The most remarkable thing about the Bundy trial up in Oregon isn’t the verdict or the insane aftermath. It’s the number of people who are just now realizing that Jury’s have the power and – if you were to read the Framers – the responsibility – to nullify government laws and actions.
Why do you think that the Anti-Federalists and other Framers were so insistent on the Jury system? The myth is that any of the rights enumerated in the Constitution are “more important” than any other. Yes, we all have our favorites and yes, Washington himself said that the 2nd “puts the teeth in the 1st,” and so on. But without all of them, acting in concert together, we’d see the slow erosion of all of them. Particularly the ones we have wrongly deemed “most important.” Read the rest of this entry
I’m headed to Tehachapi today, so just a short bit of notes, most of which were written last night, so I can beat my stupid self-imposed 0845 deadline.
The Headline that about a dozen people sent me last night read “All Seven Wildlife Refugee Occupiers, Including Ammon Bundy, Found Not Guilty.” I am on record as believing the Bundy’s are both nuts and wrong. So naturally the jury verdict is a repudiation of my opinion, right?
Yet another example of making value judgments from headlines.
In the first place, good for them. They used the system which had jurists that didn’t make every stupid excuse in the book to get out of Jury Duty and they used their authority as designed by the Framers to stop the government and nullify the charges against seven defendants.
But… keep three other facts in mind.
(1) Eleven other defendants plead guilty to the same charges. One had the charges dropped. Seven other defendants chose to be tried separately from Bundy. So “All” is kind of a stretch.
(2) A second trial of the remaining defendants will begin in February. I guarantee you that voir dire will go much, much, much differently in that trial.
(3) The Bundy’s still face yet another trial in Nevada for the nonsense there. Again, I guarantee you that trial process will be much more selective and different.
Which brings me to my point about the 6th Amendment. Every time a person says I don’t want to be on a jury and pulls some excuse out of their butt, it takes a potential nullifier out of the pool. If you really want to get an inside view of how Jury Selection and excuses can effect the outcome of a trial, read Marcia Clarke’s Book, “Without a Doubt.” Remember how flummoxed you were that the OJ Jury couldn’t see what was obvious to you and me? THAT is why voir dire is so important, and it is why Ammon Bundy and his insane theology are free today.
Think about that the next time you get a jury summons. Read the rest of this entry