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Bud Landry

Fully Informed Juries Make Strange Bedfellows
By Bud Landry
Apr 14, 2005 - 6:38:00 AM

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The desire for Fully Informed Jury laws has created an amazingly diverse coalition of bedfellows. It includes organizations such as the American Rifle Asociation, Gun Owners of America and other pro-Second Amendment groups, anti-nuclear and pacifist groups, tree-hugging Earth-firsters along with timber-cutting Wise use advocates, Peace and Justice groups throughout the nation, radical pro-abortionists sit along side Eagle Forum anti-abortionists at Fully Informed Jury meetings and the list could go on and on.

One group that is conspicously absent from this list are the anti-gun groups. They apparently fear that fully informed juries would become a significant obstacle to enforcement of repressive gun control laws. Could this be the reason the Judiciary Committee in Augusta voted unanimously against Fully Informed Juries?

It is easily understood why the state sends high powered people to argue against fully informed juries at the hearings and workshops. If there were ever to be Fully Informed Juries in the State of Maine, the courts would lose the power to inform juries that they must judge only the facts in a case and the court WOULD judge the law. The juries would then know of their Constitutional Right to judge the law as well as the facts and reach a verdict according to their conscience. As John Adams, America's second President said in 1771: "It is not only (the jurors) right, but it his duty ... to find the verdict according to his own best understanding, judgment, and conscience, though in direct opposition to the direction of the court." The courts today would look on former President John Adams as a wild eyed radical and would jail him for jury tampering.

If the people of Maine would like to be able to protect their friends and nieghbors from unconstitutional, unfair, unjust and oppressive laws they should get behind the Fully Informed Jury movement. Talk to your friends and nieghbors. Write and call your state Representatives and senators. Ask these people why they do not trust their constituents. Until the people act to nullify these bad laws our untrusting, untrustworthy politicians in Augusta will keep passing more and more laws that create more and more laws against the state.

-- Bud

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