Yes, you can; but only if you are an educated juror
that is informed of your right to veto bad laws
while serving as a trial juror.
The problem of course is that until you had been informed of your right as a juror to veto bad laws with the previous statement, you probably would have followed a trial judge’s misinformed instruction to the jury that you must follow the law as given to you by the judge and convict a defendant even if you found the law to be totally unjust or unconscionable.
Since the vast majority (probably over 99%) of jurors are unaware of their lawful right and power to judge the justness of the law and disregard it if they felt enforcing that law would bring an unjust guilty verdict, every month, thousands of innocent Californians are convicted and jailed for “breaking” bad and unjust laws.
For example, Pastor Wiley Drake of First Southern Baptist Church of Buena Park was charged with violating city zoning laws because he had exercised his duty to house and care for the poor and the homeless on Church grounds. The trial judge had misinformed the jury that they can not consider Pastor Drake’s motives or intent, nor could they judge the law. In short, the judge told the jurors that if they find that Pastor Drakes had violated the bad and unjust law, that they must convict Pastor Drake.
Well, the jurors followed the judge’s instructions and convicted Pastor Drake of the “crime” of housing and caring for the poor on his church grounds in “violation” of city zoning codes. A few days after the trial, these jurors found out that they had the right and power to judge this bad and unjust law and could have acquitted Pastor Drake.
These jurors came to Pastor Drake’s church and apologized to Pastor Drake for their misguided conviction of him. These jurors were mad at the judge for deliberately misleading the jurors into believing that they could not judge the law as well as the facts of the case.
But no apology could reverse the wrongful conviction of Pastor Drake. The Judge could have jailed Pastor Drake for up to 2 years!!! He didn’t do so only because of the huge publicity that Pastor Drake was getting in the press. Similarly, thousands of people are wrongfully charged and convicted every month in California for violating bad, unjust and unconscionable laws. Some day a bad law can be used against YOU!
So what is the solution for bringing justice back to our courts?
The Jury Education Act (J.E.A.)
The Jury Education Act (J.E.A.) requires the judge in every trial to inform the jury of its inherent right and power to judge the law as well as the facts of the case before them so that no innocent man like Pastor Drake would be wrongfully convicted by a misinformed jury.
The instruction which the Jury Education Act would require the judge to read to the jury, reads as follows:
“It is the duty of the court to advise you of the law,
and it is your duty to consider the instructions of the court;
If you find that the law or the application which
the court instructs you upon is unjust,
you may vote to acquit the defendant or find him not liable for damages.”
If you want to assure that bad laws are properly vetoed by our juries, and justice is reached, send us your name, address and phone, E-Mail and Fax numbers and we will send you more information YOUR support of the Jury Education Act makes a big difference!
Along with filling out and mailing the information in bottom of this page, please send a donation of any amount you can, to help finance this crucial initiative. Thank you.
Freedom and justice depend on informed juries vetoing bad laws!
You can contact or donate to the Jury Education Committee, the sponsor of the Jury Education Act here!
“The only thing necessary for evil to triumph,
is for good men to do nothing”