On The Matter of Jury Nullification

jury-nullification-jefferson  Upon occasion, the topic of jury nullification arises. In post-modern thought it is typically believed to not exist and is presented as radicalized bane to our present judicial system. One can only speculate as to why that might be as it is certainly not supported by any legal history. In fact, the precise opposite may be found:

“Gentlemen, to remind you of the good old rule, that on questions of fact, it is the province of the jury, on questions of law, it is the province of the court to decide. But it must be observed that by the same law, which recognizes this reasonable distribution of jurisdiction, you have nevertheless a right to take upon yourselves to judge of both, and to determine the law as well as the fact in controversy. On this, and on every other occasion, however, we have no doubt, you will pay that respect, which is due to the opinion of the court: For, as on the one hand, it is presumed, that juries are the best judges of facts; it is, on the other hand, presumbable (sic), that the court are the best judges of the law. But still both objects are lawfully, within your power of decision.” [Georgia v. Brailsford (1794)] (1)

So, in very simple language, there you have it. It was originally understood that there were three mechanisms available to overturn an unjust law: Both Legislative and Executive authority exercised under State Sovereignty or by Jury Nullification.
Marbury vs Madison (1803) (2) created a fourth method (previously unheard of and NOT expressly authorized by the Constitution) called “Judicial Review.” (3)

And then, it gets a bit more complicated: “[I]n 1895 in Sparf v. United States, the Court said that courts need not inform jurors of their de facto right of juror nullification although jurors’ inherent right to judge the law remains unchallenged.” (4)

“In the courts of the United States, it is the duty of the jury, in criminal cases, to receive the law from the court, and to apply it as given by the court, subject to the condition that, by a general verdict, a jury of necessity determines both law and fact as compounded in the issue submitted to them in the particular case.

“In criminal cases, it is competent for the court to instruct the jury as to the legal presumptions arising from a given state of facts, but it may not, by a peremptory instruction, require the jury to find the accused guilty of the offense charged, nor of any offense less than that charged.” (5)

Some will argue that Sparf v. United States established that there is no jury nullification in federal Article 3 Courts; however, is that really what SCOTUS said? Let’s deconstruct,
“. . . [S]ubject to the condition that, by a general verdict, a jury of necessity determines both law and fact as compounded in the issue submitted to them in the particular case.” SCOTUS is very clearly saying “by a general verdict,” meaning by the established precedence, “jury . . . determines both law and fact as compounded (meaning intermixed) in the issue submitted to them . . . .” So, it is valid to presume, based on their own language, that SCOTUS said if the “law” element within the admixture of the “compound” were viewed as flawed, then the entire “compound” was flawed. I cannot see where anyone could properly assert otherwise.

After adding this to your “data base,” in the future, when anyone elects to challenge the existence of jury nullification, you might have a word in your mouth. Please comment as you like.

(1) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georgia_v._Brailsford_1794
(2) http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marbury_v._Madison
(3) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judicial_review
(4) http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sparf_v._United_States
(5) http://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/156/51/

 

The Fuss Over Zika and Mosquito Control (Updated!!)

lnkmosquito_110308

All this is quite interesting to this writer (from an analytical point-of-view of course). The latest “HooRah,” WHO, Pandemic scare seems to be focused on this “insidious” Zika virus (with its purported “association” with Microcephaly) and the now, seeming hysterically driven, mosquito (vector) control programs along with an amazing amount of “emergency funding” ($1.8 B) (also to “encourage” BigPharma to “discover” a new vaccine). But, for the purpose of this examination, let’s just focus on vector control, which reportedly is using particular Larvicide products such as “VectoBac.” VectoBac 12AS Biological Larvicide Aqueous Suspension lists the following ingredients: https://drive.google.com/…/0B0vNY24fkkHTRmpTNWZ…/view… (1)

Okay, having clicked on the link and viewed the data, let’s now examine “Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti), a group of bacteria used as biological control agents for larvae stages of certain dipterans. Bti produces toxins which are effective in killing various species of mosquitoes, fungus gnats, and blackflies, while having ALMOST no effect on other organisms. Indeed, this is one of the major advantages of B. thuringiensis products in general is that THEY ARE THOUGHT to affect few nontarget species.” (2) (emphasis added)

Now, where have we heard this “bacillus thuringiensis” before? Oh! That’s right:

“When U.S. regulators approved Monsanto’s genetically modified ‘Bt’ corn, they knew it would add a deadly poison into our food supply. That’s what it was designed to do. The corn’s DNA is equipped with a gene from soil bacteria called Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) that produces the Bt-toxin. It’s a pesticide; it breaks open the stomach of certain insects and kills them.

“But Monsanto and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) swore up and down that it was only insects that would be hurt. The Bt-toxin, they claimed, would be completely destroyed in the human digestive system and not have any impact on all of us trusting corn-eating consumers.

“Oops. A study just proved them wrong.

“Doctors at Sherbrooke University Hospital in Quebec found the corn’s Bt-toxin in the blood of pregnant women and their babies, as well as in non-pregnant women.(Specifically, the toxin was identified in 93% of 30 pregnant women, 80% of umbilical blood in their babies, and 67% of 39 non-pregnant women.) The study has been accepted for publication in the peer reviewed journal Reproductive Toxicology.

“According to the UK Daily Mail, this study, which ‘appears to blow a hole in’ safety claims, ‘has triggered calls for a ban on imports and a total overhaul of the safety regime for genetically modified (GM) crops and food.’ Organizations from England to New Zealand are now calling for investigations and for GM crops to be halted due to the serious implications of this finding.” (3)

Next on the ingredient list, we find PROXEL GXL. Although listed amount as only .10% it’s still important to note: “Corrosive to eyes, skin and mucous membranes, Possible skin sensitizer” (4) Also, “Inhalation: Repeated inhalation exposure may cause impairment of lung function and permanent lung damage.” (5) It gets more interesting so please read the reference.

Then, finally, we come to the remaining 88.29% that is simply labeled, “Trade Secret – Other Ingredients – withheld as Trade Secret” (6) Please feel free to arrive at your own conclusion with respect to that while also bearing in mind that VectoBac is NOT a chemical product, it is a biological one.

So, why does this all seem quite suspicious? Well, the evidence seems to be “heating up” and we’ll continue to pull on this thread to see what else unravels.

(1) http://www.sccgov.org/sites/vector/Documents/VEC12ASm.pdf
(2) http://en.wikipedia.org/…/Bacillus_thuringiensis…
(3) http://articles.mercola.com/…/dangerous-toxins-from-gmo…
(4) http://formosa.msdssoftware.com/…/A3400760F10D40B9AF882…
(5) ibid
(6) http://www.sccgov.org/sites/vector/Documents/VEC12ASm.pdf

Update!!

It appears that we were on the right track albeit perhaps in a slightly different direction:

“A report from the Argentine doctors’ organisation, Physicians in the Crop-Sprayed Towns, challenges the theory that the Zika virus epidemic in Brazil is the cause of the increase in the birth defect microcephaly among newborns.

“The increase in this birth defect, in which the baby is born with an abnormally small head and often has brain damage, was quickly linked to the Zika virus by the Brazilian Ministry of Health. However, according to the Physicians in the Crop-Sprayed Towns, the Ministry failed to recognise that in the area where most sick people live, a chemical larvicide that produces malformations in mosquitoes was introduced into the drinking water supply in 2014. This poison, Pyriproxyfen, is used in a State-controlled programme aimed at eradicating disease-carrying mosquitoes.” (1)

So, it appears that they may have”rolled the dice” by putting Pyriproxyfen in the drinking water…

“Pyriproxyfen was not evaluated in the first edition of the Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality, published in 1984, in the second edition, published in 1993, or in the addendum to the second edition, published in 1998. In the third edition of the Guidelines, a guideline value of 0.3 mg/litre was established for pyriproxyfen in drinking-water.” (2)

(1) http://www.march-against-monsanto.com/doctors-name-monsantos-larvicide-as-cause-of-brazilian-microcephaly-outbreak/
(2) http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/dwq/chemicals/Pyriproxyfensum.pdf