Jury Nullification (1 Viewer)

tomwaits

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What do you guys think if Jury Nullification? No surprise that I am all for it.
I started thinking more about this from the menthol cigarette ban thread. Someone had mentioned that people need to follow the law, but I asked the question of whether they thought all laws were just.
If I am on the jury for any victimless crime case (Any possession or sale of a controlled substance, any firearm possession case or anything else that I deem unconstitutional or unjust) I am voting not guilty.
The only exception may be if a legislator, judge, governor, or law enforcement officer is on trial for one of those types of cases. If they created or enforced the law on others, then they should be held to the same standard.

 

Denzien

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What do you guys think if Jury Nullification? No surprise that I am all for it.
I started thinking more about this from the menthol cigarette ban thread. Someone had mentioned that people need to follow the law, but I asked the question of whether they thought all laws were just.
If I am on the jury for any victimless crime case (Any possession or sale of a controlled substance, any firearm possession case or anything else that I deem unconstitutional or unjust) I am voting not guilty.
The only exception may be if a legislator, judge, governor, or law enforcement officer is on trial for one of those types of cases. If they created or enforced the law on others, then they should be held to the same standard.

Seems like you're following this chart:

1620746949722.png
 
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tomwaits

tomwaits

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Also if you are on a jury and the judge says, "You must only..." or "You must not consider..." feel free to ignore him and do what you need to do.
 

St. Widge

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Also if you are on a jury and the judge says, "You must only..." or "You must not consider..." feel free to ignore him and do what you need to do.

I mean, you can do that, but it's just going to get overturned on appeal. The appellate system is in part designed to stop juries from ignoring the law.

But, from a more philosophical point of view, I agree that all laws aren't just. The problem is who gets to decide which laws are just and which are unjust? In theory in the U.S. that is done by electing people who then pass laws that express the will of the people. That obviously doesn't always happen, but it's probably got a better shot of happening then letting each individual decide what is or isn't just or decide what the law should be.

We do live in a Social Contract (see Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau, and even Mill - pretty much so the foundation of the Constitution and Libertarian thought). In that contract you give up certain rights, including the right to harm others, in exchange for the protection of society.

Of course, you could choose to live outside of that contract, but you are probably going to have to form your own country if you really want to live in the State of Nature.
 

bigdaddysaints

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Since we are on the Jury topic, I don't think anyone should be forced to do Jury Duty if their employer doesn't at least pay the difference in time missed at work.
For a long time i thought employers were required to do this, but my Sister in Law got screwed out of 2 days pay by Office Depot when she had jury duty once. Them aholes wouldn't even move her schedule around so she could use those days as her off days..Needless to say, she quit not long after that..
Too many people live paycheck to paycheck and can't afford to miss multiple days of work unpaid (or the measly amount the give you for jury duty)
 
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tomwaits

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I mean, you can do that, but it's just going to get overturned on appeal. The appellate system is in part designed to stop juries from ignoring the law.

But, from a more philosophical point of view, I agree that all laws aren't just. The problem is who gets to decide which laws are just and which are unjust? In theory in the U.S. that is done by electing people who then pass laws that express the will of the people. That obviously doesn't always happen, but it's probably got a better shot of happening then letting each individual decide what is or isn't just or decide what the law should be.

We do live in a Social Contract (see Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau, and even Mill - pretty much so the foundation of the Constitution and Libertarian thought). In that contract you give up certain rights, including the right to harm others, in exchange for the protection of society.

Of course, you could choose to live outside of that contract, but you are probably going to have to form your own country if you really want to live in the State of Nature.
I don't see this being an appeal type of situation. If, as a juror, I say not guilty because I am taking more or less into consideration than the judge instructs, the more likely situation is a hung jury or an acquittal. Also, I never have to say why I am voting Not Guilty. Those are not appeal situations right? I thought the appellate system is there for the defendants who are found guilty when there is a process irregularity.


Ask a libertarian about the social contract and they are likely to say, "I didn't sign a damn thing." This includes the Constitution as Lysander Spooner explains. in "No Treason"
 

St. Widge

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I don't see this being an appeal type of situation. If, as a juror, I say not guilty because I am taking more or less into consideration than the judge instructs, the more likely situation is a hung jury or an acquittal. Also, I never have to say why I am voting Not Guilty. Those are not appeal situations right? I thought the appellate system is there for the defendants who are found guilty when there is a process irregularity.


Ask a libertarian about the social contract and they are likely to say, "I didn't sign a damn thing." This includes the Constitution as Lysander Spooner explains. in "No Treason"

I think I am a Libertarian but in the classical sense of the phase, not in the way it has been corrupted by politics over the years. I am not, however, a member of the American Libertarian Party which I think has severely lost it's way in the past 20 years or so. (By the way, I also think Ayn Rand had some interesting ideas, but I think the Rand Institute only bothered to read Atlas Shrugged and didn't read her philosophy books on Objectivism.)

I think Libertarians who say that never read Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, or Mill. And those are the foundations of our Constitution, which is effectively a Social Contract, and of true Libertarian philosophy. And while they didn't "sign it", they do choose to live in this country and they did have the opportunity to vote for, or against, the people who are tasked with maintaining the balance in that Social Contract/Constitution between individual rights and the government violating those individual rights.

In short, any Libertarian who says they didn't enter into the Social Contract is actually an Anarchist, not a Libertarian. Actual Libertarians, in the tradition of Locke and Mill in particular, recognize that there are certain restraints on unchecked liberty. Or, more precisely, that once you harm another, it is not longer liberty, but becomes license. The Constitution is simply a contract that defines the limits of the government's power to do things, including limiting under what circumstances they can limit personal liberty, specifically when it comes into conflict with someone else's liberty. And that happens all the time.

So, I mean, if people want to be Anarchists, that's cool, but they are really going to have to find someplace else to do that because by living in this country, you are consenting to the terms and conditions of the Social Contract as reflected in the U.S. Constitution. In fact, Spooner, whose book you link above, was actually an Anarchist, not a Libertarian.

As far as the appellate system, what is appealable is if a decision is clearly contrary to the facts and the law, it's not just for "technicalities." However, you are right that the State cannot appeal a not guilty verdict. But a guilty verdict that is contrary to the facts and/or law can be reversed and remanded for a new trial or just overturned.

However, jury nullification also applies in civil cases where either side can appeal a decision and, while it's rare, those cases can also be reversed if the decision are contrary to the facts and law.
 
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tomwaits

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I think I am a Libertarian but in the classical sense of the phase, not in the way it has been corrupted by politics over the years. I am not, however, a member of the American Libertarian Party which I think has severely lost it's way in the past 20 years or so.

I think Libertarians who say that never read Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, or Mill. And those are the foundations of our Constitution, which is effectively a Social Contract, and of true Libertarian philosophy. And while they didn't "sign it", they do choose to live in this country and they did have the opportunity to vote for, or against, the people who are tasked with maintaining the balance in that Social Contract/Constitution between individual rights and the government violating those individual rights.

In short, any Libertarian who says they didn't enter into the Social Contract is actually an Anarchist, not a Libertarian. Actual Libertarians, in the tradition of Locke and Mill in particular, recognize that there are certain restraints on unchecked liberty. Or, more precisely, that once you harm another, it is not longer liberty, but becomes license. The Constitution is simply a contract that defines the limits of the government's power to do things, including limiting under what circumstances they can limit personal liberty, specifically when it comes into conflict with someone else's liberty. And that happens all the time.

So, I mean, if people want to be Anarchists, that's cool, but they are really going to have to find someplace else to do that because by living in this country, you are consenting to the terms and conditions of the Social Contract as reflected in the U.S. Constitution. In fact, Spooner, whose book you link above, was actually an Anarchist, not a Libertarian.

As far as the appellate system, what is appealable is if a decision is clearly contrary to the facts and the law, it's not just for "technicalities." However, you are right that the State cannot appeal a not guilty verdict. But a guilty verdict that is contrary to the facts and/or law can be reversed and remanded for a new trial or just overturned.

However, jury nullification also applies in civil cases where either side can appeal a decision and, while it's rare, those cases can also be reversed if the decision are contrary to the facts and law.
I think you may be surprised how many libertarians are anarchists.

How about this though? If you are living in an area that is being controlled by organized crime, are you consenting to their authority because you choose to live there? You could move right?
 

St. Widge

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I think you may be surprised how many libertarians are anarchists.

How about this though? If you are living in an area that is being controlled by organized crime, are you consenting to their authority because you choose to live there? You could move right?

I'm honestly not surprised. I know it's a lot. I just think that they are calling themselves the wrong thing if they call themselves Libertarians. I think they only use the term because it is palatable for political reasons.

Organized crime is different and this is frankly a disingenuous argument since you know that. Organized crime rules by coercion and they are not the government. And, all rhetoric to the contrary, the government rules by consent of the governed, not coercion. Especially since the Constitution limits that power and does not allow coercion. And, if coercion happens, the Courts are there to redress grievances and, at some point, if the oppression is bad enough, there is a right to revolution.

Organized Crime doesn't establish the "law of the land." The government was established to some extent by the Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation. And then it was all formalized in the U.S. Constitution which, contrary to popular belief only limits government power and reserves all other rights to the individual.
 

Denzien

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i don't see "pursuit of happiness" on your chart??
Most scholars today believe that Jefferson derived the most famous ideas in the Declaration of Independence from the writings of English philosopher John Locke. Locke wrote his Second Treatise of Government in 1689 at the time of England's Glorious Revolution, which overthrew the rule of James II.

Locke wrote that all individuals are equal in the sense that they are born with certain "inalienable" natural rights. That is, rights that are God-given and can never be taken or even given away. Among these fundamental natural rights, Locke said, are "life, liberty, and property."

Locke believed that the most basic human law of nature is the preservation of mankind. To serve that purpose, he reasoned, individuals have both a right and a duty to preserve their own lives. Murderers, however, forfeit their right to life since they act outside the law of reason.

Locke also argued that individuals should be free to make choices about how to conduct their own lives as long as they do not interfere with the liberty of others. Locke therefore believed liberty should be far-reaching.

By "property," Locke meant more than land and goods that could be sold, given away, or even confiscated by the government under certain circumstances. Property also referred to ownership of one's self, which included a right to personal well being. Jefferson, however, substituted the phrase, "pursuit of happiness," which Locke and others had used to describe freedom of opportunity as well as the duty to help those in want.

The purpose of government, Locke wrote, is to secure and protect the God-given inalienable natural rights of the people. For their part, the people must obey the laws of their rulers. Thus, a sort of contract exists between the rulers and the ruled. But, Locke concluded, if a government persecutes its people with "a long train of abuses" over an extended period, the people have the right to resist that government, alter or abolish it, and create a new political system.
 
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tomwaits

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I'm honestly not surprised. I know it's a lot. I just think that they are calling themselves the wrong thing if they call themselves Libertarians. I think they only use the term because it is palatable for political reasons.

Organized crime is different and this is frankly a disingenuous argument since you know that. Organized crime rules by coercion and they are not the government. And, all rhetoric to the contrary, the government rules by consent of the governed, not coercion. Especially since the Constitution limits that power and does not allow coercion. And, if coercion happens, the Courts are there to redress grievances and, at some point, if the oppression is bad enough, there is a right to revolution.

Organized Crime doesn't establish the "law of the land." The government was established to some extent by the Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation. And then it was all formalized in the U.S. Constitution which, contrary to popular belief only limits government power and reserves all other rights to the individual.

Most libertarians I know steer clear of calling themselves big "L" Libertarians. That is more a designation of the Libertarian party. Small "l" libertarians are very diverse and they love to fight each other more than anything in the world. Anarchists also like to fight each other as they too are a diverse group (An-caps to An-coms).

Government absolutely rules by coercion. I am not sure how anyone can say otherwise. Its not all voluntary right?
I also think you know that drafters of the Constitution would not understand how our current federal government has 20% of the power that it does if the Constitution really did restrain the government. If there is a social contract, then the Constitution would have to mean something and not just ignored most of the time or have judges change the meaning without legislation or amendment.

Jury nullification for federal crimes would come into play if someone is charged with a crime and it is not evident the Constitution ever gave the feds the power to regulate whatever the crime was about.
 

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