The Verdict I'd Like To See
By Vin Suprynowicz
Special to The Libertarian Enterprise
"But what can I do?" folks keep asking.
OK: try this.
Get on a jury. Once you're safely ensconced in the jury room,
perform this simple test: Do you believe the defendant deserves to go
to prison, because he harmed someone?
If you're satisfied the defendant willfully harmed someone
without justification, and you can name who that person was, convict
If, however, you can't figure out who was harmed, but instead
hear your fellow jurors talking about how they "have to convict"
because the "judge's instructions are clear" about "what the law
says," you now have a chance ... perhaps the greatest chance of your
life ... to strike a blow for freedom.
Have the bailiff ask the judge to send into the jury room an
actual statute book that contains the law in question, so you can
If the judge refuses, state without equivocation that you cannot
vote to convict a fellow citizen of violating a law, if you're not
allowed to read the law yourself. Your precedent? The acquittal of
William Penn, for the "crime" of preaching a Quaker sermon in London.
It was in all the papers.
Either the jury will be hung, or there will be an outright
If you do get a look at the statute, try to determine when it
was enacted. If the law was enacted after 1912, ask your fellow
Would a state (or territory) have allowed murder to remain legal
for years, not getting around to outlawing it until after 1912? How
about rape? Kidnapping? Armed robbery? Of course not.
Everything that should be against the law, was against the law by
1912. Virtually every enactment since then has been part of the
scaffolding of the welfare-police state.
Refuse to convict any fellow citizen under any law enacted since
1912. If the judge told you you have to convict, remember: This is
the government that stole half your family's lifetime income before
you even got to see it, forcing both spouses to work their entire
lives so you never got to see your kids (if you could even afford
kids) -- and then used the proceeds to murder women and children at
Waco and Ruby Ridge, and to put up Red Chinese spies in the Lincoln
You're only likely to get the one chance. They can't take away
your home, bank account or family for voting your conscience in the
jury room ... yet.
Go for it.
In fact, if you can easily get your fellow jurors to vote
unanimously for acquittal on some bogus drug or gun or tax charge,
don't stop there. (This may well be the last jury on which you'll
ever be allowed to serve.)
Ask your fellow jurors if they'd REALLY like to send the
government a message. Propose a verdict in four parts:
"The verdict and finding of this jury is in four parts. Should
any part or parts be overruled or held invalid -- though we protest
no one has that power -- the remaining part or parts shall remain
true and binding.
"1) On all charges, we the jury find the defendant 'not guilty.'
"2) On all charges, and for all his actions to date, we the jury
find this defendant 'innocent.' Our purpose in this finding is to
prevent any government functionary from ever stating 'The jury only
found him "not guilty;" that's not the same as "innocent." That's why
we're still free to proceed with our "administrative or regulatory
sanctions".' We the jury hereby order -- and respectfully request and
instruct this court to order, on penalty of summary imprisonment for
contempt of court -- that the government's agents not attempt to take
away any of the defendant's assets, or professional licenses or
privileges, or to seek to punish or discipline him in any other way,
for his actions to date, or for any repetition of those actions in
"3) We the jury hereby award the defendant all his court costs
and attorney fees, which shall be judged reasonable by this court, to
be paid by the government, with half those costs being assessed
against the budget of the prosecutor's office and/or those
prosecutors who have appeared in this court personally; and half to
be assessed against the budget of the arresting police agency and/or
those police officers who have appeared in this court on this case
"We also award the defendant compensation of $200 per day for
each and any day he has been incarcerated, to be paid in greenback
dollars or gold coin, whichever he shall prefer, within 24 hours, and
to be assessed against the same government sources just detailed. We
also order that any assets seized from the defendant or destroyed or
damaged be returned, or -- if they cannot be returned in their
original condition -- that he be compensated for them at their
replacement value. This specifically includes (but is not limited to)
any contraband, or material or items which the police or prosecutors
have held to be 'illegal' or 'controlled.'
"And, if the defendant can demonstrate that he has suffered any
interruption of his business, whether that business is legally
licensed and sanctioned or not, these same aforementioned government
agencies are hereby ordered, instructed, and found liable to
recompense this defendant at the rate which would be standard for any
major insurance company providing business-interruption coverage in
"4) This court is respectfully requested and instructed by this
petit jury to place the circumstances of this prosecution before an
appropriate grand jury now empaneled in this jurisdiction, or the
next such grand jury which shall be empaneled, with a respectful
request and instruction that said grand jury consider whether the
prosecutors and police agents who have appeared in this courtroom,
and other government agents unnamed and presently unknown to this
petit jury, should and shall be indicted and charged with the felony
crimes of conspiracy to obstruct justice, and of violating this
defendant's civil rights under color of law, with particular
attention to his rights under the First, Second, and Ninth Articles
of Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, based on the circumstances and
actions reported in the official transcript of the court case which,
with these words, is now concluded.
"Have a nice day."
Vin Suprynowicz is the assistant editorial page editor of the Las
Vegas Review-Journal. The web site for the Suprynowicz column is at
http://www.nguworld.com/vindex/. The column is syndicated in the
United States and Canada via Mountain Media Syndications, P.O. Box
4422, Las Vegas Nev. 89127.