First, have you ever noticed that war is everywhere…war on crime, war on drugs, war on obesity, war on…well, you name it and there is a war going on either for or against it. Because of its overuse, we have become insensitive to its meaning, thereby allowing Congress to shirk its duty (again and again!).
Ok, I digress.
So what can we do, to right the wrongs done concerning laws that, if the Constitution were the standard, really are no laws. Answer is use jury nullification, sometimes known as a fully informed jury.
Now, we are in an age of progressivism which believes that we must have experts to tell us mundanes how to live, what to think, etc. In fact, recently in a local political forum, an individual became irate when someone in the group suggested that the jury should be able to judge not only the facts but whether or not the law should actually be a law at all. The person became unglued and stated that the judge is to do that because he is a professional and is trained in the law. Of course, taking this to the extreme, why have a jury in the first place if they are a bunch of mouth-droolers who probably had a hard time feeding themselves before coming to the courtroom and wouldn’t know law or justice if it smacked them in the face.
How many laws are on the books that deal with victimless crimes? How many people are in jails serving time because of these victimless crimes? How do we, as a society, benefit from having all these people locked up, wasting away? The answer is, we don’t.
Who benefits (Cui Bono)? Well, for starters, the prosecutors are able to make a name for themselves. Next, the police and the community benefit by seizing the assets of the people who have harmed no one. In fact, many municipalities rely on this windfall, along with the federal largess that goes with drug task forces, etc. Finally, the prisons that have become privatized are making a killing (literally, in some cases).
With all of this money tied up in just prosecuting drug offenses, who in the government would be for nullification? (I think I hear crickets chirping). How many lives, families, even communities are destroyed because of this injustice…millions of lives and countless families and communities around the world, not just here in the US.
All it takes is one person on the jury to be informed and to tell the others on the jury. Sometimes, depending on the case, that one person can be the difference between conviction and acquittal. This is POWERFUL!
Has jury nullification ever been tried? Has it been tried fairly recently? What were the outcomes? I’ll tackle these questions in the next installment.