Saturday, April 08, 2006

Jury Nullification and the Mexico-US Border Issue

Watching the Americans struggling along the US border with Mexico is suggesting some scary thoughts. The main thrust of the story was that the illegal-immigrants are leaving a massive amount of litter, but the side issue was that the government is doing nothing to help these people. They are living in fear and the value of their property has been reduced to zero by government inaction.

The first suggestion from this fight is that lawsuits based on eminent domain may take place. The government has abdicated its authority over this part of the American territory. The residents deserve to be compensated for their loss. How big will that bill be for all of us to bear?

The more serious suggestion is that the border residents will start to protect themselves. This opens the door to jury nullification. The legal system will just have to charge such people because of its political rules and lack of a sense of justice; but will Americans convict? It is the finest opening for jury nullification that can be pictured. The government has abdicated authority over a part of our territory. This makes the legal system null. You cannot abdicate authority on one hand then expect those bearing the burden to follow the defunct legal system. You are in full control or you are not. Facing a jury of their peers as the Constitution guarantees, the juries would set such people free. Jury nullification would become widespread. The authority of the government could begin to fall apart. Conservatives have always bought that notion. Liberals are now buying in via the failure of FEMA in New Orleans. The only thing holding them back is a belief that the problem is with the Republicans not government. The concept that New Orleans was too big for a government run by anyone will sink in with the next crisis. You cannot act fast when the system of rights and fairness imposes a giant burden on speed. The Democrats will fail next time and the belief of people from all sides in government will be gone. Jury nullification will become manifest.

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