Jury Nullification Will Win Out
Jason Willett claims there are no exceptions in the Texas Election Code for satire, funny jokes and sarcastic Web sites.
He claimed this in a series of documents filed with the 40th District Court against this newspaper’s news editor (though the suit was filed against him individually) for MikeGreenlee.com, a Web site launched six days after former Palmer Councilman Mike Greenlee lost his re-election bid.
The court of public opinion will far outweigh the court of law in any case, First Amendment-related or not.
So with that said, allow this column to serve as an instructional guide: The Ellis County Press calls on First Amendment advocates to cut, clip and copy this staff editorial and spread it.
Spread it throughout downtown Waxahachie when the hearing on MikeGreenlee.com commences (which could be any day now; we’ll keep you posted) and hand these out to as many jurors as possible.
Spread it to potential jurors in any case, civil or criminal (but mainly criminal). Why are we doing this? Because this is what prosecutors and defense lawyers will never tell you, a potential juror, about the rights you really hold:
"The jury has an unreviewable and irreversible power...to acquit in disregard of the instructions on the law given by the trial judge."
U.S. v Dougherty, 473 F2d 1113, 1139 (1972)
"The jury possesses the undisputed power to acquit, even if its verdict is contrary to the law as given by the judge and contrary to the evidence."
1969 U.S. v Moylan, 417 F2d 1002)
"It is not only his right, but his duty ... to find the verdict according to his own best understanding, judgment, and conscience, though in direct opposition to the direction of the court."
- John Adams, U.S. President
Quoted in Yale Law Journal
"The jury has the right to determine both the law and the facts."
- Samuel Chase, Supreme Court Justice
"I consider trial by jury as the only anchor ever yet imagined by man, by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution."
- Thomas Jefferson