Freedom Rings Libertarian Radio with Kenneth John.
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The Law

What is the law? Is it the myriad of codes, rules and regulations that swamp our daily lives? Is it the written law legislated by politicians who, many times, have no regard for any constitution? Is the law what the United States Constitution says, or what the Supreme Court says it says? On all of the above, I think not. The law is what twelve jurors says it is or one juror says it is not.

The last check-and-balance of a free people on those that govern them (besides the Declaration of Independence option) is that of jury nullification,—the right and responsibility of individual jurors to decide if a law is just or unjust according to their conscience, irrespective of what “the law” may be. It only takes one juror of twelve not to convict, and twelve jurors voting their conscience to acquit and nullify the law in that particular case. The first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, John Jay, (and one of the authors of the Federalist Papers) charged the jury in the first jury case tried in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, “It may not be amiss, here gentlemen, to remind you of the good old rule, that on questions of fact, it is the province of the jury, on questions of law it is the province of the court to decide. But it must be observed that by the same law, which recognizes this reasonable distribution of jurisdiction, you have nevertheless a right to take upon yourselves to judge of both and to determine the law as well as the fact in controversy...both objects are lawfully within your power of decision.” (Georgia v. Braillsford 3 Dalles 1—1792)

To inform people of this traditional right and responsibility is the purpose of the Fully Informed Jury Amendment (FIJA). This initiative is a no-lose proposition for those who believe in individual rights.

Jurors already have the right to nullify unjust laws according to conscience. But judges routinely instruct jurors that they should rule on the facts of the case alone. This amendment would compel judges to instruct jurors properly on this right. Even if the amendment loses, freedom fighters still win. The educational process of proposing the amendment will inform countless prospective jurors of their right. If this initiative becomes national in prominence, judges no longer will be able to run roughshod on the values of freedom.

Consider all the people who would benefit from a fully informed jury—tax resisters, draft resisters, pro-choice groups, pro-life groups, those who support the right to bear arms, entrepreneurs stifled by regulation, alternative health practitioners, home educators, midwives, and countless others fighting for freedom. Coalescing on FIJA is the single most effective way to achieve individual freedom in our time.

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