Friday, April 22, 2011
Jury Nullification works
A small case in New Hampshire, where a man was convicted of a misdemeanor that probably shouldn't even be a crime, but was saved - by a jury willing to nullify - from having his life ruined by several felony charges.
In my opinion, although I am not a marijuana supporter or user, he should have been allowed to slide on the misdemeanor as well (a $1000 fine for growing a plant? Unless he grew enough plants to sell or "distribute" marijuana, that seems excesive.) I'm surprised that he wasn't, given how liberal many of NH's residents seem to be.
Consider how powerful this process could be if it were applied to such things as forced payment of taxes (beyond what is truly necessary and Constitutional for the government to do, such as build and maintain roads, defend the country, etc.) Imagine a jury which refused to convict citizens harassed and penalized by the IRS. Or the EPA (large corporations already get a free pass on EPA violations, or pay a fine so small it is laughable.)
Just think: then we would have as much power as Attorney General Eric (The Red) Holder, who refuses to try, let alone convict, "his people", people of color, such as the New Black Panthers. If he can refuse to indict and try those he wants to support, so should we. Anyone who refused to buy a building permit, get an "environmental report" before digging a pond, or jump through the thousands and thousands of regulatory hoops required to start a business, large or small. (If a company pollutes, fine - try, convict, and punish them in addition to making them pay for the cleanup. But don't shut down a small business whose employee spilled a gallon of diesel fuel on the ground.)
Since it is obvious voting has not worked for us, that the courts will stop legislation we support and our state governors write and get approved in legal fashion, we should regain at least some control of those courts through nullification. That was the intent when this country was founded (Google "Peter Zenger" or read about him at FIJA.org), and we should reinstitute the widespread application of jury nullification.