JURY NULLIFICATION BUILT IN TO OREGON
(Just don't ask a "Law-Yuhr" to Explain)
Ever since talking things over with the county Judicial candidates over the last few days, been thinking a lot about jury nullification. Jury Nullification is the principle which says the jury is there not just to judge the facts of the case, but to also judge the law itself. In fact, New Hampshire just passed a law requiring juries to be informed of this power. You'll rarely get a member of the Bar to address this truthfully, as the last thing the system wants is independent citizenry second-guessing the state's "authori-tah".
I looked at the Oregon Constitution this morning, and It just so happens that "Jury Nullification" appears to be built in to our law of the land:
ARTICLE 1, Oregon Constitution (Our State "Bill of Rights")
Section 16. Excessive bail and fines; cruel and unusual punishments; power of jury in criminal case. Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed. Cruel and unusual punishments shall not be inflicted, but all penalties shall be proportioned to the offense.—In all criminal cases whatever, the jury shall have the right to determine the law, and the facts under the direction of the Court as to the law, and the right of new trial, as in civil cases. (emphasis mine)
So, even though you'll never get a judge to tell you can nullify laws on the jury, a plain reading of the Oregon Bill of Rights above makes it clear. When you're on the jury the judge can "direct you" as to the law, but you are free to use the advice, or discard it as you see fit.
Judge Benjamin Bloom said on the show this morning that the judge can't question the jury's decision. There's no penalty for the "wrong" decision. So go ahead, let the judge "direct" you as to the law, and come to your own decision on whether the law truly is just or applies in the case you're hearing.
Oh, and the Curt Chancler clause is next:
Section 17. Jury trial in civil cases. In all civil cases the right of Trial by Jury shall remain inviolate.—
In Jackson County they're trying to bamboozle you over the meaning of "Shall Remain Inviolate". County code enforcement prefers "inviolate" to mean "Shall Remain Inviolate until inconvenient or costly to County". ;-)
GUEST INFORMATION 10-29-2012
6:35 James Valvo, Americans for Prosperity, the lame-duck session, the danger within.
7:10 Secretary of State Candiate Knute Buehler
7:35 Judge Benjamin Bloom, Judge candidate for Jackson Conty District Court.
8:35 Rick Samuelson, running for Central Point City Council
8:10 Dr. Dennis Powers, "Visiting Past and Present", today it's Crater Lake:
By Dennis Powers
The first non-Native American to view Crater Lake is generally credited to John Wesley Hillman, a California prospector who was searching for the fabled “Lost Cabin Mine.” Speculated to be in Southern Oregon, the story held that attacking Indians had forced the four California owners to bury their gold hoard. Although the sole survivor mentioned landmarks, the cabin and the buried treasure had never been located. Hillman rode his mule on June 12, 1853 to a rim, where if it hadn’t stopped a few feet from the edge, he would have pitched over to his death. As his group marveled at the sight, a vote on its name was finally taken between "Mysterious Lake" and "Deep Blue Lake" with the latter chosen. The discovery was also referred later as "Lake Mystery".
Created after a violent eruption of an ancient volcano, Crater Lake formed 7700 years ago by an explosion 42 times as powerful as the 1980 Mount St. Helens eruption. The mountain then was 10,000 - 12,000 feet high and later named Mount Mazama. When the top 5000 feet of the volcano collapsed from the lava that exploded out, a basin or caldera formed. When the lava flows sealed its bottom, subsequent rainfall and snow melt over countless years filled this with 4.6 trillion gallons of water. The collapsed basin is roughly 3.7 by 5.5 miles, and the ash settled in a distinct layer over several thousand square miles.
Thus, the deepest lake in the United States was formed at 1932 feet--and the seventh deepest in the world--that today is half-filled with water. A small volcanic island--named Wizard Island--is on the lake’s west side. Surrounded by black, volcanic lava blocks, its cinder cone rises 760 feet above the lake with a small crater at the summit. The lake’s water is so clear that it holds a world-clarity record of 142 feet. The dramatic deep-blue color is due to its great depth, water clarity, and the way light interacts with water. Water molecules absorb the longer wavelengths of light better (reds, oranges, yellows, and greens). Shorter wavelengths (blues) are more easily scattered than soaked up. In the deep lake, some of the scattered blue light is redirected back to the surface where we can see it.
Peter Britt took the first surviving picture of Crater Lake in 1874; in 1902, President Roosevelt signed the law making Crater Lake our 6th National Park that now contains over 183,000 square miles. The 33-mile Rim Drive around Crater Lake is two-lanes with scenic overlooks. From mid-October until mid-June, the north entrance and Rim Drive are closed due to deep snow and ice buildups--although the lake rarely freezes over. Although visitors can fish (non-native Rainbows Trout and Kokanee Salmon) and swim, the surface water is cold but “warms” up in the summer to 55° - 60°. The “yellow stuff” floating in the water at that time is simply pine pollen that settles later to the bottom. More visitors from California than from Oregon visit, and the total visitation numbers some one-half million every year.
See: NPS, Crater Lake, “Frequently Asked Questions” at http://www.nps.gov/crla/faqs.htm; Mark, Stephen R., Oregon Encyclopedia, “Crater Lake National Park” at http://www.oregonencyclopedia.org/entry/view/crater_lake_national_park/. Also, Crater Lake Institute, “JohnWesley Hillman,” at http://www.craterlakeinstitute.com/online-library/historic-resource-study/3a.htm
MY TAKE ON THE BALLOT MEASURES
Measure 77 - NO - Gives governor constitutional authority to declare "catastrophic disaster", he already has "statutory authority". This gives too much power to the governor to overide legislative spending choices. It's being sold as what's needed in case of terrorism. We've survived as a state without having a terrorist-induced dictator law, we can do without this.
Measure 78 - YES - Cleans up language in the constitution - A benign "housekeeping" amendment.
Measure 79 - YES - Prohibits government trying to assess a real estate transfer tax. We don't have one right now (except in one city up north) but as coffers empty, government will come calling. (Note the calls for a real estate transfer tax in bankrupt San Bernardino, CA).
Measure 80 - YES - Cannabis tax, allows personal marijuana, hemp cultivation. I'm not in favor of "altered states", and this is not a perfect law by any means. Still, being in favor of personal liberty requires I vote in favor of this. It's time to end the war on plants and substances which fed and state governments don't like. The war on drugs is truly a war on the people.
Measure 81 - NO - Prohibits non-tribal fishing with gillnets. Even supporters say vote against this, as Gov. Kitzhaber is negotiating a settlement. Basically a war against commercial salmon, and a boon to tribal fishing.
Measure 82 - YES - Authorizes privately owned casinos, mandates percentage of revenues to state fund. Indian tribes don't like this, it means competition for their casinos, and our lottery. Personal liberty says it should be permitted here. Communities would be able to approve or reject a casino in their area.
Measure 83 - a weak YES - Authorizes "The Grange" Casino up north. A weak yes, only because some tell me they think this gives this private casino a jump on the competitition. Vote your conscience.
Measure 84 - YES - Phases out inheritance tax. I can't think of a more immoral tax than the death tax. You have property or business, worked to build it. It's already been taxed, and then it's taxed again because you die? B.S., I say.
Measure 85 - NO - Allocates corporate income tax "kicker" refund to K-12 education. Yep, that's how it's sold..."For the children". It just goes into the general fund, so Deep-Six this turkey.
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