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(Inland Valley Daily Bulletin)   Federal judge orders jury to ignore state laws regarding Sandusky & his little buds. No, not that one   (dailybulletin.com) divider line 36
    More: Asinine, Aaron Sandusky, federal judges, state law, jury, Moreno Valley  
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10257 clicks; posted to Main » on 12 Oct 2012 at 6:03 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-10-12 06:06:15 AM
It does make sense that a Federal court judge would ask jurors to disregard State laws when considering how the laws apply in this case.

That said, jury nullification is a good thing. Drugs shouldn't be illegal.
 
2012-10-12 06:08:08 AM
Considering federal law trumps state law, the judge kind of HAD to tell them that.

Doesn't mean I agree with it, or even that the judge agreed, but that's the way the law works.
 
2012-10-12 06:12:16 AM
And I'm proud to be an American because... because... hmmm.
 
2012-10-12 06:12:56 AM
Now is a really unfortunate time to have the last name Sandusky.

I'm sure everyone with the last name McVeigh can relate.
 
2012-10-12 06:17:02 AM

AverageAmericanGuy:
That said, jury nullification is a good thing.


Yes, yes it is. It's a shame so many potential jurors are unaware of it.

Wasn't there a story some time ago about a guy ( or a group or whatever) that was passing out flyers to potential jurors informing them about jury nullification and that they have the right to enact it if they deem it necessary? I seem to recall the district attorney was very upset about it.
 
2012-10-12 06:20:18 AM
Will the war on drugs quit pissing me off? Can I get a day free from outrage and still watch the news? Why are we still putting up with this draconian BS? How come I can get enough vodka to kill a bus load of kids in a blackout for three bucks but you do time for having a joint?
 
2012-10-12 06:21:01 AM

AverageAmericanGuy: It does make sense that a Federal court judge would ask jurors to disregard State laws when considering how the laws apply in this case.

That said, jury nullification is a good thing. Drugs shouldn't be illegal.


If he can inform them that Federal Law trumps state law, then he should also explain jury nullification. I have been called up for jury duty. It is easy to get swept up in the battle between the opposing sides and forget your own core beliefs. The judge really does want you to be a brainless automaton and accept everything he says as truth. He also makes a point of intimidating the jury into "behaving" like he is god and we are just unwashed street rabble.
 
2012-10-12 06:26:27 AM
Can't they just ask you if you would nullify based on your political beliefs and then send you home?
 
2012-10-12 06:39:56 AM
www.examiner.com

Good job, federal justice department, for getting the scourge of state-legalized medicinal marijuana off our streets!!
 
2012-10-12 06:40:49 AM
Well, that's the final reefer in Obama's reelection stash box.
 
2012-10-12 06:41:28 AM

darkvstar: If he can inform them that Federal Law trumps state law, then he should also explain jury nullification.


Not only will they not tell you about jury nullification, they will tell you that you have no right whatsoever to judge the law and that regardless of what you think of the law if the defendant did what the prosecution said you must return a guilty verdict.
 
2012-10-12 06:42:14 AM

elementalogic: Now is a really unfortunate time to have the last name Sandusky.

I'm sure everyone with the last name McVeigh can relate.


I'd tell you to ask my neighbour Jeff Hitler, but he was killed last year during the Diarrhea Anne Frank's Other Neighbours Uprisal. He inhaled too hard in a helium balloon.
 
2012-10-12 07:01:58 AM

Neondistraction: AverageAmericanGuy:
That said, jury nullification is a good thing.

Yes, yes it is. It's a shame so many potential jurors are unaware of it.

Wasn't there a story some time ago about a guy ( or a group or whatever) that was passing out flyers to potential jurors informing them about jury nullification and that they have the right to enact it if they deem it necessary? I seem to recall the district attorney was very upset about it.


That would be Julian Heicklen. He was charged with jury tampering. The case was actually dismissed this April.

That said, while I also believe jury nullification is useful as one of the last defenses of the people against tyranny, it should not be something taken or used casually, and I would probably not advocate for it in this case. I don't like our drug laws, but refusing to uphold the law simply because you don't like it is how people in the South got away with lynchings. You have to assume that the people who disagree with you on other issues will treat the laws you like, that in some cases protect your life and welfare, with the same disregard.
 
2012-10-12 07:07:01 AM

NannyStatePark: Can't they just ask you if you would nullify based on your political beliefs and then send you home?


Yes and no. The rules for being excused for cause vary among jurisdictions, but generally speaking you'd have to have a bias against the particular law applicable to the case, not just for the right of jury nullification in general. So being opposed to all drug convictions would disqualify you in drug cases, but believing that it's possible a conviction might be unjust even if the law was broken, and that you may find in accordance with justice rather than the law, would not (or at least should not; YMMV).

Of course you can be dismissed on a preemptive challenge for essentially any or no reason, so if the prosecutor decides to ask you about it you could be bounced at that stage.
 
2012-10-12 07:37:30 AM
Um, this is news? Since when is any state law considered during a federal trial?
 
2012-10-12 07:47:03 AM

Nezu Chiza: Considering federal law trumps state law, the judge kind of HAD to tell them that.

Doesn't mean I agree with it, or even that the judge agreed, but that's the way the law works.


Eh, in general, but you know, I've never heard a good explanation for why it required an amendment to the Constitution for Congress to have the power to (kinda sorta) prohibit liquor, but drugs can now be completely outlawed by a few unelected bureaucrats.
 
2012-10-12 07:48:22 AM

NannyStatePark: Will the war on drugs quit pissing me off? Can I get a day free from outrage and still watch the news? Why are we still putting up with this draconian BS? How come I can get enough vodka to kill a bus load of kids in a blackout for three bucks but you do time for having a joint?


Taxes.
Privatized Prison System.
Intoxication Level Measurement.

I stand by the fact that crappy weed that that will eventually get you high is still vastly easier to produce, grow and cultivate at home than alcohol or tobacco. And because of this very fact, the Feds see the legalization of marijuana as lost tax revenue from the beginning. Even though home growth will likely be an extremely small percentage by comparison to the whole industry that will pop up from legalization, it is enough to keep is squashed.

There is also the huge number of folks in jail because of simple possession charges. The industrialized and privatized prison system would suffer if suddenly having an 1/8th of weed on you became legal.

Finally, and I suspect more practically, while modern day breathalyzers for DUI are still somewhat of a controversy as far as their accuracy levels are concerned, they more or less do their job and that is that. A quick and cheep marijuana intoxication measuring device has yet to be invented, and is probably MANY years off.

Yes, you can test someones blood to see that someone has recently used marijuana, but you cannot tell if it was 1 hour ago, 1 day ago, or 1 week ago. So there are a whole host of implications that come with this - Workers Comp - if someone gets injured on the job because they were drinking, that is super easy to test for, but with weed, well, not so much, especially if they are, say...a casual weekend user. Same goes with DUI.

I agree that these are lame excuses, but as I have racked my brain over this very issue for the past several years, these are the "best" of the most practical arguments I can come up with.
 
2012-10-12 07:51:23 AM
Jurors can choose to IGNORE the judge's instructions.

This is why a "jury of peers" exists. Any trained monkey can be a fact finder and legal cross referencer. If that's all jurys were, then we might as well just have a 3-judge panel like Japan, where the conviction rates are 90%.

No, a jury is a counter balance to the state - it is the US Constitutional doctrine of Jury nullification.
 
2012-10-12 08:04:06 AM

Neondistraction: AverageAmericanGuy:
That said, jury nullification is a good thing.

Yes, yes it is. It's a shame so many potential jurors are unaware of it.

Wasn't there a story some time ago about a guy ( or a group or whatever) that was passing out flyers to potential jurors informing them about jury nullification and that they have the right to enact it if they deem it necessary? I seem to recall the district attorney was very upset about it.


Well, of course, the types of insecure douchebags that support the WOD take it personally if you break their oh-so-precious drug laws and are out for vengeance. Don't believe the lies about "just doing my job" they really do get intense satisfaction imposing out-of-proportion punishment on those that dare to cross them.

Unfortunate part of human nature we really should be working to eliminate. Google "Stamford Prison Experiment" to see how otherwise perfectly normal people can turn into assholes given the power to do so.
 
2012-10-12 08:10:05 AM

AverageAmericanGuy: That said, jury nullification is a good thing. Drugs shouldn't be illegal.


That it is. Spread the word, but don't even elude to that in front of a judge or counsel or your ass is directly OFF of that jury immediately. I don't get the impression that jury nullification actually happens with any frequency though. Most people aren't even aware that it's a thing.
 
2012-10-12 08:16:05 AM
This thread number made me realise that the thread 7,777,777 is approaching. It better not be spam.
 
2012-10-12 08:23:33 AM

AverageAmericanGuy: That said, jury nullification is a good thing. Drugs shouldn't be illegal.


If only there was a way to determine what should be illegal or legal in a jurisdiction in a representative republic like ours. Perhaps some sort of system where each person could cast a ballot to indicate whether they agreed or disagreed?
 
2012-10-12 08:25:01 AM

Endive Wombat: NannyStatePark: Will the war on drugs quit pissing me off? Can I get a day free from outrage and still watch the news? Why are we still putting up with this draconian BS? How come I can get enough vodka to kill a bus load of kids in a blackout for three bucks but you do time for having a joint?

Taxes.
Privatized Prison System.
Intoxication Level Measurement.

I stand by the fact that crappy weed that that will eventually get you high is still vastly easier to produce, grow and cultivate at home than alcohol or tobacco. And because of this very fact, the Feds see the legalization of marijuana as lost tax revenue from the beginning. Even though home growth will likely be an extremely small percentage by comparison to the whole industry that will pop up from legalization, it is enough to keep is squashed.

There is also the huge number of folks in jail because of simple possession charges. The industrialized and privatized prison system would suffer if suddenly having an 1/8th of weed on you became legal.

Finally, and I suspect more practically, while modern day breathalyzers for DUI are still somewhat of a controversy as far as their accuracy levels are concerned, they more or less do their job and that is that. A quick and cheep marijuana intoxication measuring device has yet to be invented, and is probably MANY years off.

Yes, you can test someones blood to see that someone has recently used marijuana, but you cannot tell if it was 1 hour ago, 1 day ago, or 1 week ago. So there are a whole host of implications that come with this - Workers Comp - if someone gets injured on the job because they were drinking, that is super easy to test for, but with weed, well, not so much, especially if they are, say...a casual weekend user. Same goes with DUI.

I agree that these are lame excuses, but as I have racked my brain over this very issue for the past several years, these are the "best" of the most practical arguments I can come up with.


Yeah the best thing for recent pot use is the oral test and we all know you'd still be positive for a few days. I've considered that issue myself.
 
2012-10-12 08:38:39 AM
So... they needed protesters outside the court house with signs reading "Not guilty if the law is wrong" and a handful of lawyers from the ACLU to defend their first amendment rights.

The state laws are also wrong because they still insist on regulations that can't be enforced.
 
2012-10-12 08:42:13 AM
Uncle Sam is really holding on to the drug war. We all know it's just a matter of time, and boy is he taking it to the last second. Land of the free? No! Land of the over policed.
 
2012-10-12 09:17:54 AM

Nezu Chiza: Considering federal law trumps state law, the judge kind of HAD to tell them that.

Doesn't mean I agree with it, or even that the judge agreed, but that's the way the law works.


Exactly. This is a case in federal court, not state court. State laws do not apply and only federal law applies. The DoJ has been consistent in its position that marijuana is illegal and that state laws allowing its sale and use are not recognized. Had this judge ruled any other way, he'd be accused of "legislating from the bench."

If we want these stupid, archaic drug laws to become history, we have to elect officials who will change them. Unfortunately, few people seem to be willing to do this.
 
2012-10-12 09:28:02 AM

Nezu Chiza: Considering federal law trumps state law, the judge kind of HAD to tell them that.

Doesn't mean I agree with it, or even that the judge agreed, but that's the way the law works.


The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
 
2012-10-12 09:50:38 AM

Endive Wombat: There is also the huge number of folks in jail because of simple possession charges. The industrialized and privatized prison system would suffer if suddenly having an 1/8th of weed on you became legal.


Yeah, as a gun owner who constantly harps on the "enforce the laws we have line" it kills me every time I hear about some repeat violent felon caught with a gun getting probation and some guy with some weed going to prison.

Only one of those guys is going to end up trying to kill somebody else.

I figure the DA's like it because they're easy cases.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2012-10-12 10:17:00 AM
adm_crunch

Many federal crimes (not this one) require proof of a state crime plus interstate commerce. RICO and the Mann Act are two well known examples. If you take your 16 year old girlfriend across state lines to Massachusetts that's legal. If you take her to New York where the age of consent is 17, you have transported a minor across state lines for immoral purposes.
 
2012-10-12 10:49:48 AM

LesserEvil: Good job, federal justice department, for getting the scourge of state-legalized medicinal marijuana off our streets!!


if you have a problem with the federal laws against MJ, you should be posting pictures of your representatives, since they're the only people who can actually change the federal laws.
 
2012-10-12 10:58:10 AM
Nice to know this violent monster is facing the possibility of a life sentence.

Wouldn't an injuction be far more appropriate?
 
2012-10-12 11:07:02 AM

cleek: LesserEvil: Good job, federal justice department, for getting the scourge of state-legalized medicinal marijuana off our streets!!

if you have a problem with the federal laws against MJ, you should be posting pictures of your representatives, since they're the only people who can actually change the federal laws.


Ah, but enforcement is the issue here. The executive branch is welcome to choose not to enforce some laws, and indeed, even Obama's administration has chosen to not enforce some federal statutes, but they seem more than ready to enforce these laws.

The state medicinal marijauna laws became a thing under Bush, and flourished... Obama came along and shut down the dispensaries and applied punitive taxation. Hope and Change and all that, I guess.
 
2012-10-12 12:06:49 PM

Nezu Chiza: Considering federal law trumps state law, the judge kind of HAD to tell them that.


Nope, we have amendments to the constitution which quite clearly go against that train of thought.

Now, on the other hand, we have idiot Supreme Court Justices. They have no train of thought as they have no brains.

/Interstate commerce, my ass.
/Federal Compassionate Care Act, anyone? As long as there are people still from that program receiving medical marijuana, the court has ZERO reason to say anything, as technically and legally the act is still in use.
//Oh, look, there's Ed Rosenthal!
 
2012-10-12 03:29:00 PM
Sounds like potential grounds for an appeal to me.
 
2012-10-12 04:44:58 PM
Have not read all of the comments, so maybe this was said. Where exactly is the federal government given authority over the legality of drugs? I thought the powers of the federal government were enumerated in the constitution, and everything else was left to the states to decide. Unless we recently passed a new amendment on drugs that I was not aware of.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2012-10-12 04:58:59 PM
cragmor

See the Supreme Court case Gonzales v. Raich. The court decided that personal use of marijuana had the potential to affect interstate commerce. Regulation of interstate commerce is an enumerated power of the federal government. Since the 1940s precedent clearly says that anything can be considered interstate commerce, whether or not it is "interstate" or "commerce".

This is a subject where conservatives' wish for a less powerful federal government shows. The three dissenting justices were conservatives, and several conservative attorneys general filed an amicus brief urging the court to rule that interstate commerce did not justify application of the law to possession by an individual for medical reasons.

http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/03-1454.ZS.html
 
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