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Author Topic: FIJA : Fully Informed Jury Association  (Read 6149 times)

Hunter

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FIJA : Fully Informed Jury Association
« Reply #15 on: October 07, 2003, 10:39:17 pm »

Searcher, it is already happening. This stuff is VERY widespread. And remember, about half the lawyers think it is a good thing. Defence lawyers often benefit from jury nullification. That probably explains why some judges don't lose their minds over it, too.  
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Elias Alias

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« Reply #16 on: October 08, 2003, 12:48:58 am »

Taken from the FIJActivist newsletter; Volume 15, Issue 2, Summer 2003

~

Key Dates in the History of Trial by Jury

by Godfrey Lehman

June 22, 1633: Trial of Galileo Galilei by the catholic church's court of inquisition, in the absence of a jury of his peers, for the crime of insisting that the earth revolved around the sun.

September 5, 1670: Acquittal of William Penn and William Mead by a jury lead by Edward Bushell. Penn was accused of preaching Quaker relition, with Mead assisting, in violation of English law that the Church of England (w)as the only legal religion.

November 9, 1670: The release of Edward Bushell and three other jurors from prison upon a writ of habeas corpus established the right of jurors to vote according to conscience.

June 29, 1691: Jurors in Salem acquit Rebecca Nurse of witchcraft; the judge terrorized jurors until they impeached their own verdict and the trial continued. Prosecutions soon stopped, in part because juries were reluctant to convict.

January 3, 1693: Trial of Rebecca Jacobs, acquitted on charges of witchcraft, in the "beginning of the end" of the Salem witch trials. A series of fifty-two acquittals followed.

May 17, 1693:  End of the Salem witch trials, due to juries refusing to convict.

August 4, 1735: John Peter Zenger acquitted of publishing materials critical of the corrupt government of the royal governor  of New York colony. The judge told the jury that "truth was no defense", but the jury took only ten minutes to acquit.

December 6, 1763: Held without food, water, light or plumbing in a(n) unheated room, a jury acquitted John Wilkes on charges of publishing criticisms of George III's government. The jurors recognized evidence was seized without a warrant.

July 4, 1776: Declaration of Independence signed: "...for depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of trial by jury; for transporting us beyond seas to be tried for pretended offenses..."
 
December 15, 1791: Ratification of our Bill of Rights.

March 18, 1800: Conviction by a carefully screened jury of the publisher William Duane, earlier acquitted by a randomly chosen jury that nullified the oppresive Sedition Act of 1797.

January 11, 1830: A jury endured freezing temperatures in a dark room until early morning, trying to acquit publisher Richard Carlile of seditious libel charges. Rather than freeze, they acquiessced to demands of the judge for a conviction.

June 17-18, 1873: Susan B. Anthony tried for the "crime" of voting, along with three men of the elections board, who allowed her and fifteen other women to vote. The attempt of the jury to acquit was thwarted. Judge Ward Hunt declared her guilty because "I say there is no law allowing women to vote and the jury has no power to determine the law."

October 31, 1878: A jury of twelve Russian peasants acquitted Vera Zalsulich of shooting an official who ordered the flogging of prisoners of conscience. The Czar reacted by repealing his own statute that had established trial by jury.

July 19, 1991: Jury acquittal of Franklin Sanders and 16 co-defendants of various IRS tax charges, in Memphis, Tennessee, at the conclusion of a four month multi-million dollar trial.

~

Jury, n. [Fr. jure, sworn, L. juro, to swear] A number of freeholders, selected in the manner prescribed by law, empaneled and sworn to inquire into and try any matter of fact, and to declare the truth on the evidence given them in the case. Grand juries consist  usually of twenty four freeholders at least, and are summoned to try matters alleged in indictments. *Petty juries*, consisting usually of twelve men, attend courts to try matters of fact in civil causes, and to decide both the law and the fact in criminal prosecutions. The decision of a petty jury is called a verdict.

http://www.fija.org
 
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Elias Alias

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« Reply #17 on: October 08, 2003, 01:12:26 am »

Quote
Rest assured that if I can ever wangle or finagle my way onto a jury, I will definitely judge the law as well as the facts.

 
Yah! It's got me thinking about getting signed up for jury duty, lol! Seriously, if the libertarian counter-culture sat on juries, knowing their duty and right to judge the law as well as the alleged crime, the War on Drugs would go up in smoke overnight, same as could happen with those unconstitutional anti-2A laws and the non-existant law upon which current IRS activity claims to base itself. Let's start talking FIJA as often as we can to as many folks who're receptive....
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rick

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« Reply #18 on: October 08, 2003, 03:13:56 am »

Quote
Seriously, if the libertarian counter-culture sat on juries, knowing their duty and right to judge the law as well as the alleged crime, the War on Drugs would go up in smoke overnight
...and let me guess, the smoke would smell not only from tobacco... ;)
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Bear

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« Reply #19 on: October 08, 2003, 01:09:18 pm »

Basic question:

Does "jury nullification" mean that the charge becomes void if the law is invalid, and
does that also mean that the law itself is overturned, or is it left on the books?

Bear  :huh:
 
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Scarmiglione'

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« Reply #20 on: October 08, 2003, 01:16:21 pm »

Basically it means that the jury refuses to apply the law for the case they are presiding over.  Even if the defendant is guilty, the jury has the right to say that the law is so badly applied/inconsequential/stupid/etc that they refuse to uphold it.    The law stays on the books officially, but each time the law is nullified it becomes harder to justify it's existence (ostensibly).
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Hunter

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« Reply #21 on: October 08, 2003, 01:48:09 pm »

Don't knock it. Jury nullification probably had more to do with slavery ending than the Civil War, which was really about tariffs. Don't imagine we need to go into that in this crowd. Jury nullification also pretty much ended Prohibition - and that I don't just know from reading history and FIJA's literature, but from stories my grandparents told me. There may well be people here who can tell you how important jury nullification was back in the 60s when they tried to prosecute draft-dodgers and anti-war protestors.

Some of you here are not in LRT, so you will have missed the challenge I issued there. I gave an undisclosed amount of money to FIJA and FMN yesterday for a joint project I wanted to see happen. And I challenged the LRT list to each pony up $5 to either FIJA or FMN and match or exceed my donation. I'll renew that challenge here just for grins - the cost of a McDonalds meal for one of these two fine organizations seems a small thing for the good they can do:

FMN donations click below:
Online donations to FMN
or call (707) 746-8796

FIJA donations click here:
Online donations to FIJA
or call 1-406-442-7800

 
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Claire

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« Reply #22 on: October 08, 2003, 02:01:22 pm »

Quote
Some of you here are not in LRT, so you will have missed the challenge I issued there. I gave an undisclosed amount of money to FIJA and FMN yesterday for a joint project I wanted to see happen.
Actually, I suspect most of us aren't in LRT. I'm not, although I know some of the forums' most recently active posters are. So enlighten the rest of us. What's the project?
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Hunter

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« Reply #23 on: October 08, 2003, 02:12:06 pm »

Oh, I didn't tell them, actually. But that's OK, I''ll let the few, the proud, etc here in on it, is no big secret. I noticed that FIJA was not an FMN partner. That can derive significant benefits and exposure for a group like FIJA, so I fixed that for them. For my next trick, I'd like to figure out how to get FIJA to sponsor an FMN contest give-away, but that is a bit beyond what I can figure out. I'll just wait until they get the partner arrangement humming along, and then float the idea out to the respective head honchos and see what happens.  
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Roy J. Tellason

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« Reply #24 on: May 22, 2004, 12:49:57 pm »

Quote
I've been promoting FIJA in my own small way for many, many years. Used to have a notice up about them on my old BBS,

Hell,  I've got a whole *files section* for them on my BBS (717-838-8539,  if anybody's curious and can get through when I'm not tying the line up doing this :-).

Quote
You can print out FIJA flyers in the privacy of your own home. Don't worry, hair won't grow on your knuckles or anything. Make a bunch and have fun; just be aware that courts in many jurisdictions take a dim view of them. (Waaaah.) I've had a couple of tense moments with bailiffs or cops handing them out over the years, though so far asking them if they have ever heard of the First Amendment has always kept them at bay. YMMV - just remember that this is seriously dangerous stuff to the statists, and at least some of them know it, so they may decide to get heavy handed with you. Know what you are getting into.

I know of *one* local guy who's fairly active in this stuff and "got in trouble" for doing that sort of thing.  What he was doing was putting flyers on people's cars,  trying for jurors cars,  in the neighborhood around the courthouse.  They arrested him.  I heard about that,  found out it was him,  and asked him what happened -- IT NEVER WENT TO TRIAL!   :-)

I guess that for them to actually charge him with jury-tampering and make it stick,  they were going to have to introduce some of the flyers he'd been passing out as evidence, or something...

 
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Roy J. Tellason

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« Reply #25 on: May 22, 2004, 12:57:43 pm »

Quote
There was a local case about seven years ago in which I sure wish I could have gotten onto the poor sucker's jury. The police, on some pretext or other (loud music, maybe) barged into the home of some guy and spotted some *rolling papers* on his coffee table. They took the "drug paraphernalia" to be probable cause to search the place, and they found some tiny, misdemeanor amount of pot, about enough for one fat joint. That in itself was not a big deal, only a misdemeanor. But the presence of the "drug paraphernalia" (some Zig-Zag rolling papers) "enhanced" the charge to a felony. And the *not*-fully-informed jury gave the guy *eight(8) years* in prison, basically for having some rolling papers. I don't even smoke pot, and never have, and have no interest in doing so, but this seemed to me like one of the most outrageously disproportionate punishments I'd ever heard of. I mean it was just sickening. If I'd been on that poor pothead's jury I would sure as hell have hung the jury at the very least.

And you better believe I will never vote to convict anyone on any kind of anti-constitutional gun possession charge, or any kind of income tax beef either.

 Lox
I'm waitin' (fully armed,  24/7) for some cop to try that one as a pretext with me.  Got a pack of zig-zag (orange) papers sitting right here,  stuffed into the Rizla rolling machine,  and sitting on top of my _TOBACCO_ pouch...
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Information is more dangerous than cannon to a society ruled by lies. --James M Dakin

Mos2

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FIJA : Fully Informed Jury Association
« Reply #26 on: May 22, 2004, 01:30:03 pm »

I was called up for jury duty last week. It was a civil case - medical malpractice. I got myself bumped for admitting that I'd heard the argument that large awards in these sorts of cases were damaging to the medical profession & health care in general. Not that I said I actually believed it... I do to some degree, but evaded that question. Still got bumped, even though the defendant's attorney argued to keep me. Pity, I could have used the jury fee, pittance that it is. :-)
 
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