Monday, August 18, 2008

Quote of the democratic process

From Drug War Rant comes a story of a juror who questioned the legitimacy of the drug laws.

My question was where, if, . . . as every schoolboy knows, the highest law in the land is the United States Constitution, and if [C]ongress had to go to amend the [C]onstitution in, actually it was ratified in 1919, the 18th Amendment, in order to have the power to ban not interstate commerce but mere possession, where is [Congress' authority to ban mere possession of drugs] in the [C]onstitution[?]

Congress is empowered by Article I, in a list of about 17 specific empowerments, I'm unaware, and it was never made clear to me, where [banning mere possession of drugs] is authorized in the Constitution.

The judge advised the juror to simply accept the law, and refrain from judging its merit. The juror continued to have difficulty, and the judge replaced him with a juror who promptly convicted the defendant.

But it is a line the judge wrote about jury nullification that brings us our quote of the day. A quote that made the editor of Drug War Rant laugh out loud, and made me laugh like a hyena when I read it;

If Taken Seriously, Jury Nullification Threatens to Undermine the Democratic Process and the Rule of Law

Clearly the judge and I have differing views of what the word "democratic" means. Jury nullification just about the purest form of democracy you can have. Stating that a citizen is REQUIRED to send someone to jail based on the law the citizen may not support is ludicrous.

Hat tip to Uncle

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