is it not likely that you would be better off without it?”
            -The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress

        2. Ah, so you do think it’s a silver bullet!

          1. No, Im just quoting math at you.

      2. Not that I doubt the math, but I haven’t taken any classes in about 4 years. So can you “show your work” for us Anthropology majors?

        1. Sure, I guess.

          N = percent of nullifiers.
          1-N = percent of non-nullifiers.

          To get a conviction, you need 12 non-nullifiers.

          Chance of conviction = (1-N)^12
          Chance of nullification = 1 – ((1-N)^12)

          1. Thanks. I am very disappointed with myself. Calc 1 in high school, calc 2 in college (which I did well in), but then I couldn’t program worth crap so I switched majors and have effectively lost all math ability.

        2. I would like to point out that I have never taken a statistics class.

          Lots of high level math classes, but none in statistics.

          1. That post didnt come off as assholish as I meant it, the purpose was to say that there is no reason an Anthro major couldnt do the math for their own fucking self.

            1. BTW, I think this is the first time Ive ever responded to my own post to clarify that I meant to be an asshole, instead of the other way around.

    3. Sorry if I’m being obstinate with my replies, but the sense I get from the posters in this topic is that jury nullification is a magic silver bullet that will slay the eebil state. Nonsense.

      Quote?

      Also, seriously, math. You’re implying that juries will either be entirely against each law or entirely for it. But it takes only one anti-prohibition, pro-nullification juror in each jury to break the system.

  13. The current nullification rate is approximately 4%. We are breaking the system in exactly the same way the mosquito is draining the elephant dry.

    1. No one implied otherwise.

      This is why people want to hand out leaflets outside courthouses, in fact.

      Of course, not sure if 4% is too low or too high, after all, many laws shouldnt be nullified.

      1. In fact, that seems about a reasonable number.

        After all, any law that gets nullified at a high enough rate (using the 60% cite on prohibition) gets overturned eventually, which then lowers the nullification rate. Heck, in a perfect world there would be a 0% nullification rate, as all the laws would be just.

        So no fucking clue what 4% means.

  14. http://www.lp.org/platform
    1.5 Crime and Justice
    We assert the common-law right of juries to judge not only the facts but also the justice of the law.

    1. http://www.law.cornell.edu/sup…..01_ZO.html
      It may not be amiss, here, Gentlemen, to remind you of the good old rule, that on questions of fact, it is the province of the jury, on questions of law, it is the province of the court to decide. But it must be observed that by the same law, which recognizes this reasonable distribution of jurisdiction, you have nevertheless a right to take upon yourselves to judge of both, and to determine the law as well as the fact in controversy. On this, and on every other occasion, however, we have no doubt, you will pay that respect, which is due to the opinion of the court: For, as on the one hand, it is presumed, that juries are the best judges of facts; it is, on the other hand, presumbable, that the court are the best judges of the law. But still both objects are lawfully, within your power of decision.

  15. Why do people insist on trying to pamphlet outside court houses? You’re ASKING for trouble, regardless of the legality of it.

    The jury pool is made up of whom? Registered voters. Why not do what I do and print off 100 or so flyers from PDFs available on http://www.jurybox.org, then take them with you when you go to vote. After you cast your ballot, go to your car and get the flyers, then either pass them out or just put them under windshield wipers of the cars in the lot. Continue until all the flyers are passed out, and then go on your merry way.

    I’ve been doing this for the past 4 elections (general and primary) and I’ve never been bothered by anyone.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.