I imagine most of you by now have heard about the policeman in Connersville that rescued an injured fawn and nursed it back to health. A Department of Natural Resources officer issued a ticket, the DNR ordered the deer killed, and the policeman and his wife now face possible fines and jail time. As you would expect, and as it should have, the case has raised a great deal of sympathy and support for the dependents, and a great deal of scorn and disgust for the DNR. I’m glad to see it is also raising awareness of a much underpublicized and underutilized resource we have as citizens. Jury nullification.
Article 1, Section 19, of Indiana’s Constitution says: In all criminal cases whatever, the jury shall have the right to determine the law and the facts.
It simply means, if you are on a jury, you get to judge the law...not just the defendant. If a law is so bad that it would send a person to jail for demonstrating an act of compassion, you can find the defendant not guilty. It’s just that simple.
I hope a lot of people will familiarize themselves with the concept of jury nullification because of this particular case. I also hope they will discuss it with their friends, and then the next time they are on a jury where the defendants are charged with a crime wherein no one was hurt or defrauded, and the only thing that was threatened was government power, I hope they will use the power they have to save the defendant from suffering because of an unjust law.
I know I will.
By the way, if you would like to learn more about your rights and jury nullification, please visit The Fully Informed Jury Association at http://fija.org/
The best years of your life
As people age they often look back to fondly recall the best years of their lives. Natural timeframes are the college years or that certain age before the daily grind of work and family take over the bulk of the day. Associations are to being carefree with limited responsibilities, a light and airy existence.
Ziemke: My Summer Homework
Even though session has been out for a little more than a month, the General Assembly still has much work to do. I had a brief break where I got to go home and mow the lawn, spend time at my restaurant, the Brau Haus, and attend a few festivals in addition to continuing to work on constituent concerns. The time has come for work on summer study committees to commence and I’m ready to get back at it.
Mauzy: Rush County: The hope and the despair
Moments arise when hope and despair briefly intersect. During these emotional overlaps, it’s a toss-up as to which energy will win even though we desire the best. Two recent high-profile events present the overlapping calamity often noticed in this community.
Asbestos awareness is an important topic
My father, sister and husband all died because of asbestos. Now my brother has asbestosis. I set up my website because of the death of my husband to let people know of the dangers. It was the first website designed by a person on the internet at that time instead of by lawyers. The stories are to honour those effected by asbestos and to make sure they are never forgotten. I had just finished the last sentence when I heard of Janelle’s death.
Proposed parade route
I see room for compromise on the 4th of July parade route. Up Main Street to 5th Street then take 5th Street to Harrison Street to 11th Street.
Barada: Good advice for parents and college students
This week’s column is more for the parents of kids about to head to college than unsolicited advice for students about to go. Why? Because kids going away from home, some for the very first time ever, can be an even more traumatic event for the parents than for their children!
Stop the student loan interest rate hike
The key to a great life is a good education. But paying for a college education is tough. Many families are taking out second mortgages. Some are putting-off deserved vacations. Others are telling their kids they just can’t afford to attend the school of their choice.
Mauzy: Recent graduates are free to explore
Two weeks have now passed since Rush County Schools released new graduates from a state required academic curriculum.
Parade should be on Harrison Street
There was good reason for not moving the parade back onto Main Street after the third lane was rammed through: we learned Harrison Street is a better route for both the participants and the spectators.
Barada: The right people in key places
For the first time in years, this community has exceptionally good people in key places within organizations involved directly with helping make Rush County a better place in which to live!
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