Trump and Era of Jury Nullification, Clear Threat to the Rule of Law

The day after the conviction of Paul Manafort on 8 of 18 counts, jurors are speaking out. One juror has revealed that the convictions would have been unanimous on all counts, except for the holdout by one juror, who refused to convict on all counts. This means that this single juror prevented conviction on more than half of the counts, despite the overwhelming objective evidence of guilt.

This report demonstrates how close this case came to what I had expected, jury nullification. I fully expected there to be at least one or two Trump supporters on the jury who would just willfully stick their fingers in their ears and refuse to convict because they refused to believe the facts. As it turns out, there were more than one Trump supporters, but only one was willing to go the entire nullification route.

This episode is yet another illustration of totally disconnected from the rule of law the GOP has moved this country in just a few decades. Disconnected from fact. Disconnected from science. Disconnected from objective implementation of the rule of law. The GOP represents the impulse in human societies to allow authoritarian dictatorial powers to take control of society, and make decisions based on their whim, not on written law.

In other words, the GOP represent the absolute betrayal of the American experiment, a system rooted in a fundamental law, in which even the leaders are subject to that law. Their power is never supposed to be absolute.

This is a disturbing trend, evident in 2016 in the jury nullification that set a bunch of right wing militia nutcases free when they were tried out west. Leaders of Oregon wildlife refuge standoff are acquitted of federal charges

In a stunning loss for federal prosecutors, the leaders of a 41-day armed standoff at a national wildlife refuge in Oregon were acquitted of federal charges Thursday.

Brothers Ammon and Ryan Bundy and five others had been charged with conspiracy to prevent federal employees from doing their jobs by occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon’s sparsely populated high desert early this year.

A jury found them not guilty, setting off celebrations outside the federal courthouse in Portland. A man waved the American flag at passing traffic as someone blew a horn in celebration and a man trotted by on horseback while holding a flag.

It will not Make America Great Again if we ditch the Constitution and the Rule of Law.


Author: Ron