Saturday, December 25, 2010

FIJA Applauds Missoula Jurors

23 December 2010
Iloilo Marguerite Jones, Executive Director of the Fully Informed Jury Association (FIJA), applauds the actions of the Missoula jurors, but not the government label of “mutiny.”  Jury veto, or jury nullification, is the lawful vote of the People to prevent government employees from enforcing bad laws.
FIJA, headquartered in Montana since its founding 20 years ago, conducted an intense educational campaign in Missoula for the past several years, informing potential jurors of their authority as the final veto against bad government laws.  Central to this campaign have been the distribution of the FIJA brochures "Who Owns Your Body?" and  Jury Protection for Second Amendment
Examples of juror veto include juror refusal to convict violators of the federal Fugitive Slave Act, prohibition-era juror refusal to convict people with whiskey, and jurors today refusing to convict peaceful gun owners, property owners, war protesters, tax protesters, and alternative medical therapy patients.
FIJA educates jurors on their legal function to veto bad government laws, and teaches that individuals can protect human rights when called for jury duty. Jurors have the right to refuse to enforce any corrupt law passed by corrupt politicians. Jurors’ refusal to convict is a legal veto power.
FIJA has carried on educational campaigns across the nation, with special emphasis on Montana, where FIJA was founded 20 years ago.  Montana’s independent jurors have long been vocal of their disapproval of unjust, misapplied, and contradictory laws.  FIJA activists will continue to educate as many potential jurors as possible.

Iloilo Marguerite Jones
Fully Informed Jury Association
P. O. Box 5570
Helena, Montana 59604

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Stabenow Divorced in May, Newspaper Reports

Tuesday, December 14, 2010 | 10:00 p.m.

Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., divorced her husband Tom Athans in May, more than two years after he was caught up in a prostitution sting at a hotel in suburban Detroit, the Detroit Free Press reported last week.

News of the divorce only leaked out when a source referred to Athans as Stabenow’s ex-husband in a conversation with a Free Press reporter, the newspaper said. Stabenow spoke on the Senate floor Tuesday wearing what appeared to be her wedding ring on her right hand.

The Free Press tracked down the former couple’s divorce record that was made final at the 56th Circuit Court in Eaton County, Mich., on May 28, the newspaper reported. The papers showed that Stabenow and Athans agreed privately to a property settlement and made no arrangements for alimony payments, the Free Press said.

Athans was questioned by police in Troy, Mich., in February 2008, after he was seen leaving a Residence Inn that was under surveillance for suspected prostitution activities. Athans admitted paying a prostitute $150 for sex; he was not charged but agreed to testify later against a 21-year-old woman from Westland, Mich.

Stabenow, 60, and Athans, a radio producer in his late 40s, were married in 2003.

This article appeared in the Wednesday, December 15, 2010 edition of National Journal Daily.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

My ChristMas Present to All of You!

I have been reading my email these last few days with all the notices calling for everyone to call Senators and Rep's about this vote or that vote during the Lame Duck. It seems that this Administration is going to pass whatever they want before they leave office.

So I will start my Christmas present off with an article that you should read first and then an Essay that you NEED to read. The Essay is my present to you. Calling Senators and Rep's hasn't done any good, so people now need to share this Essay with everyone they know. You may want to put it into a document format and print it out for a stocking stuffer. It may save someone's LIBERTY, maybe even yours someday.

Missoula District Court: Jury pool in marijuana case stages ‘mutiny’

A funny thing happened on the way to a trial in Missoula County District Court last week.

Jurors – well, potential jurors – staged a revolt.

They took the law into their own hands, as it were, and made it clear they weren’t about to convict anybody for having a couple of buds of marijuana. Never mind that the defendant in question also faced a felony charge of criminal distribution of dangerous drugs.

The tiny amount of marijuana police found while searching Touray Cornell’s home on April 23 became a huge issue for some members of the jury panel.

No, they said, one after the other. No way would they convict somebody for having a 16th of an ounce. Full Story

Letter to the Editor: The True Role of the Juror

If you find the story about the Missoula jury pool refusal to enforce a bad law to be refreshing, you will be glad to learn that this honorable tradition by juries goes back to the Magna Carta. It is one of the rights used by the People to keep any government from being able to enforce bad laws. Jurors can veto bad laws by refusing to convict.

Jurors have refused to convict those violating the federal Fugitive Slave Act, which made it a crime to assist a slave running to freedom. Another example is Prohibition-era jurors refusing to convict people who had whiskey in their possession. Recently, jurors have refused to convict peaceful gun owners, war protesters, tax protesters, and alternative medical therapy patients.FULLSTORY


by Justice William Goodloe, Washington State Supreme Court, retired with gratitude for the research of Professors Alan Scheflin, Jon Van Dyke, and Mark Howe, and for the citation verification by Tom Stahl

Of all the great trials in history tried at Old Bailey in London only one is commemorated by a plaque. Located near Courtroom Number Five it reads:

"Near this site William Penn and William Mead were tried in 1670 for preaching to an unlawful assembly in Gracechurch Street.

This tablet commemorates the courage and endurance of the Jury, Thomas Vere, Edward Bushell and ten others, who refused to give a verdict against them although they were locked up without food for two nights and were fined for their final verdict of Not Guilty.

The case of these jurymen was reviewed on a writ of Habeas Corpus and Chief Justice Vaughan delivered the opinion of the court which established the Right of Juries to give their Verdict according to their conviction."

The case commemorated is Bushell's Case, 6 Howell's State Trials 999 (1670). This case is a good beginning for tracing the roots of a legal doctrine known as jury nullification.

The year was 1670 and the case Bushell sat on was that of William Penn and William Mead, both Quakers, who were on trial for preaching an unlawful religion to an unlawful assembly in violation of the Conventicle Act. This was an elaborate act which made the Church of England the only legal church. The facts clearly showed that the defendants had violated the Act by preaching a Quaker sermon. And yet the jury acquitted them against the judge's instruction. The Conventicle Act was nullified by the jury's not guilty verdict and the infuriated judge fined the jurors and jailed them until such time as their fines should be paid.

Edward Bushell and three others refused to pay the fines. As a consequence they were imprisoned for nine weeks and Bushell filed a writ of habeas corpus. He and the other recalcitrant jurors prevailed in the Court of Common Pleas, and the practice of punishing juries for verdicts unacceptable to the courts was abolished. Thus was re-established the right of jury nullification, an ancient right expressed in Magna Carta and dating from Greek and Roman times. And the jury's nullification verdict in this case, the trial of William Penn, established freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and the right to peacefully assemble. These rights became part of the English Bill of Rights, and later, part of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. The man whom the courageous jurors had saved, William Penn, later founded Pennsylvania and the city of Philadelphia in which the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution were written.


According to the doctrine of jury nullification, jurors have the inherent right to set aside the instructions of the judge and to reach a verdict of acquittal based upon their own consciences. As abolitionist lawyer Lysander Spooner explained the doctrine in Trial By Jury in 1852, page one:

"For more than six hundred years - that is, since Magna Carta, in 1215 - there has been no clearer principle of English or American constitutional law, than that, in criminal cases, it is not only the right and duty of juries to judge what are the facts, what is the law, and what was the moral intent of the accused; but that it is also their right, and their primary and paramount duty, to judge of the justice of the law, and to hold all laws invalid, that are, in their opinion, unjust or oppressive, and all persons guiltless in violating, or resisting the execution of, such laws."


News of the rule in Bushell's Case traveled across the seas and had a profound impact in the New World.

In 1735 in the colony of New York, John Peter Zenger, publisher of the New York Weekly Journal, was tried for seditious libel for printing articles exposing the corruption of the royal governor. This is perhaps the most important trial in American history because the jury in this case established the rights of freedom of speech and of the press in America by nullifying the seditious libel law which made it a crime to criticize public officials regardless of whether the criticism was true. The Zenger case has been cited by newspapers and history books across the land as the 'great case' which laid the foundation for freedom of the press in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. Although this case is often referred to, the substance or hinge upon which the case turned, jury nullification, is less well known.

Andrew Hamilton, Zenger's attorney, argued jury nullification directly to the jury and gave his opinion of the law to the jury in direct opposition to the instruction of the trial judge. The Zenger case, and the jury's nullification of the law in that case, established freedom of the press and was within living memory of some of the Founding Fathers and within common knowledge of all of them.

After Zenger, American colonial common law gave the major role in law to the jury. For example, judges in Rhode Island held office "not for the purpose of deciding causes, for the jury decided all questions of law and fact; but merely to preserve order, and see that the parties had a fair chance with the jury." Similar practices were followed in other New England colonies. See Eaton, The Development of the Judicial System in Rhode Island, 14 Yale Law Journal 148, 153 (1905) as quoted in Howe, Juries As Judges Of Criminal Law, 52 Harvard Law Review 582, 591 (1939).

The Navigation Acts and the Declaration Of Independence

The Declaration of Independence, America's birth certificate, lists the reasons compelling us to separate from England. One of the reasons listed against the King and Parliament is - "For depriving us in many cases of the benefits of Trial by Jury." There is an important story here.

To raise taxes Parliament had passed the Navigation Acts requiring all trade with the colonies to be routed through England so that England could collect duties. Smugglers, such as John Hancock and other Founders, defied the Navigation Acts and brought tax-free goods into the colonies. The colonists viewed the smugglers as heroes so that when the British Navy captured smugglers and they were tried before colonial juries, the jurors acquitted the smugglers and their ships were returned to them. Thus, colonial juries nullified the Navigation Acts. In response, the King abolished trial by jury in smuggling cases and established vice-admiralty courts to hear smuggling cases without juries. See Scheflin, Jury Nullification: The Right To Say No, 45 Southern California Law Review 168, 174 (1972). The colonists were so incensed at having their right to trial by jury, and their right to jury nullification, taken away from them that they listed this as one of the reasons in the Declaration of Independence for separation from England. The American Revolution was fought, in part, to preserve the right of jury nullification.

The Constitution

The Founders view of the jury as being of paramount importance in defending liberty is easily seen when examining the words of the Constitution. There are only 14 words describing freedom of speech and of the press in the Constitution. But there are 186 words describing trial by jury in the Constitution. It is guaranteed in the main body in Article 3, Section 2, Paragraph 3, and in two amendments, the Sixth and the Seventh. No other right is mentioned so frequently, three times, or has as many words devoted to it. It is plain that the Founders viewed the jury trial right as the most important right since it gave birth to, and defended, all other rights. It should also be noted that trial by jury and jury nullification were common law rights at the time of the drafting of the Constitution and so are also included as rights retained by the people under the Ninth Amendment.

For anyone to assert after Zenger, the Navigation Act cases, the Declaration of Independence, and the great volume of language about the jury in the Constitution that the Founders would intend the jury to be a mere factfinder that must blindly follow the law as dictated by a judge is to fly directly in the face of logic and history. It is also to fly directly against the explicit words of the Founders about the jury's role.

"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 it's constitution."

Thomas Jefferson, drafter of the Declaration of
Independence and Third President, in a letter to
Thomas Paine, 1789, The Papers of Thomas Jefferson,
Vol. 15, p. 269, Princeton University Press, 1958

"It is not only his right [the juror's], but his duty ... to find the verdict
according to his own best understanding, judgment, and conscience
even though in direct opposition to the direction of the court."

John Adams, first proponent of the Declaration of
Independence and Second President, 1771
2 Life And Works of John Adams 253-255 (C.F. Adams ed. 1856)

"You [the jurors] have, nevertheless, a right to take upon yourselves
to judge of both, and to determine the law as well as the fact in

John Jay, first Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court,
charging the jury in Georgia v. Brailsford, 3 Dallas 1, 4 (U.S. 1794)

"That in criminal cases, the law and fact being always blended, the jury, for reasons of a political and peculiar nature, for the security of life and liberty, is intrusted with the power of deciding both law and fact."

Alexander Hamilton, first Secretary of the Treasury
People v. Croswell, 3 Johns Cas. 361, 362 (1804)
as reprinted in Sparf and Hansen v. United States,
156 U.S. at 147-148, dissenting opinion, (1895)

Arguing Nullification to the Jury

In the Zenger case, defense attorney Andrew Hamilton argued to the jury in contradiction of the judge that truth is or should be a defense to a charge of seditious libel, that the jury has the power and right to judge the law, that the jury should take as the strongest evidence for Zenger the fact that Zenger's proposed evidence of truth had been suppressed by the judge, and that Bushell's Case established the right of the jury to vote its conscience.

"The right of the Jury, to find such a verdict as they in their conscience
do think is agreeable to their evidence, is supported by the authority of
Bushell's case."
defense attorney Andrew Hamilton, arguing to the jury
A Brief Narrative Of The Case And Trial
Of John Peter Zenger, J.P. Zenger, 1736, pp. 39, 40

And further:

"... it is established for law, That the Judges, how great soever they be,
have no right to fine, imprison or punish a Jury for not finding a verdict
according to the direction of the Court. And this I hope is sufficient to
prove, that jurymen are to see with their own eyes, to hear with their
own ears, and to make use of their own consciences and understandings,
in judging of the lives, liberties or estates of their fellow subjects."

Andrew Hamilton, arguing to the jury, ibid. at 41

The trial judge gave the jury opposite instructions on all these issues, including the instruction that truth is no defense in a seditious libel case. The judge had even suppressed the evidence of the truth of the accusations against the royal governor published in the defendant's New York Weekly Journal. Andrew Hamilton vigorously argued to the jury against this suppression of the evidence.

"And as we are denied the liberty of giving evidence, to prove the truth
of what we have published, I will beg leave to lay it down as a standing
rule in such cases, That the suppressing of evidence ought always to be
taken for the strongest evidence; and I hope it will have that weight
with you."
Andrew Hamilton, arguing to the jury, ibid. at 27, 28

The jury deliberated for fifteen minutes before returning with a verdict of acquittal.

Zenger illustrates that the real power of the doctrine of jury nullification, lies not in a monotone instruction from the judge buried in a mountain of other instructions, but in forceful argument to the jury by the parties. Andrew Hamilton made jury nullification the central theme of the Zenger trial and the jury could not deliberate without dealing with it.

Likewise, the proposed jury nullification amendment in Washington State, HJR 4205, contains nothing about a judicial instruction on nullification but instead insures to the defendant the right to argue nullification to the jury and forbids any jury selection practice that would exclude jurors who have expressed a willingness to use their power of nullification. HJR 4205 will insure a true trial by a jury of one's peers who are a fair cross section of the community by making the jury more representative of the community. The main challenge to jurors for cause, challenging jurors who are opposed to the law at issue, will be abolished by HJR 4205 and the jury will be more representative of the general community with its varied views on the laws.

An Embargo Act case in the early Republic argued by Samuel Dexter in Massachusetts in 1808 also illustrates the power of arguing nullification as the persuasive way for the jury to consider it. England and France were at war and Congress had passed the Embargo Act forbidding American ships from trading with either of the combatants in an attempt to keep us out of war. Dexter argued to the jury that the Embargo Act passed by Congress was unconstitutional while the judge instructed the jury in opposite fashion that the Act was constitutional. The judge even threatened Dexter with contempt if he continued his nullification argument. Dexter stood his ground, continued his nullification argument and the jury acquitted.

"Judge Davis, of the federal district court, had instructed the jury that the law was constitutional. Dexter persisted in arguing the question of constitutionality to the jury, notwithstanding the remonstrances of the Bench. At length, Judge Davis, under some excitement, and after repeated admonitions, said to Mr. Dexter, that if he again attempted to raise that question to the jury, he should feel it his duty to commit him for contempt of Court. A solemn pause ensued, and all eyes were turned towards Mr. Dexter. With great calmness of voice and manner, he requested a postponement of the cause until the following morning. The judge assented ... On the following morning ... Mr. Dexter arose, and facing the Bench, commenced his remarks by stating that he had slept poorly and had passed a night of great anxiety. He had reflected very solemnly upon the occurrence of yesterday ... No man cherished a higher respect for the legitimate authority of those tribunals before which he was called to practice his profession; but he entertained no less respect for his moral obligations to his client ... He had arrived at the clear conviction that it was his duty to argue the constitutional question to the jury ..., and that he should proceed to do so, regardless of any consequences. Dexter made his argument and secured an acquittal despite the very obvious fact that the defendant had violated the terms of the statute."

Reminiscences of Samuel Dexter (1857) pp. 60-61
as quoted in Howe, Juries As Judges of Criminal Law,
52 Harvard Law Review 582, 606 (1939) and in Scheflin,
Jury Nullification: The Right To Say No, 45 Southern
California Law Review 168, 176 (1972)

In the early Republic a prominent judge was impeached for stopping attorneys from arguing nullification. So important was the right of jury nullification in the early Republic that Supreme Court Justice Samuel Chase was impeached by the House of Representatives in 1804 for "open contempt of the rights of juries, on which, ultimately, rest the liberty and safety of the American people." Justice Chase was accused of stopping attorneys from arguing the unconstitutionality of the Alien and Sedition Acts to the jury. See Third and Fourth Articles of Impeachment from Report of the Trial of the Honorable Samuel Chase (Evans ed. 1805) 16, appendix at 4 and 12, and see Howe, Juries As Judges of Criminal Law, 52 Harvard Law Review 582, 588 n. 20 (1939). Justice Chase defended himself by appending to his answer to the charges a case, the trial of John Fries, where he had instructed the jury that they were to judge both law and fact. See Case of Fries, 9 F. Cas. 924 (No. 5127) (C.C.D. Pa. 1800) and see Scheflin, Jury Nullification: The Right To Say No, 45 Southern California Law Review 168, 176 (1972).

Judicial Attempts to Control the Jury

As the Revolution and the Founders receded into history, judges began trying to limit the power of the jury in order to control the outcome of verdicts. In United States v. Battiste, 24 F. Cas. 1042 (No. 14, 545) (C.C.D. Mass. 1835), in the trial of a sailor who had served on a slave ship, Justice Story conceded the power of the jury to nullify his instructions but denied their moral right to do so. Justice Story had ruled as a matter of law that a statute imposing the death penalty for enslaving black people should not apply to mere sailors and he wanted the jury to follow his instruction. It should be noted that under modern rules of procedure jury nullification can work only in the direction of mercy so that Justice Story's concern in Battiste is avoided.

In 1850 Congress passed the Fugitive Slave Act making it a crime for anyone to help a fugitive slave. In one of the cases tried under this act, United States v. Morris, 26 F. Cas. 1323 (No. 15, 815) (C.C.D. Mass 1851) Supreme Court Justice Benjamin Curtis sitting as a trial judge in the case, interrupted the defendant's closing argument to reject the defendant's assertion that the jury could determine matters of law and acquit if they viewed the Fugitive Slave Act as unconstitutional. Despite judicial instructions upholding the Act, northern juries massively resisted the Fugitive Slave Act and defeated it by nullification verdicts of acquittal.

Throughout much of our history for the past 150 years there has been a tug of war in the courts over informing the jury of its power of nullification. For example in Pennsylvania in 1845 in Sherry's Case (See Wharton, Homicide, 2d ed. 1875, pp. 721 - 722), Judge Rogers instructed the jury that their duty was "to receive the law for purposes of this trial from the court." But later in 1879 in Kane v Commonwealth, 89 Pa. 522, 527 the Pennsylvania Supreme Court stated that "The power of the jury to judge of the law in criminal cases is one of the most valuable securities guaranteed by the Bill of Rights." But then still later in Commonwealth v. Bryson, 276 Pa. 566; 120 A. 552, 554 (1923) the Pennsylvania court stated oppositely that "It is the duty of the jury to take the law from the court, to the same extent in a criminal case as in any other, and a trial judge can properly so instruct ."

The tug of war over jury nullification has also involved statutes and constitutional provisions. For example, in response against Massachusetts Chief Justice Shaw's opinion in Commonwealth v. Porter, 10 Metc. 263 (Mass. 1845) that the jury could not determine questions of law, a statute was passed by the legislature in 1855 to overrule Porter. The statute read in relevant part "in all trials for criminal offenses, it shall be the duty of the jury ... to decide at their discretion, by a general verdict, both the fact and the law involved in the issue." Massachusetts Laws of 1855, c. 152. Justice Shaw ignored the obvious legislative intent of the statute and interpreted it in Commonwealth v. Anthes, 5 Gray 185 (1855) to mean only that the jury has the right to bring in a general verdict.

In Louisiana the early cases emphatically reiterated that in criminal cases the jury had not only the power but the right to disregard the judge's instructions. See State v. Saliba, 18 La. Ann. 35 (1866). Then in 1878 in State v. Johnson, 30 La. Ann. 904, 905 - 906 the court stated that "the exercise of this power is itself a moral wrong." In defense of jury rights the Louisiana Constitution, adopted in 1879, provided in Article 168 that "The jury in all criminal cases shall be judges of the law and of the facts on the question of guilt or innocence, having been charged as to the law applicable to the case by the presiding judge." But the court in Ford v. State, 37 La. Ann. 443, 465 (1885) interpreted this constitutional provision to mean that the jury was bound to follow the law as given by the court.

One of the most influential cases concerning informing the jury about its nullification power in federal courts has been Sparf and Hansen v. United States, 156 U.S. 51 (1895). This was a murder case on the high seas. Applicable federal law gave the jury the power to find the defendants guilty of any lesser included offense than the one charged in the indictment. But the judge instructed the jury that there was no evidence in the case to support a lesser charge and if they found a felonious killing, they must find it to be murder.

Court: "I do not consider it necessary, gentlemen, to explain it further, for
if a felonious homicide has been committed, of which you are to be
the judges from the proof, there is nothing in this case to reduce it
below the grade of murder."

Sparf, 156 U.S. at 60

The jury interrupted its deliberations to get further instructions from the judge.

Juror: "Your honor, I would like to know in regard to the interpretation of
the laws of the United States in regard to manslaughter, as to
whether the defendants can be found guilty of manslaughter, or
that the defendants must be found guilty."

The Court then read the statute on murder on the high seas but did not answer the question about manslaughter. After further dialogue the juror asked again:

Juror: "A crime committed on the high seas must have been murder, or
can it be manslaughter?"

Court: "In a proper case, it may be murder, or it may be manslaughter; but
in this case it cannot be properly manslaughter ..."

After further discussion including objection and comment by the attorneys the juror asked the following:

Juror: "If we bring in a verdict of guilty, that is capital punishment?"
Court: "Yes."
Juror: "Then there is no other verdict we can bring in except guilty or not
Court: "In a proper case, a verdict for manslaughter may be rendered ... ;
and even in this case you have the physical power to do so; but as
one of the tribunals of the country, a jury is expected to be
governed by law, and the law it should receive from the court."
Juror: "There has been a misunderstanding amongst us. Now it is clearly
interpreted to us, and no doubt we can now agree on certain facts."

Sparf, 156 61 - 62, n. 1

The trial judge invaded the exclusive province of the jury to determine the facts by instructing the jurors that there was no evidence to support a lesser charge than murder. This alone should have been reversible error. Then the judge actually did tell the jury, in the dialogue with the single juror, about its power to bring in a more merciful verdict for manslaughter, but denied its right to do so, and insisted that the jury had a duty to follow his instruction to bring in a verdict for murder or nothing. Justice Harlan in writing the Supreme Court opinion upholding this instruction stated:

"Public and private safety alike would be in peril, if the principle be
established that juries in criminal cases may, of right, disregard the law
as expounded to them by the court and become a law unto themselves.
Under such a system, the principle function of the judge would be to
preside and keep order while jurymen, untrained in the law, would
determine questions affecting life, liberty or property according to such
legal principles as in their judgment were applicable to the particular
case being tried."
Sparf, 156 U.S. at 101

In Sparf the evidence was somewhat stronger against a codefendant, St. Clair, who had been tried separately by another jury, see St. Clair v. United States, 154 U.S. 134 (1894), than it was against Sparf and Hansen. That may explain why some of the jurors were interested in a manslaughter verdict. It is ironic that the inclinations of the "jurymen untrained in the law" toward a lesser verdict than murder, if they had not been fenced off by the trial judge, might have produced a more just result than the execution that followed the Supreme Court decision.

Justices Gray and Shiras wrote in dissent:

"Within six years after the constitution was established, the right of the jury, upon the general issue, to determine the law as well as the fact in controversy, was unhesitatingly and unqualifiedly affirmed by this court, in the first of the very few trials by jury ever had at its bar [referring to the case of Georgia v. Brailsford], under the original jurisdiction conferred upon it by the constitution."

Sparf, dissenting opinion, 156 U.S. at 154

"There may be less danger of prejudice or oppression from judges appointed by the president elected by the people than from judges appointed by an hereditary monarch. But, as the experience of history shows, it cannot be assumed that judges will always be just and impartial, and free from the inclination, to which even the most upright and learned magistrates have been known to yield, - from the most patriotic motives, and with the most honest intent to promote symmetry and accuracy in the law, - of amplifying their own jurisdiction and powers at the expense of those entrusted by the constitution to other bodies. And there is surely no reason why the chief security of the liberty of the citizen, the judgment of his peers, should be held less sacred in a republic than in a monarchy."

Sparf, dissenting opinion, 156 U.S. at 176

And also:

"... it is a matter of common observation, that judges and lawyers, even
the most upright, able and learned, are sometimes too much influenced
by technical rules; and that those judges who are wholly or chiefly
occupied in the administration of criminal justice are apt, not only to
grow severe in their sentences, but to decide questions of law too
unfavorably to the accused."
Sparf, dissenting opinion, 156 U.S. at 174

The effect of Sparf has been to give a federal trial judge control over what the jury hears about the law inside the courtroom in federal cases. It does not diminish the actual power of the jury to nullify in federal cases nor does it affect state trials. States are free as a matter of state constitutional or statutory law to give their citizens greater civil liberties protections than what the Supreme Court protects in federal cases. It should be noted that according to U.S. v. Grace, 461 U.S. 171 (1983) a federal judge can not control what the jurors may hear about the law outside the courtroom.

Sparf and Hansen is not the Supreme Court's last word on the jury's role. In 1968 the Court ruled in Duncan v. Louisiana, 391 U.S. 145, that the Constitution requires states to provide jury trials for all defendants facing a possible punishment of two years or more, and the Court strongly implied that it would later extend the jury trial right in state trials to all defendants facing a possible punishment of six months or more. Justice White, writing for the majority, gives some of the fundamental reasons why trial by jury is essential to liberty.

"A right to jury trial is granted to criminal defendants in order to
prevent oppression by the Government ... Providing an accused with the
right to be tried by a jury of his peers gave him an inestimable
safeguard against the corrupt or overzealous prosecutor and against the
compliant, biased or eccentric judge ... Fear of unchecked power, so
typical of our State and Federal Government in other respects, found
expression in the criminal law in this insistence upon community
participation in the determination of guilt or innocence."

Duncan, 391 U.S. at 155-156

The community can hardly make an effective participation in the determination of guilt or innocence if the jury is told that it must disregard its conscience and follow the law as dictated by a judge. The very word "guilt" requires the finding of a guilty mind, mens rea, the evil intent to do harm, and the jury can not determine this without consulting its own sense of right and wrong.

Modern Day Authority for Jury Nullification

Jury nullification remains the law of the land in every American jurisdiction. The ruling of Chief Justice Vaughan in Bushell's Case that the jury can not be punished for its verdict stands today in every jurisdiction, state and federal. This, coupled with the rule that verdicts of acquittal are final, is the substance of the power of jury nullification. Unless either or both of these two pillars of freedom are eroded away, the power of jury nullification is and will always be the law of the land. If the original intent of the Founders is our guide to the Constitution, then there is no doubt that jury nullification is a Constitutional right of both the defendant and of the jurors themselves, an unalienable part of the jurors' identity as sovereign citizens with the power to judge laws.

As the court has stated in U.S. v. Moylan, 417 F.2d 1002, 1006 (4th Circuit Court of Appeals, 1969):

"We recognize, as appellants urge, the undisputed power of the jury
to acquit, even if its verdict is contrary to the law as given by the judge
and contrary to the evidence ... If the jury feels that the law under
which the defendant is accused is unjust, or that exigent circumstances
justified the actions of the accused, or for any reason which appeals to
their logic or passion, the jury has the power to acquit, and the courts
must abide by that decision."

In addition, the state Constitutions of Maryland (Art. 23), Indiana (Art. I, Sec. 19), Oregon (Art. I, Sec. 16), and Georgia (Art. I, Sec. I, Para. XI) expressly guarantee the right of the jury to judge the law in criminal cases. Also, 20 state Constitutions currently guarantee the right of the jury to determine the law under their provisions on freedom of speech with regard to criminal or seditious libel cases. This is a tribute to the enduring impact of jury nullification in the trial of John Peter Zenger.

And it should be remembered that our own Washington State Constitution begins with the words "All political power is inherent in the people, and governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, and are established to protect and maintain individual rights." Article 1, Section 1. Moreover, the Washington State Court of Appeals, Division Two, has ruled that a judge can not direct a verdict for the State because this would ignore "the jury's prerogative to acquit against the evidence, sometimes referred to as the jury's pardon or veto power." State v. Primrose, 32 Wash. App. 1, 4 (1982). See also State v. Salazar, 59 Wash. App. 202, 211 (Division One, 1990).

The power of jury nullification is a fundamental and integral part of our legal system. The debate today is not about whether juries have the power to nullify, but whether they should be told about their power. For example, in a Vietnam War protest case, U.S. v. Dougherty, 473 F.2d 1113, 1130 (D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, 1972), the court praises jury nullification:

"The pages of history shine on instances of the jury's exercise of its
prerogative to disregard uncontradicted evidence and instructions of the
judge. Most often commended are the 18th century acquittal of Peter
Zenger of seditious libel, on the plea of Andrew Hamilton, and the 19th
century acquittals in prosecutions under the fugitive slave law."

And yet the majority on the court chose not to let the jury hear this praise in the courtroom.


Some common objections to informing the jury about its power of nullification are that chaos and anarchy will result from inconsistent jury verdicts, that the jury will unjustly convict, and that it is the function of the legislature, and not the jury, to repeal laws. All of these objections are unfounded.

Jury nullification has not produced anarchy or social disintegration in history, but rather, it has given us our most important rights. Obviously, juries which are representative of the community will not want to render verdicts which will cause anarchy and chaos in the very communities in which the jurors reside.

Hung juries and inconsistent jury verdicts arising because of jury nullification are actually performing a service for society. They are sending messages to lawmakers in a peaceful, routine and institutionalized way that it is time for changes in the law. Jury nullification is an antidote for the kind of anarchy caused by the victimless crime laws. America now leads the world in the percentage of its population behind bars largely because of victimless crime laws and the ancillary crime that such laws generate. A long series of jury refusals to apply such laws will advise legislatures to repeal or modify them. As Scheflin and Van Dyke have noted: "Because of the high acquittal rate in prohibition cases during the 1920s and early 1930s, prohibition laws could not be enforced. The repeal of these laws is traceable to the refusal of juries to convict those accused of alcohol traffic." Scheflin and Van Dyke, Jury Nullification: The Contours of a Controversy, Law and Contemporary Problems, Vol. 43, No. 4, 71 (1980).

As to the possibility of unjust convictions, jury nullification poses no threat that juries will punish a defendant beyond what the law allows because modern day court procedures insure that this doctrine acts in the direction of mercy only. Juries have no power or mechanism to invent new charges or increase the severity of what the prosecutor has already charged. Moreover, a judge is free to direct a verdict of acquittal, but not a verdict of conviction, if the court determines at the end of the trial that the evidence is insufficient to warrant jury deliberations. And further, the court as a matter of law can set aside a conviction or grant a new trial where the verdict is unsupported by the evidence. The defendant can appeal a verdict of guilty but a verdict of acquittal is final.

Further, jury nullification poses no threat to the reasonable doubt standard. It is clear from the language in early court opinions that the early Americans intended jury nullification to work only in the defense of liberty and not to the aid of the government. "The purpose of the rule [is] the preservation of civil liberties against the undue bias of judges." Mark Howe, examining early American cases in Juries As Judges Of Criminal Law, 52 Harvard Law Review 582, 592 (1939). The recent jury nullification bills introduced in other states and the one introduced in Washington State, HJR 4205, follow early American intent about jury nullification by expressing it in terms of a citizen's right to introduce the doctrine to the jury whenever the government is an opposing party.

That means that if HJR 4205 is passed, jury nullification will only be raised as an argument to the jury if the citizen chooses to raise and argue it. Obviously, a defendant in a criminal case will not raise nullification to attack the reasonable doubt standard since this standard benefits him. And the kind of case where a defendant will raise the issue of jury nullification is the kind of case where reasonable doubt is seldom an issue.

In the classic jury nullification case, such as the trials of William Penn and John Peter Zenger, the facts are not in dispute and so reasonable doubt is of no consequence in such a case. The Quaker who helped a fugitive slave in violation of the Fugitive Slave Act did not rely upon the reasonable doubt standard, but relied instead upon the jury's power to rise above the law to reach justice. O. J. Simpson would not have raised jury nullification since he was relying upon the reasonable doubt standard and he would have appeared both ridiculous and guilty if he had tried to argue to the jury that the laws against murder should be nullified.

As to the repeal of unjust or unpopular laws, legislators seldom go back and correct their mistakes without some prompting. While it is within the proper role of the legislature and electorate to pass laws, it is within the proper role of the jury to veto laws which the jury finds to be oppressive. If the governor has a veto, and the senate has a veto, and the house has a veto, and the judges have the veto of judicial review, then the citizens who are asked to live under the laws and apply them must also have a veto when they serve on juries.

Occasionally a critic will concede the power of the jury to nullify the law but deny its right to do so. This is mere semantics because there is no practical difference between an unreviewable power and a right. Moreover, the Zenger case and the Founders refer to jury nullification as a "right." Our Constitution clearly states that "We the People" created the Constitution and therefore it follows that the people are sovereign. A sovereign people have the inherent right to judge the law when they come together on juries to decide cases. "All political power is inherent in the people ..." Art. 1, Sec. 1 Washington Constitution.


The Fully Informed Jury Association (FIJA) is the moving force behind the restoration of popular knowledge about jury nullification. Founded in 1989 by Don Doig and Larry Dodge, FIJA is based in Helmville, Montana and has over 2,500 dues paying members nationwide including lawyers, writers, law school professors, activists, and retired judges. State chapters have been formed in most states including Washington. The national organization publishes and disseminates various informational materials - a quarterly newspaper, books, tapes, computer disks, leaflets and taped telephone messages and has a toll-free number, 1-800-TEL-JURY.(1-800-835-5879)

FIJA exists to rekindle people's knowledge of their common law and constitutional right to judge the law as well as the facts and to render the verdict according to conscience when they serve as jurors. FIJA is accomplishing this by public education and by supporting legislation to enable citizens to freely argue jury nullification in court. National officers make media appearances and FIJA supporters periodically testify at legislative hearings. FIJA has received considerable publicity in over 1,500 newspaper and magazine articles, including the ABA Journal and ABA Litigation News and various law reviews. FIJA bills have been introduced in 25 state legislatures and have twice passed an upper or lower legislative house in 2 states - Arizona and Oklahoma.


Most of the historical discussion of jury nullification has been in the context of criminal cases. That is because the policy behind jury nullification is the protection of civil liberties and in the past the contest between the individual and government took place largely in the arena of the criminal trial. Though in the early years of the federal courts it was not unusual even in civil cases to instruct the jurors that they were to judge the law. See Georgia v. Brailsford, 3 Dallas 1, 4 (U.S. 1794), Van Horne v. Dorrance, 2 Dallas 304, 307, 315 (C.C.D. Pa. 1795), and Bingham v. Cabbot, 3 Dallas 19, 28, 33 (U.S. 1795). Now, with the rise of civil asset forfeiture, jury nullification applies with equal validity to civil cases where the government is in contest against the individual, and therefore the proposed jury rights amendment, HJR 4205, includes such civil cases within its reach.

The jury is an unsettling institution to government because it possesses the power to stop government coercion. The jury's true function is to examine the law and to judge the morality of the law in its application to a particular case. It is the safety valve of the system that tempers, through mercy, the mechanical application of rigid rules.

If legislators are disturbed by those occasions when jurors hold in abeyance or refuse to apply a particular law it is well to recall the words of Thomas Jefferson:

"Were I called upon to decide whether the people had best be omitted in the Legislative or Judiciary department, I would say it is better to leave them out of the Legislative. The execution of the laws is more important than the making of them."

Thomas Jefferson, letter to the Abbe Arnoux, 1789
The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Vol. 15, p. 283,
Princeton University Press, 1958

Jury nullification encourages participation in the judicial process, which in turn furthers the legitimization of the legal system. However, jury nullification also serves to inject community values and standards into the administration of the laws. Jury nullification permits the community an opportunity to say of a law that it is too harsh, or in a particular case that it is too punitive or of a particular defendant that his conduct is too justified to warrant criminal sanctions. Ordinary citizens are given the chance to infuse community values into the judicial process in the interest of fairness and justice and at the same time signal to the lawmakers that perhaps they have drifted too far afield of the democratic will. Some have argued that criminal statutes are more likely to embody the collective will and conscience than a random selection of 12 men and women, but this is not necessarily so. History is replete with examples that jury nullification serves as a final corrective over both tyranny and judicial rigidity.

As one writer has observed:

"The fundamental safeguards have been established, not so much by
lawyers as by the common people of England, by the unknown juryman
who in 1367 said he would rather die in prison than give a verdict
against his conscience, by Richard Chambers who in 1629 declared that
never till death would he acknowledge the sentence of the Star
Chamber, by Edward Bushell and his eleven fellow-jurors who in 1670
went to prison rather than find the quakers guilty, by the jurors who
acquitted the printer of the Letters of Junius, and by a host of others.
These are the men who have bequeathed to us the heritage of freedom."

A. Denning, Freedom Under Law, 63-64 (1949)
as reprinted in Scheflin and Van Dyke, Jury Nullification:
Contours of a Controversy, Law and Contemporary
Problems, Vol. 43, No.4, p. 111 n. 248

Jury nullification is an idea that libertarians instantly love, authoritarians instantly hate, and that liberals and conservatives walk around warily because they know that it will help them on some issues but that it may also dismantle the coercive parts of their political agendas. Regardless of our particular political views, no one can deny that our freedom has been won for us with the power of jury nullification, and that it may be lost without it.

A right concealed is a right denied.

Justice William Goodloe
PO Box 25736
Seattle, WA 98125

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Ventura’s Groundbreaking Interview on 9/11 and the Threat to Our Liberties

Alex Jones interviews Jesse Ventura Friday, December 17, 2010, about the 9/11 Pentagon Episode that aired Friday night.

9/11 Pentagon Attack -- Conspiracy Theory' with Gov. Jesse Ventura -- Full Episode

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The world’s largest army? America’s hunters

by Bruce Ross

Monday, December 6, 2010

I don’t spend my fall weekends tramping around the woods in pursuit of a buck, but a lot of my friends and neighbors do.

This blogger adds up all the hunters in just a handful of states, and comes to a striking conclusion:

The state of Wisconsin has gone an entire deer hunting season without someone getting killed. That’s great. There were over 600,000 hunters.Allow me to restate that number. Over the last two months, the eighth largest army in the world – more men under arms than Iran; more than France and Germany combined – deployed to the woods of a single American state to help keep the deer menace at bay.

But that pales in comparison to the 750,000 who are in the woods of Pennsylvania this week. Michigan’s 700,000 hunters have now returned home. Toss in a quarter million hunters in West Virginia, and it is literally the case that the hunters of those four states alone would comprise the largest army in the world.

His point? America will forever be safe from foreign invasion with that kind of home-grown firepower.

Hunting — it’s not just a way to fill the freezer. It’s a matter of national security.

Why the Terrorists Can Never Win

These numbers are part of why those of us who grew up in rural parts of the country simply don’t comprehend the gun-grabbing impulses of some. Every single year, millions of Americans carry high power rifles into the woods and more or less do as they please – some shoot at deer, some just drink a lot – and it is a complete non-story. The number of people injured and killed by these guns will pale in comparison to those injured and killed in driving accidents during the same time period. FULL STORY

Sen. Ted Kaufman Introduces COP's December Report

In this video, Chairman Ted Kaufman of the TARP Congressional Oversight Panel introduces the COP December report “A Review of Treasury’s Foreclosure Prevention Programs.” The full report is available online here.

After two years of such reports, all of which have been varying levels of fail, we are no further along in the process of solving this crisis. Let us not forget that two years after the beginning of the Savings and Loan Crisis, we had more than 1,000 convictions for fraud. These convictions weren’t just bit players, they were the executives, presidents, vice presidents and board members.

View article...

Stephanie S. Jasky, Founder, Director -

Shoot the Messenger--Gerald Celente

The first interview I ever saw of Gerald Celente was on Fox News, Happy Hour Show. He was introduced as a man who if he hasn't been so right, would be thought of as a Conspiracy Theorist.

Now, it's shoot the Messenger as you can see from his latest interview on Fox Business just last week.

10 Trends for 2011

by Gerald Celente

1. Wake-Up Call In 2011, the people of all nations will fully recognize how grave economic conditions have become, how ineffectual and self-serving the so-called solutions have been, and how dire the consequences will be. Having become convinced of the inability of leaders and know-it-all "arbiters of everything" to fulfill their promises, the people will do more than just question authority, they will defy authority. The seeds of revolution will be sown…. FULL STORY

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Jury Duty and The Bill Of Rights

While everyone is focusing on the Bill of Rights today, I would like to bring up THREE of the very important Articles that everyone else seems to miss. Article V, Article VI and Article VII. Why are these so important? Because these are the Articles of the Bill of Rights that EMPOWER the PEOPLE as the Fourth Branch of Government.

How many times have you heard "BY THE CONSENT OF THE GOVERNED?" How many people today understand what that phrase even means? Not many from what I've seen.

Article V

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury,...

When's the last time you heard of a Grand Jury indictment in the State of Michigan? The federal courts still impanel a Grand Jury, but it's hard to find one in the state. As a matter of fact, very few cases ever see a trial by jury in Michigan these days.

Article VI

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein...

As busy as the Michigan courts are, how many times have you been called for jury duty?

Article VII

In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved...

Yet today in Michigan, we see foreclosures taking place without the homeowner ever having a chance to go to court. Michigan legislators passed an UNCONSTITUTIONAL Law making Michigan a NON-JUDICIAL FORECLOSURE state.

So how important is the roll of the Jury, that the founders needed THREE articles to spell it out? Very important in my humble opinion.

With all the CRAP that this Lame Duck Congress is trying to pass today, we are going to need educated people sitting on juries as well as those who find themselves defending their rights need to demand that Jury Trial. Instead, what we have today are Grand Juries who sit like a bunch of dummies and allow the Prosecutors to run the show. Is it any wonder that Federal Prosecutors brag that they could "INDICT A HAM SANDWICH"?


According to the doctrine of jury nullification, jurors have the inherent right to set aside the instructions of the judge and to reach a verdict of acquittal based upon their own consciences. As abolitionist lawyer Lysander Spooner explained the doctrine in Trial By Jury in 1852, page one:
"For more than six hundred years - that is, since Magna Carta, in 1215 - there has been no clearer principle of English or American constitutional law, than that, in criminal cases, it is not only the right and duty of juries to judge what are the facts, what is the law, and what was the moral intent of the accused; but that it is also their right, and their primary and paramount duty, to judge of the justice of the law, and to hold all laws invalid, that are, in their opinion, unjust or oppressive, and all persons guiltless in violating, or resisting the execution of, such laws."

One of the best articles I've read on the History of Jury Duty and how the courts have been trying to do away with Trial by Jury, is by retired Justice William Goodlow, Washington State Supreme Court.

With all the hoopla being made over Obama's tax increases or Bush tax cuts, (however you want to look at it, my focus is on not what Congress decides to do, my focus is on "WHAT WILL THE GOVERNED CONSENT TO".

I believe that every person who has the potential of being called for Grand Jury Duty, or Trial Jury Duty should the Grand Jury's not do their job, first read "JURY NULLIFICATION: EMPOWERING THE JURY AS THE FOURTH BRANCH OF GOVERNMENT" and then watch this video by Attorney Tom Cryer who was acquitted by a jury and why. Become a "Fully Informed Juror".

In this video, Cryer will lay out the PROPER questions a Grand Jury should ask during THEIR investigation. That's right, it is the Grand Jury who is doing the investigating, not the DOJ or the IRS. The failure of our Grand Juries today is that they sit like a lump on a log and allow the DOJ or Prosecutor to run the show. That's not what they are there for. The job of the Grand Jury is to make sure that the Government isn't overstepping it's boundaries as laid out in the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

Once you go through all this information, I feel very confident that no one will support anything as counter productive as the UN-FairTax.

FIJA Activists Wanted for Julian Assange and Wikileaks
The Grand Jury and the Petit Jury Educational Campaign

At FIJA, the staff members believe that the more transparent we make government and government actions, the closer we come to a government of the people.  Therefore, we encourage the complete transparency of all government documents, especially those related to undeclared wars against any people. 

Anyone reading this who is in or near Alexandria Virginia, please print out FIJA’s  On The Grand Jury flyer (it will open as a PDF file, and that can take a minute to load),  found on FIJA’s home page, and get it into the hands of as many people as you can.  One of the people you reach may be able to share some of the information with one of the people on the Grand Jury.  It is also essential that we reach everyone who will be in the jury pool for the petit jury trial, if there is the opportunity for Julian to have one.  In any event, there is nothing to lose by educating more people, and everything to gain for us all.

FIJA activists are working on identifying a vicinage for any potential trial involving Julian Assange in order to conduct general educational outreach to the entire community. We encourage all FIJA activists to coordinate efforts in FIJA's State News and Activists Discussion Forum:   It looks like a possible trial location could be the federal court in Alexandria, VA. The grand jury is apparently empaneled:

Anyone can distribute FIJA’s educational literature!  Do it now!  FIJA encourages all human rights activists to conduct educational outreach in a non-confrontational manner. You are encouraged to read FIJA's brochure on Handing Out FIJA Literature Around Courthouses for information on conducting effective educational outreach efforts: Distributing FIJA Literature.pdf.


By Sarah Foster
December 15, 2010

The Disappearing Preamble and the Forgotten Ninth

Today is Bill of Rights Day, a national civil holiday established by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt through proclamation on Dec. 15, 1941. Considering his track record, FDR was certainly not someone you’d expect to honor to such a document and the principles it embodies, but it was after all the 150th anniversary of the ratification of the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution and perhaps he was expected to go at least through the motions of paying his respects.

In just the past couple of years, since the Progressive Caucus in the Congress has been trying to ram though its agenda, there’s been a sudden upsurge of public interest in the Constitution and those basic amendments, particularly the Tenth. I hope this is not a passing phenomenon. But I would urge they take a look at another amendment, every bit as important as the Tenth, maybe more so – the Ninth, which reads:

The enumeration in this Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

It’s now routine for police, whose slogan is to “protect and serve,” to force their way into people’s homes without knocking, shooting the family pet (and sometimes the residents) along the way. At airports, federal agents are directed/allowed to run their hands over screaming toddlers (“let’s make it a game”) and peer at women’s naked bodies in technological peep shows – “for your safety.” FULL STORY


"The conventions of a number of States having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the government, will best insure the beneficent ends of its institution."

"RESOLVED by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, two thirds of both Houses concurring, that the following Articles be proposed to the Legislatures of the several States, as Amendments to the Constitution of the United States, all or any of which Articles, when ratified by three fourths of the said Legislatures, to be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of the said Constitution; viz.:

"ARTICLES in addition to, and Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, proposed by Congress, and ratified by the Legislatures of the several States, pursuant to the fifth Article of the original Constitution." (emphasis added)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Kent County pushes back against mandate that allegedly costs taxpayers $4 million year

Rick Wilson | The Grand Rapids Press

GRAND RAPIDS — In what legal experts say could be a precedent-setting case, state officials recently answered a lawsuit filed by Kent County alleging the Michigan Department of Human Services violated state law in refusing to pay for services required under a 2008 federal court order.

The 2008 Children’s Rights settlement required the state to increase monitoring of children in foster care after a series of high-profile abuse cases, including the 2005 murder of 7-year-old Ricky Holland by his adopted mother. The settlement reached by the state without input from Michigan counties will cost Kent County taxpayers an estimated $4 million yearly, county officials allege.

Sara Bartosz, senior staff attorney for New York-based Children’s Rights Inc., said her group’s primary interest is that the reforms are accomplished in a timely manner according to the 2008 federal court order. She declined to comment on whether Kent County’s programs are more effective but said she is well aware programs here follow a different model than others around the state.

“It’s absolutely familiar to me that Kent County is different from the rest of the state,” Bartosz said. “It was listed in a DHS appropriations bill as a county that should move more toward privatization. FULL STORY

U.S. judge invalidates part of health-care law

By Robert Schroeder

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- A federal district judge in Virginia on Monday found part of the health-care law signed by President Barack Obama unconstitutional, ruling that the mandate to buy insurance or pay a fine goes beyond federal authority. The Justice Department is expected to appeal the ruling. Congressional Republicans are pledging to overturn the health-care law next year, when they take over the House of Representatives.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Gerald Celente on Goldsek Radio 03 Dec 2010

Gerald Celente: What Happened in Greece is Going WorldwideDec 10, 2010

Trends forecaster Gerald Celente joins RT to discuss unemployment with college grads, the wide income gap between the rich and the poor in the US, and the coming bust of the American Empire.

“You have millions of college grads that haven’t entered the workforce yet that haven’t been able to get jobs out of college and they have degrees in worthlessness, and they’re $25,000 on average in debt.”

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

quotes on law and jury

"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, -- For the saddest epitaph which can be carved in the memory of a vanished liberty is that it was lost because its possessors failed to stretch forth a saving hand while yet there was time." -- George Sutherland, (1862-1942) U. S. Supreme Court Justice

"If the jurors feels that the statute (law) involved in any criminal offence is unfair, all that it infringes upon the defendant's natural God-given unalienable or Constitutional Rights, then it is his duty to affirm that the offending statute is really no law at all and that the violation of it is no crime at all - for no-one is found to obey an unjust law".

"That juror must vote Not Guilty regardless of the pressures or abuses that may be heaped on him by any or all members of the jury with whom he may in good conscience disagree. He is voting on the justice of the law according to his own conscience and convictions and not someone else's. The law itself is on trial quite as much as the case which is to be decided."
-- Harlan F. Stone, 12th Chief Justice U.S. Supreme Court

"We must never cease to proclaim in fearless tones the great principles of freedom and the rights of man which are the joint inheritance of the English-speaking world and which through Magna Carta, the Bill of Rights, the Habeas Corpus, Trial by Jury, and the English common law, find their most famous expression in the American Declaration of Independence." -- Winston Churchill, (1874-1965) Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Source: To Westminster College, Fulton, Missouri, 1946

"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 law as given by a judge, and contrary to the evidence...If the jury feels that the law under which the defendant is accused is unjust, or that exigent circumstances justified the actions of the accused, or for any reason which appeals to their logic or passion, the jury has the power to acquit, and the courts must abide by that decision."

— 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, United States v. Moylan, 1969

The jurors have the power to ignore the court's instructions and bring in a not guilty verdict contrary to the law and the facts. Horning v. District of Columbia, 254 U.S. 135, 138 (1920).

Conspiracy Truth - Jesse Ventura and Wall Street

Jesse Ventura takes on Wall Street. This is a must watch show. Tune into TrueTV every Friday.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The 25-Year 'Foreclosure From Hell'

by Robbie Whelan
Monday, December 6, 2010
Provided by

Patsy Campbell could tell you a thing or two about fighting foreclosure. She's been fighting hers for 25 years.

The 71-year-old retired insurance saleswoman has been living in her house, a two-story on a half acre in a tidy middle-class neighborhood here in central Florida, since 1978. The last time she made a mortgage payment was October 1985.

"They're not going to take this house," says Ms. Campbell. "I intend to stay in this house and maintain it as my residence until I die."

In 1985, Ms. Campbell stopped making mortgage payments because of an illness that caused her to lose income and get behind on her bills, she says.

By then, the savings-and-loan crisis had begun to take hold. First Federal merged with First Fidelity Savings and Loan, which assumed ownership of the Campbell loan. In 1987, First Fidelity sold the mortgage to American Pioneer Savings Bank, an Orlando-based lender that collapsed in the early 1990s.

The loan would change hands four more times, and four different lenders would try to foreclose on her. But every lender that held her loan either merged or collapsed. Each time ownership of the lender changed, the foreclosure case against Ms. Campbell would be dropped. FULL STORY

Saturday, December 4, 2010


Ron Paul on Bloomberg
On Wednesday night, Congressman Paul discussed the Fed's bailout of international banks at the expense of the American people, the debt commission's report, and Senator-elect Rand Paul's long interest in monetary policy.

“Police State” episode of hit Ventura show covering FEMA camps pulled from air


Republicans Move to Block Ron Paul from Monetary Policy Subcommittee Chair

Kurt Nimmo
December 3, 2010

Ron Paul will not head up the House’s monetary policy subcommittee if John Boehner has anything to say about it.

“Five GOP leadership aides, speaking anonymously because a decision isn’t final, say incoming House Speaker John Boehner has discussed ways to prevent Paul from becoming chairman or to keep him on a tight leash if he does,” reports Bloomberg. “If Boehner, who will help determine who gets to chair subcommittees as early as Dec. 8, rejects Paul, he may have to contend with thousands of grassroots supporters and dozens of younger lawmakers who see Paul as a hero.”
Boehner and the establishment Republicans rode to victory last month on the shoulders of the Tea Party movement. Prior to the election, Tea Party activists in Maine, Colorado, and Utah focused on abolishing the Federal Reserve. FULL STORY