Go Forth and Nullify!

It was Edmund Burke who observed that "Bad laws are the worst sort of tyranny." It's easy to see the course we're on in America - a path of very bad laws and even worse tyranny - which means we, the people need to step our game in every way we can.

When laws turn against our Liberty, it's unpatriotic to obey them. This quote from Thomas Jefferson says it best: "A strict observance of written laws is doubtless one of the highest duties of a good citizen, but it is not the highest. The law of necessity, of self preservation, of saving our country when in danger, are of higher obligation. To lose our country by a scrupulous adherence to written law would be to lose law itself, with life, liberty, property and all those who are enjoying them with us; thus absurdly sacrificing the end to the means."

Just this week another friend mentioned that she had been summoned to jury duty - a chore that meets with almost universal scorn these days. She had originally intended to try to get out of serving, but I think she changed her mind as we talked. I spent a few minutes teaching what I understood about the role of the juror, and particularly the juror's power to nullify bad laws. She had never heard of the concept of jury nullification, but promised to Google the subject and to go in and serve.

I searched the topic myself and came up with this, right from our own Federal Appellate Court: "If the jury feels the law is unjust, we recognize the undisputed power of the jury to acquit, even if it's verdict is contrary to the law as given by the judge, and contrary to the evidence. If the jury feels that exigent circumstances justified the actions of the accused, or for any reason which appeals to their logic or passion, the jury has the power to acquit, and the courts must abide by that decision." - From a ruling by the 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals (US v. Moylan, 417 F.2d 1006, 1969)

I e-mailed that ruling, along with this quote: "The primary function of the independent juror is not, as many think, to dispense punishment to fellow citizens accused of breaking various laws, but rather to protect fellow citizens from tyrannical abuses of power by government." Think about this, and say a prayer of thanks that the Founders gave us this priceless means of holding government accountable.

Anyway, I pointed out to her that it's a tyrannical abuse of power to post artificially low speed limits, then hide in bushes and write costly speeding tickets to people who are doing nothing unsafe. She agreed, and recounted a couple other recent instances of local petty tyranny that had bothered her. I then told her that ALL gun laws are unconstitutional, as they ALL infringe on our right to keep (own) and bear (carry) arms, and that if we need permission to exercise our rights, to in effect be free, then we're not! She saw the point. We'll see how she does next Tuesday! If there's anything noteworthy, I'll report back.

We should serve on juries at every opportunity, and we should spread the word about this power of the people over the government. They're rapidly seeing to it that we'll ALL be criminals, so we'd best ALL become wise jurors! That, of course, would lead them to try to modify or eliminate our right to jury trial, which is another inviolable line in the sand. There's a lot of power in forcing them to declare themselves in ways like this!

Here are our choices: We either serve as citizens in annoying and inconvenient little ways such as jury duty, or we serve as serfs in the New World Order. Those are our options...

I learned a lot at The Fully Informed Jury Association and you will too.

Go forth and nullify!


Anonymous said...

Great post. I have always hoped to be on a jury for a nonviolent drug case or better yet tax evasion. Just so I could use jury nullification. I would love to ask a judge to show me the law that requiers a person to pay an income tax.

fireplaceguy said...

Thanks for your thoughtful response! Here's food for thought: one might even consider acquittal in a drug case where there WAS violence. This reasoning stems from the lessons of Prohibition, which can be studied in a detached manner at this point. Fact is, all the violence associated with Prohibition was created by the law itself, which was, in effect, nothing more than a price support for a particular criminal endeavor. Absent the high profits guaranteed by that law, there would not have been anywhere near enough money involved to risk dying for and hence no violence at all.

The saddest legacy of prohibition is the BATFEPB (you'll have to read "He loves us!" to get this one!) The first rule of any bureaucracy is to perpetuate its own existence. Thus, upon the repeal of Prohibition when there was no further need for the revenuers, a new problem was quickly identified and a new prohibition was created to "solve" it. This gave them their new mission: harassing gun owners. In the mind of our rulers, that solution is preferable to simply sending the thugs home and making them find honest work. The "horrifying violence" that "justified" that new law was - you guessed it - nothing more than a symptom of prohibition! The violence was guaranteed to disappear once the price support was repealed, so the BATFEPB was unnecessary from the get-go.

But that's just not how government works. First you create a problem, then you "solve" it, which creates a new problem, etc., etc., etc. Knowing how this "create/solve" formula works (and it's purpose, which is oppression) a moral person would have to think long and hard about convicting someone under our cynical drug laws, regardless of how much violence was involved. The violence will continue until the law is repealed or nullified, and an acquittal may save any number of lives if it makes the law go away sooner.

I don't like drugs. I don't use them, and I think it's rather stupid to do so. However, absent drug prohibition, recreational drugs would in fact be dirt cheap and there would be no other crime nor any meaningful violence associated with their use. I'd prefer you not fry your brain, but if you must do so you will not be dissuaded by any law, and it could be accomplished at little or no cost to the rest of society if it were decriminalized. That's not much better for you, but it's a heck of a lot better for the rest of society!