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Re: Jury Duty



On Wed, 23 Dec 1998, Anonymous wrote:

> Is there a good web site where I can find other legal means to recuse myself (I live in AZ), or if I do
> decide to report and get on a trial, a web site on my rights to vote my conscious, aka jury nullification?

If you really do want to avoid jury service, mentioning FIJA or jury
nullification ought to do the trick - it may get every juror within
earshot excused, too, depending on how paranoid the locals are. 

But I think that's a horrible idea - jury participation is an opportunity
to exercise much more influence than you wield if/when you vote in an
election. All by yourself, voting your conscience as shaped by the
evidence and the jury instructions, you can force a mistrial, which might
or might not mean the end of the case. If your view of the evidence and
your understanding of the law, as explained by the judge in the jury
instructions, proves to be persuasive to your fellow jurors, you will
collectively make the law as it applies to the parties in your trial. It's
pretty difficult to overturn a jury verdict - not impossible, but it's
harder than you might think from watching TV.

Jury duty is, correctly understood, yet another of the "checks and
balances" of the US legal system - if the legislators and judges are doing
things with the law that the citizens don't like, don't support, or even
just don't understand, it's an opportunity for those citizens to
peacefully change the situation. Unfortunately, the jury duty process
tends to select against people with the backbone to think for themselves;
and people with backbone and strong principles often self-select away from
jury service, because the bureacratic mechansims which surround it are
confusing, annonying, and sometimes humiliating. If you can look
beyond/around that, it's an opportunity to participate in the distributed
creation of law and justice, which is a pretty big deal.

Cypherpunks serve on juries?

--
Greg Broiles
[email protected]