Jury Nullification Reminder
Hello All,
With our individual freedoms under attack from the Congress, the courts, Executive Branch and even municipal governments (like the City of Phoenix), now is a good time for people to educate themselves on not only how to restore their individual rights but also what can be done to secure them. How it can be done is simple and legal.


The answer is: jury nullification.

Since the 13th century when juries were first utilized in England as a result of the Magna Carta, jurors have had the right to nullify (i.e. strike down) laws that they deemed oppressive by acquiting a defendant arraigned for violating oppressive laws enacted by government officials.

In other words, a jury has the power to judge not only the facts of the case but the law itself. Juries have the power and (for lack of a better term) duty to judge the law, and as a juror you are under no obligation to uphold it if the law someone is being charged with breaking violates a person's rights and freedoms.

With the wars on [some] drugs and terrorism looming to be even bigger problems than they are now, I urge each of you to get the facts about this right jurors have had for hundreds of years yet the legal establishment has made it a point to prevent people from knowing about it.

The only way to adequately restore our natural, individual rights is to educate people so that those who are accused of non-violent, consensual, adult-oriented activities (like drug, gun possession and prostitution) will be acquitted so the laws that oppress them will be struck down.

While you can pursue getting people elected to office to undo much of the damage done to our rights, legislative bodies will almost always confirm the constitutionality of their own acts and the oaths sworn by judges and legislators are only as good as the power to enforce them.
Nor are elections adequate to prevent tyranny since elections come only periodically and are no guarantee of repealing the laws that violate people's rights. The best way to secure our liberties is for juries to veto unjust laws passed by politicians and upheld by courts which would result in bad laws being repealed.

While there is some concern that the way jurors are selected is so rigorous that the jury selection process is rigged to screen out jury nullification activists. However, the voir dire process can only weed out so much. For example, an August 1999 report published by the Washington Post points out that more and more people using the jury box as a form of civil protest. While the report is somewhat dated, and the study acknowledges that rebel jurors comprise a small number of the thousands of people who turn out daily for jury duty. However, the cases cited in the report revealed a consistent, significant pattern of juror defiance.

I think there is cause for hope because this little known power jurors have is still a component of the checks and balances which is an essential part of our republican form of government and it seems a small number of people are willing to take the risk not to convict people of consensual crimes, despite a defendant's violation of the law.

If you live in the Phoenix metropolitan area and would like to help inform people of their rights when serving as jurors, please send me an e-mail at azfija@gmail.com  or call me at: 602-405-6668. as I would like to do more activism on this issue. If your time is limited or you want to do your own activism, please consider giving support to the Fully Informed Jury Association ( http://www.fija.org  ) which exists soley to educate the public about jury nullification or do your own activism by telling your family members, friends, clients, etc about this right jurors have.
Mike Renzulli
"If any civilization is to survive it is the morality of altruism men have to reject." - Ayn Rand
Check out my webblog: http://freelibertarian.blogspot.com 

Dave notes, I have known Mike for many years back in the days of the fight with the City over new swing club and strip club laws and years before when I fought the new massage laws before the Council and had hundreds of petitions against the new law from massage therapists.

While I do not agree with all the libertarian positions, obviously we are like minded on in private consenting adult prostitution. I have supported fija.org for years with their message about jury nullification which is very legitimate. The problem is to have informed folks on a jury where like for prostitution it may be of use. The more education we can get to the public the better. Judges will argue against it but it in an established right in the U.S. Courts.