Thursday, February 17, 2011

Laws also deserve to be scrutinized

Laws also deserve to be scrutinized

(This one was totally neutered and declawed to make it acceptable to the publisher. I offer the original, offensive version here.)

Just about everyone wants justice. One of the most powerful tools you and I have available to keep government honest is the jury. The trick is you can't count on the government informing you of your power; you must usually hear of this from a libertarian activist instead.

Did you realize that when you are serving on a jury, it is your duty to not only judge the facts of the case (in other words, to decide if the accused person actually did what they are accused of), but also whether the law the person is accused of violating is a good law or not? It is true.

Most people are not aware of this fact, and most judges today will actually tell jurors they are not allowed to decide whether the law is a good law or not. However, this has been the cornerstone at the foundation of the legal system which America inherited, for close to a thousand years, whether judges like it or not. This practice is called "jury nullification" and is still completely legal (and right) in spite of what judges may claim.

A jury which is tricked into giving up this power is not a real jury; it is just there to rubber-stamp the government's agenda.

The other way the justice system can be used to strengthen liberty is to realize when a case does not belong in the justice system at all, and act accordingly if you are on the jury.

Today most people think of a "crime" as something that the government has seen fit to forbid and punish through "laws". However, a real crime must include an intent to cause harm. Accidents can not be crimes and do not belong in the justice system.

Suppose a person is accused of having an accident that injures an innocent person; that accusation leads to a criminal trial, and you are chosen to sit on the jury. In a case such as this, you need to carefully consider whether any crime has really occurred- whether there was an intent to harm- before considering anything else.

This doesn't mean that accidents are without costs. If you cause harm you owe restitution. Any real system of justice must be centered on the concept of restitution to the victim or their survivors.

However, the government is not the victim and has no horse in the race. It shouldn't even be involved in the arbitration at all. Imprisonment doesn't provide restitution, and as implemented now only costs taxpayers the huge overhead of maintaining prisoners.
The same goes for "fines". They are not paid to the victim, but to the government which was not harmed. They are simply another tax.

In order for real justice to be served, there needs to be a separation of court and State. Until then, use the tools you have been given to advance real justice and liberty for all.


Seat belts

One of the Meddling-Nanny excuses used to justify controlling every breath we take is the seat belt. It is claimed that people must be forced to wear a seat belt, if not "for their own good", at least so they don't get injured in a wreck and become a burden on society.


No one can be "a burden on society" without socialism. To use the flaws of socialism to justify tyranny is disgusting. Yet, it happens a lot since, as it has been noticed, government is a disease masquerading as its own cure.

I prefer to wear a seat belt. I have heard all the pros and cons and I made my own decision. I'm sure you have done the same.

Some people are afraid of being trapped in a burning wreck by their seat belt, so they don't want to wear one. That is their business and not mine. I always carry a few knives in various places so if I am conscious I won't be trapped by a seat belt in case of an accident. And if I'm not conscious, then the seat belt probably won't be the biggest danger anyway.