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THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 25, April 1, 1997

The Verdict I'd Like To See

By Vin Suprynowicz
vin@lvrj.com

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?
         Who?
         If you're satisfied the defendant willfully harmed someone without justification, and you can name who that person was, convict the SOB.
         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 read it.
         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 acquittal.
         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 jurors why.
         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 Bedroom.
         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 future.
         "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 personally.
         "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 this jurisdiction.
         "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.


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