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Friday, September 5, 2008

The Destruction of Trial By Jury

A jury has *THREE* responsibilities. The first is to judge the facts of the case. The second is to determine what the law actually is, if there's a disagreement over what the law is. The third is to determine if the law itself is morally just.

Everybody agrees that juries have the right to judge the facts of the case. The other two important jury powers have been eroded to the point that they're nonexistent.

Juries used to have a responsibility for determining what the law actually said. Arguments over what the law actually said were made in front of the jury. In the present, arguments over what the law actually says are decided before the trial by the judge. The jury is instructed to rely solely on the judge's explanation of the law. That is inadequate, if the prosecution and defense disagree over what the law actually says. If the prosecution and defense disagree over what the law actually says, then the jury should know this. Lawyers designed the law to be so complicated that the average person cannot read and understand it.

State restrictions on trials effectively repeal trial by jury. There are many restrictions.

  1. A lawyer is barred from specifically mentioning jury nullification during a trial. If you want to present a jury nullification defense, you must present it yourself sui juris. Even in that case, the judge may hold in you in "contempt of court" for disobeying his order to not mention jury nullification.
  2. The jury selection rules are biased. For example, the judge will ask you if you believe in jury nullification; if you answer yes, you are excluded as a juror. In a "possession of marijuana" trial, the judge will ask you if you believe marijuana should be legalized; if you answer yes, you are excluded as a juror. Even if a majority of the population believes that marijuana should be legalized, biased jury selection rules mean that such people will never be allowed onto a jury. A biased jury selection process means that laws a majority of the people don't like are still enforceable, by excluding jurors who don't like the law.
  3. Originally, a "jury of your peers" meant people who *PERSONALLY KNEW THE DEFENDANT*. Now, a "jury of your peers" means "people too stupid to dodge jury duty".
  4. Even if you are knowledgeable, serving on a jury is a waste of time. You spend 1-2 weeks just to maybe help one person. You'd probably have to intentionally lie to get placed on the jury.
  5. The rules of evidence are biased. For example, suppose you were previously robbed and are on trial for "illegal possession of a gun". You are barred from mentioning that you were previously robbed and had a gun to protect yourself.
  6. If you attempt to defend yourself sui juris, the judge will be biased against you. If you are represented by a lawyer and he makes a technical error, the judge may let him correct it. If you represent yourself and make a technical error, you won't be allowed to fix it. The rules of a trial are *INTENTIONALLY* complicated, so that anyone attempting to represent themselves is at a disadvantage. If you're threatened with State violence, your best option may be to pay tribute to a lawyer, so you may escape conviction. However, for many issues, I probably could defend myself better than a lawyer.
  7. In a "high profile" case, the State may spend millions of dollars. The defendant must spend their life savings, to avoid conviction. From the State enforcer's point of view, wasting millions of dollars is irrelevant. Even if acquitted, the defendant does not recover his legal expenses.
  8. The judge gives the jury instructions for what to do. These rules are biased in favor of the prosecution/State. For example, the jury should interpret the law as quoted by the judge; in the case of the income tax, it's unclear if the law actually allows it! The jury instructions specifically bar them from practicing jury nullification. The jury instructions imply that the jury may be sent to jail if they disobey the judge's orders! (I read an actual jury instruction document once; it was posted on the Internet during someone's trial.)
  9. Prosecutors have broad discretion on what types of criminal charges to pursue. This adds another layer of unfairness to trials.
  10. Defense attorneys are usually barred from telling the jury how long the victim will go to jail if convicted. When you see someone indicted on 30 separate charges and the jury says "30/30 guilty", did the jurors really believe that they were effectively giving a life sentence? A 2 year prison term times 30 is a 60 year prison term. I read a story where someone refused to withhold taxes from his employees' salaries, and was convicted on 30 separate counts of tax evasion. This made his punishment life in prison instead of 1-2 years. As another example, when there's a "3 strikes" law, the defense is not allowed to mention that it's the defendant's 3rd strike. Sometimes, jurors say they would not have convicted if they knew they were imposing a lifetime sentence.
  11. If you're a State employee, you keep your normal salary and benefits while serving on a jury. Your employer won't discriminate against you if you miss work for an extended period of time while serving on jury duty. If you work for a non-State employer, your employer will be hurt if you miss work for an extended period of time. For this reason, juries tend to be mostly filled with State employees. In a tax evasion trial, they will be naturally biased in favor of the judge and prosecution, because they are dependent on taxes to pay their own salaries!
The procedural rules for trials are heavily manipulated. This effectively repeals trial by jury.

Each of these bad practices were legitimized by various Supreme Court decisions. The Supreme Court is biased. The Supreme Court tends to make decisions that increase State power, rather than decreasing it. Over time, this eliminated almost all the protection that trial by jury was supposed to provide.


Anonymous said...

Time and time again you prove that the state is actively seeking to enslave the people, and to remove their freedoms.

I hold this a a self-evident truth. For it it were not so, there never would have been a need for founding fathers to declare an independence.

They did not declare it against a foreign state, but their own.

Those who think that the times of need for such declarations have passed, are asleep at the wheel.

Anonymous said...

Time by time again, FSK is showing his Asperger\'s Syndrome traits. In his discussion about agorism, he admitted that he has no friends to do counter-economic experiments. He strangely has an absurd and narrow interest in market anarchism, and even has a whole blog dedicated to it. He contributes massive stuff daily, and his ranting about his work, which is another symptom of his under-average work-related social skills. His was recently fired, which indicates his lack of social cooperation skills.

His writing style is orientated toward short-sentences, which are purely logical and always repeat the same thing like \"taxation is theft\". Aspergers display purely repetitive behavior and writing styles like that.

FSK clearly has a lack of empathy for others, and frequently denounces them as \"pro-state trolls.\" He has no manners nor the patience to even listen to various viewpoints.


Anonymous said...

Unless you're kidding about your comment just above, you're the enemy.

Empathy? Under the gun in our face we should have "EMPATHY" to those holding it?

FSK only has no trading partners, because everyone else are sheepishly loyal to their owners.

True, he has gotten fired. That has nothing to do with his views. I agree, and I did point it out to him immediately, that it is none of his business what and how the company is doing, as he isn't an owner. In this, he is just as socialist as you, though. He is unable to recognize that his bosses business is as much isn't his own as it is no one's business to count or demand FSK's income. But this is a common fault. Typically, people are only recognize their onw property and right to independence, but not someone else's.

Nevertheless, this has nothing to do with him being fired. Shit happens.

I say what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. All in all, on the balance, I like FSK.

redpillguy said...

You missed the plea bargain. Prosecutors pile charge after charge, frightening the defendant into accepting a plea bargain (light sentence in exchange for not going to trial). The defending attorney looks at this as making a quick easy buck as opposed to the hard work a long trial takes. IIRC over half of people in jail have not had a jury trial because they accepted a plea bargain. No doubt many of those people are completely innocent.

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