Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Drunk Driving Cops; Jurors Need to Ponder the Downsides and Vote Accordingly

Just so people with badges don't get too self righteous in the presence of jurors, and so jurors and the public think cops are squeaky clean and different from us all when it comes to this political crime, and different from the people they arrest for drunk driving, it is important to realize that cops and others in power do it too.  Does that mean we should demonize the police?  Is that the reason for this comment?  NO.  Neither they nor others arrested for drunk driving should be demonized!

This comment is to remind all that people make mistakes, no matter who they are [Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld all had DUI pasts!!!], and we need the system to be more understanding about things when the increasingly political subject of drunk driving is being put into the trial courts.
[Fire Chief]
[Detroit City council president!]
[Detroit officer!]

And there are so many, many more examples/instances.

So, when jurors are given the task of deciding whether they shall find a person guilty of this political crime, which results in heavy penalties, loss of license, sometimes loss of jobs, loss of money, and convictions that can come back to haunt them for a long, long time, they should focus on the fact that all make mistakes, and people and their families should not be saddled with the heavy downsides of those mistakes for long periods.

Contrary to comments by judges and prosecutors, a jury that votes guilty is indeed the cause of the ensuing conviction - but for the vote of guilty, the person would not be convicted, the very definition of legal causation.

So jurors need to ponder whether they want to cause such grief to people, when the very people collecting the evidence and processing it are frequently the victims of the same sort of  demonization that the government seeks for the people on trial.

"But judges say we must vote guilty if...."  No judge in this Republic should ever say anyone MUST vote guilty for anything, regardless of the strength of the evidence.  Moreover, the Framers envisioned that the jury of citizens would be the protection against all of government, the executive, the legislative, and the judicial branches.  And they anticipated that jurors would nullify cases wherein they felt the justice of the matter did not support a conviction, regardless of the technical strength of the evidence.  When judges pretend jurors cannot nullify cases, they are merely revealing thereby why the jury was given the power to do just that - judges like executives and legislators have agendas which citizen jurors must resist, or we otherwise negate the Framers' intent regarding the role of the jury in this Republic, a Republic where sovereignty lies with the people, not with the government.

1 comment:

  1. Noble sentiments but how do we convince the jury they don't have to follow the law? Although our history is dotted with jury nullification cases I have yet to find a judge that will let me argue for nullification to the jury.


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