San Juan Mountains

San Juan Mountains
San Juan Mountains: Grenadier Range

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Jury Nullification And Free Speech

Jury nullification is an ancient biblical principle.  The Apostle Peter was once ordered by the powers that be to cease and desist his preaching of the Christian gospel.  His response to that legal order from a God ordained authority was to say, "Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge; for we cannot stop speaking what we have seen and heard."  In other words, God's law triumphs man's law every day of the week.  Not only that, no governing authority has the legal or moral authority to prevent the right of free speech.  Peter continued preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ until he was executed for doing so.
Jury nullification is nothing more than the legal principle that the conscience of a juror may not be bound by the civil authorities or an immoral law.  If a juror believes something is wrong with a legal decision that has been rendered according to the proper interpretation of the law, the principle of jury nullification allows him to ignore the law and follow his conscience.  In the exact same way Peter refused to obey the lawful order given to him to cease preaching, a juror may refuse to obey the order of a judge to follow the immoral law of the land in a particular judicial case.
Here is an example of a judge's orders to a jury just prior to it being dismissed for deliberations.  I found this sample "jurors oath" on the internet (therefore it must be accurate) and believe it to be representative of what happens to all people who are conscripted into jury duty:  "You, as jurors, are the judges of the facts.  But in determining what actually happened -- that is, in reaching your decision as to the facts --  it is your sworn duty to follow all of the rules of law as I explain them to you.  You have no right to disregard or give special attention to any one instruction, or to question the wisdom or correctness of any rule I may state to you.  You must not substitute or follow your own notion or opinion as to what the law is or ought to be.  It is your duty to apply the law as I explain it to you, regardless of the consequences...That was the promise you made and the oath you took."
I believe any reasonable person can easily see that taking such an oath and following such instructions is little more than blind obedience to authority that binds the conscience of the individual.  When the day comes, and it will be soon, when preaching that homosexuality is a sin and preachers are hauled before juries on charges of hate speech violations it is the sworn duty of those jurors, some of whom will be Christians, to deny their belief in the truth and God of the Bible and follow the immoral law of the land.  It is because of the immoral oath that must be sworn prior to serving on a jury that I believe all jury duty is immoral.  No Christian should ever serve on a jury and no Christian should ever bind his conscience to enforce and uphold the immoral civil law of the Socialist Democracy of Amerika.
All of this is an introduction to my main point today.  I was reading the Denver Post this morning when I came across a story about the arrest of Eric Brandt.  Brandt manned a small booth in a public square with the sign "Juror Info" on the front of the booth.  The public square happened to be outside a civil courthouse.  As he sat passively in his booth he would hand out a brochure describing the biblical principle of jury nullification to anyone who requested it of him.  Several people who had been summoned by the judicial high priest to appear and potentially serve on a jury had picked up copies of the brochure.  Once inside the sanctified confines of the government courthouse the presiding high priest of the state (judge) discovered that several people were carrying contraband which informed them of their moral right to ignore immoral laws.  He was incensed.
Eric Brandt was arrested and charged with several counts, one for each brochure he distributed, of "jury tampering."  This is the case despite the fact that none of the potential jurors had yet been selected to serve on a jury.  This is the case despite the fact that no judicial case was before the court at the time.  This is the case despite the fact that Mr. Brandt was exercising his constitutionally protected right of free speech to speak his mind on the principle of jury nullification.  This is the case despite the fact that Mr. Brandt no more tampered with a jury than I have climbed Mt. Everest.
The Denver District Attorney, prior to arresting Brandt, "reviewed the literature and determined it violated state law regarding jury tampering."  So there you have it.  In Denver it is illegal to express the opinion that a jury need not follow the immoral law of the civil government.  Those who do exercise their right to free speech and declare their opinion that the law of the civil government is sometimes immoral and not to be followed are arrested, tried and incarcerated for their actions.
All of this has me wondering.......I wonder what would have happened to the last person who was tried and convicted under Colorado's old marijuana prohibition laws which required a life sentence for a three time offender if the jury had decided to practice jury nullification.  One thing is for sure.  That person would not be rotting away in a prison cell for the rest of his life.  Too bad for him I guess.  If the decision had come down a day later the jurors would be acting legally because marijuana was then declared to be a good thing.  But on the last day prior to the changing of the law the jurors would have been guilty of violating their oath to blindingly follow the idiotic, stupid, immoral and mutable law of the career politicians who rule over us.  Oh well, it is just human lives we are dealing with here.  They don't even begin to rise in the scale of importance when compared to the rules and regulations created for us by taxpayer financed career bureaucrats. 

Update: September 1, 2015

The horrible people who were distributing literature in favor of jury nullification were vindicated last week as a Denver judge ruled they had the right to exercise their free speech and weigh in with an opinion on jury nullification that is contrary to that of the established powers that be.  The Colorado attorney general immediately declared that he was going to seek a law that forbids people from exercising their right of free speech in front of the Denver courthouse because it "detracts from the dignity and decorum" of the location.  I guess his definition of "dignity and decorum" is compliant citizens bowing down and genuflecting as career politicians walk by.  Where in the Constitution of the Socialist Democracy of Amerika is it written that free speech may only be exercised at locations other than government buildings?  It seems to me that our rulers are getting a bit nervous, don't you think?

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