Malum Prohibitum - Jury Nullification Poll

Discussion in 'Off-topic' started by Phil1979, Jan 24, 2011.

  1. Phil1979

    Phil1979 Member Georgia Carry

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    Poll Topic: "People don't deserve to be harassed with fines or prison for violating laws that lack any moral basis. In other words, 'crimes' where no one is harmed".

    Cast your vote...
     

  2. Phil1979

    Phil1979 Member Georgia Carry

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    Somebody voted "no"? Wow! Maybe they didn't know the meaning of malum prohibitum, or it could have just been a finger fumble. :lol:
     
  3. EJR914

    EJR914 Cheezburger Operator

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    I think we know who that was. :cantsay:
     
  4. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

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    I won't vote right now because my feelings can't be summarized with a simple Yes or No.

    What are you proposing, exactly? That juries be specifically given an instruction from the Court that tells them it's OK to acquit the defendant if they don't like the law itself or if they think it has been unfairly applied in this particular case?

    I would not mind that. Juries already have the power to acquit for whatever reason they like, and no reason need ever be given or spoken outside the jury room. I don't see the end of our legal system coming from making this power known to those jurors who may not be familiar with it.

    But my problem with "jury nullification" is when utter stupidity and prejudice are used as the reason to let a clearly guilty person go free. Example: Back in the Jim Crow days before the 1960s I hear that no white man was ever convicted of murder for killing a black man. The same principle applied to killing Chinamen who were working on the railroad out West in the 1870s.
     
  5. AV8R

    AV8R Banned

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    That's not what was asked.
     
  6. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

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    Okay, then NO. I'm not in favor of jury nullification for many "malum prohibitum" crimes.
    Unlawful entry into the United States?
    Trafficking in 50 or more pounds of Marijuana?
    Trafficking Cocaine or Methamphetamine? (Well, I might not want to convict somebody for "trafficking" for having 29 grams of the stuff, if the State didn't prove he was going to sell it. A rich person might buy that much at a time for personal use or to host a party.)
    Forgery and Counterfeiting against the government (no individual or business victim)?

    Yeah, I'd convict people for all of the above.

    When combined with the statutory requirement for a unanimous verdict, "jury nullification" means 100% of the citizens have to favor a law for it to be enforced. That's not how it should be. If 9 out of 10 people favor the law and find it useful, but 1 person things the law is unnessary and infringes on personal liberty, the law should be enforced and convictions should be had (not a hung jury). Right now we avoid hung juries because of the kind of jury instructions we give them combined with the fact that nobody suggests anything like Jury Nullification. We imply that they have to convict if the State proved what was alleged in the indictment, even though technically the instruction is that they "may" convict. They never "have to" convict, no matter how strong the evidence.
     
  7. JeF4y

    JeF4y New Member

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    Whose morals?

    If they're all mine, okay, then it's great. If not, well.....
     
  8. ChipM

    ChipM Active Member

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    Morality is a difficult issue to define. How about, we should not convict people of crimes which do not deprive others of life, liberty, or property?
     
  9. jdh31313

    jdh31313 Active Member

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    I generally agree most of these laws should be decriminalized, but isn't that best handled by the legislature? I did not vote.
     
  10. ChipM

    ChipM Active Member

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    Isn't the judiciary a check on the powers of the legislature?
     
  11. jdh31313

    jdh31313 Active Member

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    The right cries foul when the left attempts this and even calls it judicial activism :mrgreen:
     
  12. ET.

    ET. Active Member

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    It is painfully obvious that my morals are completely different from my neighbor's morals. The question has been asked here "whose morals?" Exactly!! Generally speaking, a liberal has different morals than a conservative. I ask again whose morals are we basing this on? I have to vote no here. Lets just let everybody go if no one was killed, then everybody's morals would be covered, except the radical Islamist's morals. If we include them we would have to let everybody go including the killers, because they killed in the name of their God. :screwy:


    ...so if a driver routinely drove 100 mph down the highway while intoxicated, he shouldn't be locked up even if he engaged in this activity on a daily basis with his driver's license revoked. You are saying that until he kills or injures someone he shouldn't be locked up? Really? Isn't that like waiting to install a traffic light at a dangerous intersection until after someone is killed? Some laws are on the books to protect us from what might happen in the future because someone engages in an activity that could cause harm in the future. The drug smuggler who got caught with 5 lbs. of cocaine hasn't hurt anybody yet, but when a 13 year old girl OD's on his drug then he has. Do we have to wait for the girl to die before we can lock this piece of trash up? Really? (Evidently many Americans do not think that drug use is immoral. If you asked them they would say it doesn't hurt anybody but themselves. It is their body and they should be able to put anything they want into it. Do they get a say in this too?)
     
  13. AV8R

    AV8R Banned

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    Will the real MP please stand up?
     
  14. EJR914

    EJR914 Cheezburger Operator

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    If someone else is not hurt in anyway by someone's actions, why in the heck is it illegal?

    Why is it illegal for me to simple walk across some an imaginary line with a certain object?

    Why is it illegal to put a chemical voluntarily into my body?
     
  15. 45_Fan

    45_Fan Well-Known Member

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    Because stupid hurts and happens to be the lowest common denominator?

    It is the same reason we have cold ranges, gun stores, and gun shows.
     
  16. JeF4y

    JeF4y New Member

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    Because people include morals & feelings in their "hurt"...

    Because hemp threatens the timber industry, and, well, that's a lot of money; so in all fashions it was just easier to say "this is bad".

    edit to fix quotes
     
  17. AV8R

    AV8R Banned

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    Because hemp threatens the timber industry, and, well, that's a lot of money; so in all fashions it was just easier to say "this is bad".[/quote:1svigifl]
    Don't forget the cotton and petroleum industries.
     
  18. mb90535im

    mb90535im Well-Known Member

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    Not to mention pharmaceuticals.

    But back to the main thread topic, I think a jury should always be informed that a "not guilty" verdict is always an option.
     
  19. EJR914

    EJR914 Cheezburger Operator

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    But as far as I know there are no laws out there that force us to have cold gun ranges. Its simply a safety precaution. Government does not yet force you to abide by them.