Next week I am scheduled for jury duty. I am rather excited about it, as I honestly believe that it is not just our civic duty to perform, but also our moral duty. You may be wondering “moral duty?” Yes! So many people are hell bent on getting out of this obligation, because it is interfering in their lives; however, they fail to realize the purpose of this duty. YOU are all that stands between a fellow citizen and jail, potentially a wrongful imprisonment. This is a serious subject and MUST be deemed as such. You are not the Prosecuting Attorney’s friend, nor are you the District Attorney’s friend; you are, in fact, the ally of the accused, because you can stop the improper use of the law and say to one and all…THIS IS WRONG AND I WON’T STAND FOR IT!
Why a JURY of your PEERS is is so vital to FREEDOM? One day long ago a man rode into the small town of Culpeper, VA He was totally shocked by what he saw! There, in the middle of the town square was a minister tied to a whipping post, his back laid bare and bloody with the bones of his ribs showing. He had been scourged like JESUS, with whips laced with metal. The man turned to someone and asked what the man had done to deserve a beating such as this. The reply given him was that the man being scourged was a minister who refused to take a license. He was one of twelve who were locked in jail because they refused to take a license to preach. The time was March, 1775 and the man who viewed this travesty was none other than Patrick Henry and the incident was the basis for his “…GIVE ME LIBERTY OR GIVE ME DEATH!” speech.
On another occasion in history a Mr. Bushnell sat on the jury for a man who was placed on trial for violation of a “Conventicle Act.” This was an elaborate Act which made the Church of England the only legal church. The Act was struck down by the jury’s not guilty vote. Freedom of Religion was established and became part of the English Bill of Rights and later it became the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. In addition, the Right to peaceful assembly was founded, and Freedom of Speech. Had Bushnell and his colleagues yielded to the guilty verdict sought by the judge and prosecutor, William Penn most likely would have been executed as he clearly broke the law. The year was 1670 and the man on trial was William Penn.
As a member of the Jury you carry much weight and power, unfortunately people are more interested in going home to watch reruns of Friends or MacGyver, hmmmm! The previous two stories are the basis for the Bill of Rights, more specifically the First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Eighth Amendments
AMENDMENT VI (1791) to the US Constitution reads as: “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.” This guarantees each of us the right to an impartial Jury, but so many of us forget that we are INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY, not the other way around!
We are endowed with God-given, or inalienable, Rights. They come from our creator; no one can take them from us and we cannot give them away without the ability to pick them back up and use them again. Only YOUR creator can take them from you! As a Juror you have an obligation to the accused to ensure and make certain that he, or she, gets a fair trial. It is NOT your duty to make certain that every Tom, Dick, and Harry is found guilty of everything that the Prosecutor swings before you and says that he is guilty. NEWS FLASH: Not every Policeman, District Attorney, Prosecutor, and Judge tells the truth – nor do they ensure that you know everything that you need in order to make that decision.
“All laws which are repugnant to the Constitution are null and void.” Marbury vs. Madison, 5 US (2 Cranch) 137, 174, 176, (1803)
“When rights secured by the Constitution are involved, there can be no rule making or legislation which would abrogate them.” Miranda vs. Arizona, 384 US 436 p. 491.
“The jury has the right to judge both the law as well as the fact in controversy.” John Jay, 1st Chief Justice U.S. Supreme Court, 1789
“The jury has the right to determine both the law and the facts.” Samuel Chase, U.S. supreme Court Justice, 1796, Signer of the unanimous Declaration
“The jury has the power to bring a verdict in the teeth of both law and fact.” Oliver Wendell Holmes, U.S. Supreme Court Justice, 1902
“The law itself is on trial quite as much as the cause which is to be decided.” Harlan F. Stone, 12th Chief Justice U.S. Supreme Court, 1941
“The pages of history shine on instances of the jury’s exercise of its prerogative to disregard instructions of the judge…” U.S. vs. Dougherty, 473 F 2nd 1113, 1139. (1972)
And these are the Judges from the days of old speaking on the subject. During the Reconstruction Period of our history it was difficult at best to get justice for the previously known slaves and ultimately impossible to find a white man guilty of murdering a previously know slave and that was when the Judges began to instruct the jury and essentially said that the jurors needed to listen to them.
The ultimate goal of the Communist belief is power and the Communist Manifesto represents a misguided philosophy, in my opinion, which teaches the citizens to give up their RIGHTS for the sake of the “common good,” but it always ends in a police state. Just listen to the news and all of the things that YOUR government is implementing and how YOUR RIGHTS are being ebbed away by their law making and chiseling away at the Constitution. This is considered preventive justice. Control is the key concept. Read the ten tenets of communism carefully:
1. Abolition of private property.
2. Heavy progressive income tax.
3. Abolition of all rights on inheritance.
4. Confiscation of property of all emigrants and rebels.
5. Central bank.
6. Government control of Communications & Transportation.
7. Government ownership of factories and agriculture.
8. Government control of labor.
9. Corporate farms, regional planning.
10. Government control of education.
As a juror you may have to make a decision that takes away someone’s rights, rights are equivalent to property. Just think about it and consider these things when you are on a panel of jurors. I would highly suggest you read and reread the Declaration of Independence, US Constitution, Bill of Rights, and the Citizen’s Rule Book (which has the founding documents in it). It would serve you well to know your rights and the rights of your fellow citizens.
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