Gut Rumbles

July 29, 2005

quote of the day

I disagree with a LOT of laws on the books today. I believe that they are unjust, intrusive, freedom-sucking, revenue-enhancing JOKES, forced on a witless public by power-hungry politicians and overly-zealous policemen. I really cannot do anything about those stupid laws once they are passed, except bitch about them on my blog and try not to get caught violating them, but every now and then, even the common citizen has the chance to call "BULLSHIT!"

"A common question I get from people disturbed by these kinds of cases is, "What can we do?" Well, here's one thing the average citizen can do: Serve when you're called to jury duty, and while there, refuse to enforce unjust laws. If a defendant is guilty of harming someone else, certainly, throw the book at him. But if he's guilty of violating a bad law, or if you feel the law has been unjustly applied to him, by all means, come back with "not guilty," no matter what the judge, the prosecutor, or the evidence says.

Not only is this your right as a juror, some would say it's your obligation."

radley Balko.

I haven't been called for jury duty in several years now, and the last couple of times I was, I was thrown off. Excluded. Sent home. My brother is an attorney and I have strong opinions about the law. I also have a college degree and I read the news. I AM NOT the ideal juror lawyers look for today.

But if you're ever called, don't duck the duty. Hell, they pay you $20 a day in Georgia and they'll feed you, too, if you serve on a jury. Take the money, eat the food, listen to the case... and THEN, if you see what you believe to be a miscarriage of justice, let the defendant walk, no matter WHAT the law says.

That's the best way we have now to change bad law.

I believe that this idea was taken overboard with O.J. Simpson, but in some ways I can understand why. As a noted philosopher friend of mine says, "I fear the LAPD a lot more than I fear O.J. Simpson."

When you start to FEAR the law more than you respect it, it's time for a change. That ain't the America the Founders dreamed of.



Posted by: GUYK on July 29, 2005 10:53 AM

Take the fear that was already there about the police and add the jingoism about the bobbies shooting the Brazilian guy.

Are we REALLY scared yet?

Posted by: Curtis on July 29, 2005 01:23 PM

We've created a new aristocracy of the taxpayer-funded elite to enforce and live off of unnecessary law. I see no difference between them and the lords and ladies of feudal Europe: they live high on the hog without producing anything.

Pitchforks, anyone?

Posted by: Brett on July 29, 2005 02:49 PM

The Government should fear the People.
The People should not fear the Government.

Posted by: bob on July 29, 2005 06:24 PM

It's exactly like you say Rob, the lawyers on one side or the other will make sure people like you and me who cannot be lead by the nose will not sit on a jury.

Posted by: RWM on July 29, 2005 07:13 PM

Amen! Jury nullification! I'm just waiting for my chance to practice it, if they are so foolish as to select me for duty on some non-violent drug case.

The key is to answer only the questions they ask, and try to appear sane, balanced and noncommittal toward the charges in question. Once you're selected, you can let your true colors shine.

Remember it only takes one holdout for a hung jury, and if you do your job well, you may very well turn the rest of the jury around.

Posted by: Desert Cat on July 29, 2005 10:47 PM

I've been called up (and selected) three times now. The last time was last year for 3 months of Grand Jury duty, which is way more fun than a petite jury (previous two).

You hear up to 25 new cases a day and every single one is a felony. Every single case is interesting. I absolutely loved throwing the book at the criminals (mostly burglary and drugs w/weapons and domestic violence).

Yeah, my county prosecutor knows me well and would probably call me back in if he could.

Posted by: marcl on July 29, 2005 11:10 PM sorry about my spelling. That would be a Petit Jury as opposed to a petite jury ...though there was one fine ass petite woman on one of 'em.

Posted by: marcl on July 29, 2005 11:18 PM
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