Sunday, July 1, 2012

Jury Nullification

Jury nullification was recognized by the Founding Fathers as a legitimate exercise of sovereign power by the true sovereigns here, the people, as represented case by case by the jury. The hostility toward the doctrine comes from government [of which the judiciary is a part], because the government wants to be in charge and does not want the people to have a role in their own governance [neither at the ballot box nor in the jury room]. But the fact that judges tell jurors that they cannot nullify merely reinforces the need for the jurors to do so, because that fundamental power is to protect individuals from all of government, including judges.

The power exists everywhere in this Republic; unfortunately, in some benighted jurisdictions, like California, we cannot inform the jury of that power, but the power exists nontheless.

Here is an interesting item about the nullification law just passed in New Hampshire, reminding all about the power of juries to protect us from overweening government. That power exists here, and is revealed in the shadows of the instructions given, in that you will note that the judges tell jurors that the defendant is "entitled" to an acquittal if there is not enough evidence, but the judges never [and cannot constitutionally!] instruct that if there is enough evidence, the government is "entitled" to a conviction. But one has to have a very savvy jury to understand the expansive meaning from that subtle matter, so I hope we some day start honoring the true sovereigns of the Republic here by passing legislation announcing the existence of jury nullification, which exists, and always has existed, as one of the inalienable rights recognized in the Declaration. "Inalienable" but which the government wants you not to know about!