“JUST US” IS ABOUT JUSTICE

By: Ben Swann
43
Jury Nullification

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“Juries have the power to judge the facts of the case as well as the law itself.”

WHO WE ARE:

“Just Us” is a coalition of media and activists working together to encourage the American public to take up its civil responsibility to serve as jurors. We recognize that too many Americans run from their responsibility to serve as jurors. Our goal is to remind the public of its responsibility to sign up for jury duty. Once you are on a jury, remember that you have the responsibility to not only judge the facts of the case but to also judge the law itself. This process is known as jury nullification.

WHAT IS JURY NULLIFICATION:

You get to vote when you serve on a Grand Jury and you get to vote when you serve on a regular Trial Jury. Big deal? These two votes are much more important than most citizens realize because they permit a juror to nullify bad law, referred to as ‘Jury lawlessness.’ In US vs Dougherty, 473 F 2nd 1130 we read, “Jury lawlessness is the greatest corrective of law in its actual administration. The will of the state at large imposed on a reluctant community, the will of a majority imposed on a vigorous and determined minority, find the same obstacle in the local jury that formerly confronted kings and ministers.” Jefferson said, “I consider trial by jury as the only anchor ever yet imagined by man, by which a government can be held to the principles of its Constitution.”

The honorable Theo. Parsons at the MA convention of 1788 answering concerns that the proposed US Constitution had as yet no Bill of Rights replied: “The people themselves have it in their power effectually to resist usurpation, without being driven to an appeal to arms…Let him be considered as a criminal by the general government, yet only his fellow citizens can convict him; they are his jury, and if they pronounce him innocent, not all the powers of Congress can hurt him; and innocent they certainly will pronounce him if the supposed law he resisted was an act of usurpation.” (2 Elliot’s Debates, 94; Bancroft, History of the Constitution, 267).

This principle was put into action before the Civil War when some who helped slaves escape to freedom were brought to trial having violated the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. The juries back then knew that the Constitution gave them the right to judge the law as well as the accused person. When jury after jury responded “NOT GUILTY” in spite of the evidence, the judge’s hands were tied; they were thus prevented from assessing penalties! Even the US Supreme Court can not override the ruling of a jury. Congress got the message and the laws were changed.

In the first jury trial before the Supreme Court (Feb of 1794), the Supreme Court judges told the jury, “…it is presumed, that the juries are the best judges of facts; it is, on the other hand, presumed that the courts are the best judges of law. But still both objects are within your power of decision… You have a right to take upon yourselves to judge of both, and to determine the law as well as the fact in controversy.” (State of Georgia vs. Brailsford, et al, 3 Dall.I).

John Jay, the first Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court (1789) summarized it thus, “The jury has a right to judge both the law as well as the fact in controversy.” This was echoed by Oliver Wendell Holmes, US Supreme Court Justice (1902), “The jury has the power to bring a verdict in the teeth of both law and fact” as well as by Harlan F. Stone, 12th Chief Justice, US Supreme Ct. (1941), “The law itself is on trial quite as much as the cause which is to be decided.” US vs Moylan, 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, 1969 instructs, “If the jury feels the law is unjust, we recognize the undisputed power of the jury to acquit, even if its verdict is contrary to the evidence.”

This is a fortunate thing arising from our Founding Fathers’ distrust of any type of government or any of its branches with or without checks and balances. Therefore they made sure that guilt would be decided only by fellow citizens, not by judges, and not by politicians! If the people are the creators of the Constitution, they must also be the enforcers of the law they created. Fortunately, nothing has changed since then, except that most jurors today let themselves be dictated to by the judge or by the attorneys during a trial. Our ignorance here makes it easy to scam us, to get away with lying to us. You see, we have not only the right to judge the accused individual, we have the right to judge the law the individual is accused of breaking! However, “If a juror accepts as the law that which the judge states then that juror has accepted the exercise of absolute authority of a government employee and has surrendered a power and right that once was the citizen’s safeguard of liberty.” (Elliot’s Debates, Bancroft, History of the Constitution, 1788)

Those being the facts of the matter, if jurors are ignorant of their supreme power would a US Attorney remind a Grand Jury about their lawful authority over any US Attorney? No, because a US Attorney cannot prosecute an individual without a Grand Jury indictment. And would a judge admit that jurors can disregard his clear and limiting instructions? Of course not. Instead, the judge will likely accept a motion ‘In Limine’ from the prosecution which denies the accused the right to use the US Constitution in his defense.

Nothing will be said to jurors as to their responsibility to judge the quality of the law. It all becomes a show trial if officials can count on jurors acting like sheeple, like a rubber stamp. Part of the problem is that we are more poorly educated than previous generations in terms of civics, economics, and the philosophies of government – 85% of us believe our rights come from the government!

Samuel Chase signed the Declaration of Independence and served our country well, but he made one mistake which got him impeached. As a US Supreme Court Justice (1796), he told a jury that he would decide the law and the jury would decide the facts. During his impeachment trial, Chase apologized and assured the Senate that he knew that juries also had the right to judge the law as well as the facts of a case. Those statesmen in Congress back then knew that if jurors follow erroneous instructions of a judge, our lawful form of government would be subverted and changed. Then politicians could take over. In 1800, if politicians had written the IRS code to put citizens in bondage, jurors across the land would have trashed that bad law with their votes as unconstitutional (Art.1, Sec.9, Clause 4).

Surprisingly, jurors are beginning to trash bad laws again. Jurors are successfully fighting back and not even the IRS can appeal a ‘not guilty’ jury verdict. The IRS does have the option of intimidating the media in order to keep its defeat out of the news. It could harass, audit and attempt to destroy any reporter who might publish a victory for US taxpayers. So today the public has no idea of the great number of cases which the IRS and other agencies have recently lost. The number grows as citizens get sick and tired of repressive measures moving us toward a one-world government.

It may be hard to believe that the 16th Amendment wasn’t ratified, but 16,000 certified documents collected from all 48 states by 1984 finally proved that to be the case (Google search The Law That Never Was). It may be hard to believe that filing a form 1040 is voluntary for an individual (unless he is a non-resident alien), and that there is no law requiring US citizens to do so, but investigation will prove that true (check: LiveFreeNow.com).

Why are such things so hard to believe? Because for years we’ve been misled by politicians and our (tax supported) public schools. Remember back to when you got your first paycheck years ago. Did you even ask someone whether or not you had to file income taxes? Or was this belief based on assumptions? Oh, we do get in trouble confusing belief with knowledge, no matter how sincere.

One knowledgeable patriot on a jury can educate the others and if need be cast the lone ‘NO’ vote. It is the voters on a jury who must decide if the law is bad or is the defendant bad. If the law is unjust, the jury has the right and duty to protect their fellow American from that bad law – to enforce the Constitution and secure our inalienable rights. In this fashion, a government is controlled by the citizens rather than vice-versa. One voter, on a jury, can hang a jury with a ‘not guilty’ vote. It could be eleven to one for conviction but that one ‘not guilty’ will stop the IRS or any other agency in its tracks. Because of this, America became the first choice of immigrants, the greatest nation on earth in less than two hundred years. Our government remained servant to the people.

The Constitution supersedes all other law and because it is based on Scriptural principles, it is the supreme law of the land. That’s what makes our nation a Republic rather than a Democracy. Thomas Paine said, “A democracy is the vilest form of government there is!” James Madison, Father of the Constitution, said that a democracy would lead to “loss of property rights, contention and chaos.” Our Founding Fathers believed that all democracies rot into ‘mobocracies’ where the majority can cram their will down the throats of minorities. They made sure that the Constitution guaranteed every state a republican form of government (Art.4, Sec.4).

WHO WE ARE NOT:
We are not interested in trying to damage or create chaos in the justice system. In no way do we endorse any juror lying to an officer of the court, colluding with others to sabotage a case, paying jurors to find defendants “not guilty” or failing to accurately judge the facts of a case. The “Just Us” movement rejects any unlawful action by any person or persons involved in any criminal or civil court case. This movement is not an act of civil disobedience, rather it is an act of civil obedience.

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  • CaptainUSA

    Excellent.

  • GimmyTruth

    Yes I was won of those arrested in Florida, for leafleting FIJA (Jury Nullification) fliers on the courthouse steeps, by Administrative Judge Belvin Perry (of Cassy Anthony fame) at Orange County Courthouse, Orlando Florida. I defied 2 of Judge Perry’s administrative orders, 1) the written content of the flyer I was handing out and 2) not being in the free speech zone. I completed 104 days in jail and was released June 4th this year. Judge Belvin Perry is a threat to our 1st amendment rights and should be removed from the bench if not in jail instead me!
    Mark Schmidter

    • CaptainUSA

      All of this under a “Conservative” Governor? I prefer Constitutional Conservatives myself.

    • Drew R

      thank you for your activism! sounds like you were unfairly treated for simply exercising your right to free speech (which probably has more relevance and application to public areas than even private). but every part of this country is a 1st Amendment zone, that’s ridiculous. i think you could make a case to sue that judge for the stress he unjustly caused you.

    • Drew R

      thank you for your activism! sounds like you were unfairly treated for simply exercising your right to free speech (which probably has more relevance and application to public areas than even private). but every part of this country is a 1st Amendment zone, that’s ridiculous. i think you could make a case to sue that judge for the stress he unjustly caused you.

    • Pat Poe

      Did you demand a Jury trial as is your right?

      • GimmyTruth

        Because I did not violate any law or ordinance and since I was guilty of “External Contempt of Court” Judge Perry said that I was not entitled to a jury trial and he would not recuse himself!

        • Drew R

          Man, that’s a bullshit charge. All you were doing was practicing free speech and educating jurors of their responsibility, not being violent, and you get locked up for over 100 days!? You had every right to be there. Make a video about what happened and send it to the ACLU and some other 1st Amendment legal advocacy groups?

        • Pat Poe

          You were screwed over. He was abusing his power, and violating the Constitution, as you cannot legally have a Constitution free zone in the US. You have to find out how to properly fight crap like this, but it is a hard fight.

  • Drew R

    Let Justice Roll

  • SickOfTheStupid

    one thing to keep in mind , it does not matter if a person is convicted of tax evasion or any other victimless crime or 1st degree murder . a felon is a felon and loses not only their right to serve on a jury but the majority of their rights for the rest of their life…………….including the right to vote for change…..

  • AJ_Olding

    NOT GUILTY!!!! TO ALL VICTIMLESS ‘CRIMES’!!!!!

  • Jim N

    re: the survey — in many jurisdictions, it is not possible to ‘volunteer’ for jury duty.

  • Corey

    I was going to book mark this site and share it with others, but then I read this: “The Constitution supersedes all other law and because it is based on Scriptural principles,” then decided to do neither. Anytime someone hints at our country being Christian, I want to vomit. Shall I post some quotes from Thomas Paine who was quoted in the writing?

    Thomas Paine, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. Most famous for ‘The Age of Reason’ (1794) and ‘Common Sense’ (1776). He immigrated to the British American colonies in 1774 in time to participate in the American Revolution:

    “The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion”.

    “Of all the systems of religion that were ever invented, nothing is more … repugnant to reason … than this thing called Christianity.”

    “It is from the bible that man has learned cruelty, rapine, and murder, for the belief in a cruel god makes a cruel man, and the bible is a history of wickedness that has served to corrupt and brutalize mankind”

    “All national institutions of churches whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit. … My own mind is my own church.” ~ Thomas Paine ‘The Age of Reason’ (1794)

    • ax123man

      Agree, and also have an issue with the implication that there is no law without the constitution. The constitution embodies natural law. I don’t need a piece of paper to tell me I have certain rights.

      • Abigail Moreno

        Natural law from who? Who says we we a natural law?

        • ax123man

          Are you saying you need words on paper to tell you that, for example, violence against others is wrong?

          • Pat Poe

            No but we need it to keep power hungry wannabe nobles from becoming tyrannical dictators.

          • ax123man

            It’s not working. If you don’t have an understanding of natural rights, how do you know when the words of the constitution are interpreted incorrectly? The commerce clause has been used against a farmer to prevent him from eating his own wheat, for example. In this case, the farmer has a natural private property right. He grew the wheat. It’s pretty obvious he can do what he wants with it, no matter what scotus or the commerce clause says.

          • Pat Poe

            That is not the constitution it goes back to misuse of power by corrupt power hungry idiots. The system is not what is failing it is those representing the system. I understand the meaning, and how things should be applied the problem is the fools in power do not care. Those with money ignore it. You want to strip the constitution away it only gets worse. Those with power could care less about your natural rights or the constitution. No it is not perfect, but it is better than a feudal system, and that is what we would have without it. You want to nitpick to prove your argument, but you forget to look at those who would abuse anything to keep the power they have. The system works the people in power do not follow it. only a fool would want the whole thing removed in its entirety for not liking one part. Just read the Commence clause the problem is not the clause, it was the abuse, and force of power that is not part of the original framing of the clause. So again the people in power, not the clause.

          • ax123man

            sorry? when did I say I wanted to get rid of the constitution?

            My point is that all emphasis is being placed on that piece of paper. in the long run, the United States experiment will be nothing but a blip in time. Tyranny will rain as long as people don’t understand they have basic natural rights that should never be broken.

            Additionally, your complete and total understanding of all this seems to boil down to “they are all corrupt!”. Sorry, it’s far from that simple. Politicians are just people. Bankers on Wall Street are just people. They aren’t some kind of alien beings. History has shown that when the so called proletariat gain power, eventually they end up just like those they replaced.

          • Pat Poe

            Did not say you did but most people who view things similar bring also say it is not needed. My point is it is not to tell us our rights it is to safe guard them from those who would take them away. Replace the people who are the problem, and correct the damage they have done. Yes but most are corrupt, blinded by power or ignorant of the job they were elected to do. Being a human dose not mean you care or even want others to have the freedoms that they deserve. No not everyone who gain power will become like those who came before history if full of people with strong morals who did not become corrupt. That is why we have term limits. People do not know, because it is not shown to them. People who do not want you or I to not know about our “natural rights” have already been working to change the what the children learn is school. The problem is whole the people who were corrupt were replaced the influences that causes the corruption still remains. It is not talked about, it is not brought out into the light. People are not being held accountable for violating oaths ore responsibilities.

          • g.johnon

            you honestly think that we do not live in a feudal system today?

          • Pat Poe

            Not yet but it is heading in that direction.

      • Pat Poe

        You need that paper so the corrupt who would like nothing more than to be rulers cannot become supreme rulers over the US. It insures that we do not live in a dictatorship. Ignoring it or casting it aside will do that. You have to understand the premise of why it was written something they try not to teach or even twist. It was to secure the freedoms of the nation from oppression. Some of our current problems today stem from a movement to remove the constitution, or ignore it altogether. Without it we lose many of the freedoms most take for granted. If you do not understand that just look at the laws passed to that try to ignore the constitution.

    • berky

      While I agree with your point, you make the assumption that “Scriptural” automatically means “Christian”. That said, I do agree that it should not have been said and would like Ben to comment on his reasoning for the wording.

    • Abigail Moreno

      You want to vomit? That’s pretty pathetic! Where do you think inalienable rights come from? Besides, Ben Swann comes from a Christian background so it’s only logical that his worldview would come from a biblical premise.

      • Corey

        So glad u, as always, toss personal insults out, which means, u are most likely a Christian. I say vomit because, unless u live under a rock, you don’t know what the conservative Christians always do when they have political power. As the Founders of the USA had lived with prior, they also knew first hand this experience. With so many Christians loving Democracy, they love the “burn the witch” mob mentality, that’s their way. So any talk about a “republic”, “rights”, and the Constitution being created by any religious guideline….is disgusting, hence vomit. I was not aware that this was a religious website, maybe you Christians need to get some symbol, like the “Kosher” symbol, so those of us with an aversion the religious motivation, and beliefs over “man’s law”, can decide to not continue reading.

        • Abigail Moreno

          How was that a personal insult? As if your post wasn’t derogatory towards Christianity thus making it a direct insult to Christians themselves. If I did insult you it was definitely not out of spite, I just thought your post was absurd and had to call you out on it but I do sincerely apologize if it seemed rather antagonistic, sometimes I forget I’m actually speaking to a person and not a computer. Corey, you speak about “man’s law” as though you already had a presupposition that we were naturally endowed with certain rights. If you’re generalizing Christians with Catholics who aren’t Christians then that’s a very wrong perspective. Now, our founding fathers in my opinion did not make the Bible as the authority over the land because they understood man’s imperfect state. They understood that man cannot be trusted to make authoritative rules and thus made a constitution that protected our rights, but these rights are not rights that we made up, these rights are inalienable rights given to all men and can only be given to us by God Himself otherwise these rights are subjective.

          • g.johnon

            Abigail, are these rights not also subjective when humans attempt to define the god that gave them to us?
            Christians did not invent humanity, decency, human dignity or respect. if anything, Christians have become increasingly adept at bastardizing these qualities by preaching adherence and fealty to figments of warped human minds.

          • Abigail Moreno

            What do you mean by “define the god”? Are you implying that we can’t know which god gave us a moral standard? If so, the bible is pretty clear on that. There is a such thing as special and general revelation from God. So yes I do agree that Christians did not invent humanity, decency, human dignity or respect, and I also agree that it seems as though Christians have become the very ones who break all these ethical qualities but we cant deny that the bible gives us a clear moral standard and it gives us values that are not so easily found in other beliefs. What I’m trying to figure out is what premise do we use to even say that human dignity or decency are good things? Is human dignity the same for us as it is for those in other countries and if so why?

          • g.johnon

            yes, I am implying that we cannot know which god gave us a moral standard.
            I have found many things to ponder in the bible, but clarity, no so much.
            who can’t deny that the bible gives us a clear and moral standard and values not so easily found in other beliefs?
            I believe I just did. I could fill pages with examples of the false morality of the bible.
            but let us just suffice to say, that you cannot know any of this because the god of Christianity will not talk to you because you are a woman, my fourteenth rib. oh how moral is that message?
            so, enough of this, word has it that they are partying a little too hard down in Sodom and Gomorrah, we better get over there and nuke em.
            no premise is required for what must come from the heart Abigail.

        • juan hunoz

          Corey, the essence of “American Exceptionalism” is that our rights come from the “natural rights of man.” At the time of the Founding Fathers, they referred to a higher Power . (I am not really sure what Thomas Jefferson believed. ) The point is that in all of the rest of the world a citizen was “subject” to a king. Think about it. The whole idea of “Natural Rights” came from western Christianity, not Islam, not China, not South America. Think about this…

    • Pat Poe

      Do actually understand the Constitution? It gives US freedom of, and freedom from. Read the Federalist papers as well. That is why it supersedes, if you do not understand this you need to do a bit more research.

    • glockstr

      Who cares what religious beliefs Thomas Paine had. This is about you and the constitution, nothing more. Why would one persons religious beliefs prevent you from doing what is right?

  • g.johnon

    here’s the deal. I tried to give you some input by taking your poll, but when I clicked the sender, found out that my email address was a required “question”. no email, no poll.
    so, your poll is skewed and your attempt at cheap ass opt in strategy has severely discredited your cause.

  • RGR777

    all you children listen … all this “politics” is good entertainment for now… a simple “dick dance”…if you do not prepare for the financial crisis coming you will die, cold in the dark ! There is no way to fix this …. 90 % will die …. this is now math … and it (math) is not political … the dollar will go to zero… and 90% will die … all the major cities will burn to the ground. The only way out is prepare and prepare your community.

  • cathleeninnh

    Yes, I was on the jury that found Douglas Darrell not guilty of manufacture of a controlled substance when marijuana plants were found in his yard. I couldn’t sleep for two days thinking that I would hang the jury, but in the end, every juror voted to nullify. It can happen.

  • Chris Steiner

    There is a potential issue, as a juror, with letting fellow jurors know of their rights to vote their consciences as they may tell the judge you are aware the misdirections of the judge and prostituting attorney can be disregarded. This risks a contempt charge and being replaced by an alternate juror. Justice might be best served if a juror silently exercises jury nullification. It’s touchy which makes it even more important to inform as many as possible of nullification, of Common Law, that there can be no crime without a victim, of prison overpopulation, and of the prison-industrial complex, As a juror, I would likely vote, “not guilty,” if any of the prosecution’s witnesses, including law enforcement, appeared to lie, be self-contradictory, or otherwise seemed untrustworthy.
    Please interview Mark Schmidter on his having been repeatedly persecuted for handing out FIJA (fija.org) flyers.

  • Guest

    There is a potential issue, as a juror, with letting fellow jurors know
    of their rights to vote their consciences as they may tell the judge you
    are aware the misdirections of the judge and prostituting attorney can
    be disregarded. This risks a contempt charge and being replaced by an
    alternate juror. Justice might be best served if a juror silently
    exercises jury nullification. It’s touchy which makes it even more
    important to beforehand inform as many as possible of nullification, of Common Law,
    that there can be no crime without a victim, of prison overpopulation,
    and of the prison-industrial complex. As a juror, I would likely vote,
    “not guilty,” if any of the prosecution’s witnesses, including law
    enforcement, appeared to lie, be self-contradictory, or otherwise seemed
    untrustworthy.
    Please interview Mark Schmidter on his having been repeatedly persecuted for handing out FIJA (fija.org) flyers.

  • Chris Steiner

    There is a potential issue, as a juror, with letting fellow jurors know of their rights to vote their consciences as they may tell the judge you are aware the misdirections of the judge and prostituting attorney can be disregarded. This risks a contempt charge and being replaced by an alternate juror. Justice might be best served if a juror silently exercises jury nullification. It’s touchy which makes it even more important beforehand to inform as many as possible of nullification, of Common Law, that there can be no crime without a victim, of prison overpopulation, and of the prison-industrial complex. As a juror, I would likely vote, “not guilty,” if any of the prosecution’s witnesses, including law enforcement, appeared to lie, be self-contradictory, or otherwise seemed
    untrustworthy. Please interview Mark Schmidter on his having been repeatedly persecuted for handing out FIJA (fija.org) flyers.

  • jabowery

    The controversy over jury nullification reduces to a simple trade-off:

    The risk of local tyranny of the majority vs the risk of global tyranny of all kinds.

    No humane and sane person would choose the later risk over the former.

    In Iowa a Republican State Convention voted on a platform resolution in support of Jury Nullification. The plank was voted down because of the argument that Jury Nullification was used to acquit O.J. Simpson.

    The answer to this is obvious and damning of that argument against Jury Nullification:

    Iowans are not Los Angelenos. Moreover, if Iowa wants to avoid degenerating into the moral equivalent of Los Angeles it had better have the legal tools to resist Federal doctrines.

    For a specific plan of action to reinstitute Jury Nullification as well as educate the public as to its power, see Jury Nullification Remediating Treason Against the People.