Ever feel like you're not getting the whole story?


Do-It-Yourself Legal System
2000-03-27 19:13:26

Brain-Dead Judge Watch
The problem with some people is that when they aren't drunk, they're sober.
-- William Butler Yeats


Hey, sports fan! Have you just received a jury summons because you made the mistake of registering to vote in the 2000 primaries? And now you're all bummed and trying to make up an imaginary ill relative so you can squirm out of this odious task? Well, kwitcher squirmin', Worm Boy! This is your chance to MAKE SOME LAWS.

It's really strange how few folks realize that jury duty is one of the few teeny-tiny entryways normal non-evil people have into formal government in the American system. Unlike the other ways, such as voting, the COOL part about jury duty is that your voice is not one out of millions in a tinny buzz around the ears of the powerful elite. It is ONE voice out of TWELVE, and your ONE VOICE can change the way a legal trial works. And you can use that voice to change The System! Beaujolais!

You see, there's this fabulously interesting principle in legal history called "jury nullification." You know how when a jury comes together, they're supposed to weigh all the evidence and decide within the boundaries of the law if the defendant is guilty of the charges against them? Well, it turns out that there is NO LEGAL WAY to force jurors to do this. The jury can decide that, yes, the defendant DID what they are accused of, and ACQUIT them any way, because the law they were accused under is BOGUS. That's what "jury nullification" is all about!

Imagine the possibilities! Like, if you're on a jury, and Brownie Mary comes up for trial for distributing medical marijuana to dying people, and you are pretty damn sure that she actually did it, you can vote to acquit, anyways, so that woman can walk away and continue to do good and ease people's pain. It doesn't matter if you are the only one on the jury who votes this way! Just ONE VOTE can hang the jury! YOUR ONE VOICE can do immense good for the world!

Or, imagine that you're in a civil trial between some Evil Corporate Syndicate and some pluckish Internet freedom fighters. DESPITE the fact that the Digital Millennium Fuck-You-Right Act may or may not hoist our brave heroes by some or another petard, you can VOTE DOWN the bad evil Syndicate's outrageous claims for damages, and strike a blow for information freedom!

The thing is, the jury trial is American's LAST BASTION of freedom from tyranny. No matter how many fucked-up laws passed by corporate lobbyists there are, no matter how many politically-appointed judges there are, EVERYBODY has a right to a TRIAL by JURY. TWELVE PEOPLE will make the final decision, no matter what the law says, no matter what the click-through license agreement says, no matter what every powerful plutocrat on the globe says. When it comes down to it, it's up to you to decide what's right and what's wrong!

Now, not a lot of people know they have this power, which is really bullshitski, if you ask me. When you do jury duty, the judge tells you -- totally ERRONEOUSLY -- that you are bound to decide whether what the defendant did was within the bounds of the law or not. Total HOOEY! You can decide by flipping a coin, or counting the bits of lint in your ass crack, or however you like -- even following your CONSCIENCE! I know, crazy!

The Fully Informed Jury Association wants to change this. They want judges NOT to instruct juries to go only by the law. They want juries to be informed about the principle of jury nullification. So go learn about jury nullification, and go quit trying to weasel out of jury duty! Instead, go some goddamned POWER for a change!

Over.  End of Story.  Go home now.


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