Counterpunch from the Liberterrain…
A recent editorial in the Orlando Sentinel was described by the Fully Informed Jury Association (FIJA) as “unfortunately and terribly erroneous.”
The newspaper began by stating, “As a news organization, the Sentinel treasures the First Amendment guarantee of free speech” and admits that the editors were “troubled” by Chief Judge Belvin Perry’s order to bar distribution of FIJA pamphlets at courthouses in his jurisdiction.
But then their devotion to mainstream status quo political correctness kicked in and they discovered several bogus “reasons” why this local judge’s order should magically trump the First Amendment.
“However, after considering the circumstances behind the order, we support the judge’s decision,” they state.
The Sentinel’s use of loaded words like “jury interference” and claiming handouts are intended to “influence” jurors immediately tip off the editors’ bias.
Noting that the FIJA leaflets tell potential jurors to “vote your conscience” they respond by writing, “An appeal to conscience is noble in theory, but it can be an invitation to injustice in a courtroom. A single juror among a dozen who decides that a law violates his own conscience can acquit a defendant in the face of overwhelming evidence of guilt.”
But that’s the whole point. The vast majority of laws in America do nothing more than criminalize victimless activities. Prostitution, gambling, taking drugs Nanny Government doesn’t like, and thousands of other similar personal choice activities are all “crimes” against government rules-making, not crimes against real people.
How often does the Sentinel really think that someone will acquit a person who committed a real crime of coercion like theft, robbery, battery, rape, torture, kidnapping, or murder because those crimes against individuals violates a persons conscience?
“Mr. Perry’s order is founded in a state law that makes it a felony to influence jurors,” the editors point out, but are utterly silent on the fact that judges also feloniously influence jurors when they refuse to instruct them about their right and responsibility to judge the law as well as the facts.
They also quote “the state’s compelling interest in protecting the integrity of the jury system” without ever mentioning citizens’ compelling interest in protecting their fellow citizens from the abuses of an out-of-control government’s unconstitutional laws.
People like the Orlando Sentinel editors are doing their readers a grievous disservice by pontificating about jury nullification without knowing anything about it.
Learn more at Florida FIJA.
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