Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Jury Duty

I had jury duty today. I spent a day as part of the jury selection process. I wasn't selected. I had hoped to have an opportunity to exercise jury nullification. Jury nullification occurs when a jury, despite sufficient evidence, fails to convict (nullifies the law), typically because the law is unjust. Two juries were empaneled today. The first jury was empaneled to hear a stalking case. Stalking, in and of itself, does not violate anyone's life, liberty, or property. The purpose of the law is to protect life, liberty, and property. If an action does not violate life, liberty, or property, it's not a crime. The second jury was empaneled to hear a drug dealing case. Again, this does not violate anyone's life, liberty, or property. Unless a prosecutor offers sufficient evidence AND the crime charged violates another's life, liberty, or property, I can't in good conscience vote to convict. Most people are unaware that juries have this power. If a jury votes to convict, a judge has the power to set aside the verdict. However, if a jury votes to acquit, the judge can't do a thing about it. A jury acquital is final.

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