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Buddhist Monks and Ant Infestation

I like this story about the difficulty some Buddhist monks are having with an ant infestation. They are finding it difficult to get rid of the ants with non-violent means. I think it shows that, whoever you are, inflexibility is eventually going to you into trouble.

Posted by Alexander on March 13, 2007 | Buddhist Monks and Ant Infestation | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Jury Nullification

Patricia Tabram is in Carlisle Crown Court today charged with growing and possessing cannabis for personal use. She's 68, a grandmother, uses the drug to relieve pain and she's defending herself. She's admitted the facts but has pleaded not guilty.

She's hoping that the Jury knows that they have the power of jury nullification. (Jury Equity here in the UK). That's the ancient power of a jury to judge the law as bad rather than the defendent and bring back a 'not guilty' verdict (or a hung jury) even where it flies in the face of the evidence.

Typically, a judge won't tell the jury of this power and inisist that they only consider the facts of the case.

Furthermore, a judge will typically hold a defendent in contempt if trying to educate the jury of their power.

She just has to hope that they already know.

It doesn't seem the mainstream media is rushing to educate people either - this Sky News report doesn't mention jury nullification, even though it's clearly relevant in this case.

In the UK, where mass protest is largely ignored, voting has little impact, and complaining on the internet does squat, jury nullification is a real power that reasonable people have to reject unreasonable laws. But only if people are aware of it.

Let's hope Patricia Tabram gets lucky and gets a fully informed jury today.


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Posted by Alexander on March 05, 2007 | Jury Nullification | Comments (3) | TrackBack