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Sat Dec 31, 2011, 08:31 PM

Montana Jury Stages 'Mutiny' In Marijuana Case

http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/montana/article_d6b1aaca-edfc-527f-ad11-f1691fdc6e3b.html

"A funny thing happened on the way to a trial in Missoula County District Court last week.

Jurors – well, potential jurors – staged a revolt.

They took the law into their own hands, as it were, and made it clear they weren’t about to convict anybody for having a couple of buds of marijuana. Never mind that the defendant in question also faced a felony charge of criminal distribution of dangerous drugs.

...District Judge Dusty Deschamps took a quick poll as to who might agree (with one juror who questioned why the govt. was wasting time and money prosecuting the case at all.) Of the 27 potential jurors before him, maybe five raised their hands. A couple of others had already been excused because of their philosophical objections."

May this be the future in 2012 and beyond for ALL such cases in every state in the U.S. until the govt. changes this bad law.

36 replies, 3841 views

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Arrow 36 replies Author Time Post
Reply Montana Jury Stages 'Mutiny' In Marijuana Case (Original post)
RainDog Dec 2011 OP
Little Star Dec 2011 #1
RainDog Dec 2011 #3
Lionessa Jan 2012 #26
cthulu2016 Dec 2011 #2
RainDog Dec 2011 #4
socialist_n_TN Dec 2011 #6
Warren DeMontague Dec 2011 #5
RKP5637 Dec 2011 #7
RainDog Dec 2011 #13
brewens Dec 2011 #8
elleng Dec 2011 #9
RainDog Dec 2011 #10
elleng Dec 2011 #17
Warren DeMontague Dec 2011 #11
RainDog Dec 2011 #14
meow2u3 Jan 2012 #31
Vanje Dec 2011 #12
RainDog Dec 2011 #18
Upton Dec 2011 #15
RainDog Dec 2011 #16
Upton Dec 2011 #19
RainDog Dec 2011 #20
Control-Z Dec 2011 #21
RainDog Dec 2011 #22
Gregorian Jan 2012 #23
Night Ripper Jan 2012 #24
RainDog Jan 2012 #27
Initech Jan 2012 #25
RainDog Jan 2012 #28
RushIsRot Jan 2012 #29
Agony Jan 2012 #30
RainDog Jan 2012 #32
Agony Jan 2012 #35
RainDog Jan 2012 #36
tooeyeten Jan 2012 #33
RainDog Jan 2012 #34

Response to RainDog (Original post)

Sat Dec 31, 2011, 08:33 PM

1. It's about time and I don't even indulge! k&r

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Response to Little Star (Reply #1)

Sat Dec 31, 2011, 08:36 PM

3. Yeah. you don't have to be someone who uses cannabis to recognize bad law.

or to recognize when the people of this nation are far, far ahead of the politicians on an issue.

At what point, I wonder, does it become a total embarrassment for the govt to continue to uphold laws that the majority of the population rejects as unfair, illogical and racist?

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Response to Little Star (Reply #1)

Sun Jan 1, 2012, 02:53 PM

26. The article is a year old, and it hasn't happened since that I've read, so don't get all hopeful.

 

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Sat Dec 31, 2011, 08:35 PM

2. This is wrong. Those jurors had an obligation to lie and serve on the jury

If I were called in such a case I would act to make my nullification manifest, not to allow the system to opt me out for my political views. Nullification is an important right.

By pre-excluding people who will not convict the state can defend laws even when they become very unpopular.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Reply #2)

Sat Dec 31, 2011, 08:37 PM

4. if the prosectuors won't seat a jury cause they can't get a conviction

that's a great indictment of the law, to me.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Reply #2)

Sat Dec 31, 2011, 08:42 PM

6. I agree with making nullification manifest.....

That's what ALL juries need to do in marijuana cases. Even cases of sale and distribution.

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Sat Dec 31, 2011, 08:38 PM

5. good.

Time to stop wasting our time throwing pot smokers in prison.

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Sat Dec 31, 2011, 08:45 PM

7. Our drug laws are stupid, all they do is increase the black market for drugs and create

deaths and needless hostilities. Imagine if the dumb money we spend on all of our inane wars on this and that was actually spent bettering the country, rebuilding the infrastructure, more education, bringing jobs back to America. God, but US stands for United Stupidity anymore. Frankly, some days, I wonder WTF is the use of caring.


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Response to RKP5637 (Reply #7)

Sat Dec 31, 2011, 08:59 PM

13. yeah, I know what you mean

the law is bad in so many ways and so many Republican state legislators are introducing so many stupid laws...

I have long felt I have no real representation - along with a majority of the U.S. population on financial issues, in particular, and this is a financial issue as well as one of civil rights.

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Sat Dec 31, 2011, 08:45 PM

8. I'd show up dressed like a redneck from hell! Even wear a Nascar hat.

Get seated, then proceed to block conviction in every possible way.

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Sat Dec 31, 2011, 08:55 PM

9. Bad headline: Jury POOL MEMBERS truthfully informed judge they disagreed with the law.

They did their duty.

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Response to elleng (Reply #9)

Sat Dec 31, 2011, 08:57 PM

10. just posting the headline I first saw

that one actually came from huffpo but I looked for a direct link to the article... which also includes mutiny.

I kind of like the use of mutiny in this case.

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Response to RainDog (Reply #10)

Sat Dec 31, 2011, 09:15 PM

17. Gotcha; not blaming you, just explaining.

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Response to elleng (Reply #9)

Sat Dec 31, 2011, 08:58 PM

11. It's only called a "mutiny" because the control freak authoritarians among us

aren't used to people saying "honestly, you guys should worry about more important shit"

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #11)

Sat Dec 31, 2011, 09:00 PM

14. LOL. I LOVE that part of this story n/t

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #11)

Sun Jan 1, 2012, 07:14 PM

31. It's more like a real life "Mutiny on the Bounty"

The potential jury pool is playing Christian Fletcher to the government's Captain Bligh.

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Sat Dec 31, 2011, 08:58 PM

12. AWesome

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Response to Vanje (Reply #12)

Sat Dec 31, 2011, 09:18 PM

18. AGreed n/t :)

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Sat Dec 31, 2011, 09:11 PM

15. Excellent..

but the government, as represented by the two major parties, isn't going to be changing any laws. With precious few exceptions, they're all on the drug war gravy train...and pot is the big cash cow.

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Response to Upton (Reply #15)

Sat Dec 31, 2011, 09:14 PM

16. When they can't get convictions, they won't want to make the arrests

or waste the money on court costs.

The inability to make convictions will look bad for their stats.

As I said, I hope this will become a nation-wide movement - a people's protest against unjust law.

The more people know that they can make cases impossible to hear, the fewer such cases we'll see.

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Response to RainDog (Reply #16)

Sat Dec 31, 2011, 09:28 PM

19. All nice and logical..

but I don't think it applies to the WOD. Billions are wasted already. Support for MMJ and decriminalization is at an all time high..hasn't helped. As long as the feds hold sway, and neither major party has shown the slightest inclination to listen to reason on this topic, whatever happens at the local level will be extremely limited.

IOW, we're fucked..

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Response to Upton (Reply #19)

Sat Dec 31, 2011, 09:38 PM

20. the states are bringing it to the DEA

with three now petitioning to reschedule cannabis from I (no medical value) to II (medical value.)

That's a start - that's how prohibition of alcohol ended, as states chose to ignore federal law and more and more "wets" gained power over "drys" in this nation and used their voting blocs to force the issue.

If the feds don't adjust the laws, there may well come a time when the "cannabis lobby" will demand a plank on the liberal platform or else withhold support - that's the way power politics work. We're not there yet. However, when you have a majority in favor of the repeal of a law, well, at least back in the prohibition era this was true.. when democracy speaks, pols have to listen. If they don't, they lose.

It's hard to not have things happen RIGHT NOW - but the reality is that, since the advent of the information age, more and more people support the end of cannabis prohibition. the reason, imo, is that more and more information is available to overcome the propaganda put out by the "War on Drugs" supporters like the Beer and Alcohol Industry.

More studies are available for those who know how to read them. More doctors are saying publicly what they formerly only said in private consultation with their patients.

People who are honest about this issue know the U.S. cannot arrest its way out of the problem of harmful drug use - such things as heroin or crack, or win the propaganda war by arresting people for something less harmful than alcohol.

Change can come suddenly. Think of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Sat Dec 31, 2011, 09:42 PM

21. Not that it matters

but this is a year old. From the link you provided: "Posted: Sunday, December 19, 2010 5:20 pm"

Still a great story. Too bad, it appears it hasn't picked up any kind of momentum. In the year since it was originally posted I haven't heard of any similar stories. Have you?

I'd really love to see it catch on.

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Response to Control-Z (Reply #21)

Sat Dec 31, 2011, 09:45 PM

22. here's a good link

http://www.democraticunderground.com/117091

I saw this from a friend. It's a good story to welcome in the New Year, no matter what, for me.

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Sun Jan 1, 2012, 01:53 PM

23. I'll be damned! I'm a potential juror in two weeks, and I was thinking of doing the same thing

if it were a cannabis case.

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Sun Jan 1, 2012, 01:56 PM

24. too bad

 

This is what democracy gets you. If the mob gets convinced that "drugs are bad" then too bad! You wanted mob rule (democracy) and you got it.

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Response to Night Ripper (Reply #24)

Sun Jan 1, 2012, 04:22 PM

27. I see you're no longer wit us, Night Ripper

and I never even got a chance to know you.

a jury refusing to agree to a possible conviction for a cannabis arrest is mob rule? lol.

I guess that's why you're no longer with us, NR.

sleep with the fishes.

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Sun Jan 1, 2012, 01:59 PM

25. Wait - the charge was distributing dangerous drugs??

Sorry judge - there's probably far more dangerous drugs in your medicine cabinet than there is in a bag of weed.

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Response to Initech (Reply #25)

Sun Jan 1, 2012, 04:41 PM

28. bet the judge knows that's true, too

...or should, if not. hopefully judges who are involved in this issue read Young's report as the lawyer for the DEA when he noted that cannabis was less dangerous than aspirin.

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Sun Jan 1, 2012, 05:37 PM

29. I was dismissed from a drug trial jury for this very reason.

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Sun Jan 1, 2012, 05:49 PM

30. Fully Informed Jury Association

http://fija.org/

Seems pretty important for citizens to have at least considered the information presented here...

Even if you don't agree with it.

It was empowering to understand this issue when I recently was called to jury duty.... no not the DU thing.

The jury was seated before they made it to me so I did not serve on the jury.


Agony

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Response to Agony (Reply #30)

Sun Jan 1, 2012, 07:18 PM

32. I've never been seated for jury duty

though I've shown up every time. I've never even gotten to the point of voir dire. I just sit in the back and read a book and then go home.

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Response to RainDog (Reply #32)

Sun Jan 1, 2012, 08:21 PM

35. When I get to that part

I have already shot myself in the foot by asking for the secular affirmation version of the oath... the only one one who does, in all three cases, so I stick out like a sore thumb. I think next time I will just cross my fingers behind my back. I would like to serve on a jury, that seems more important anyway.

The FIJA talks about the personal decision to maybe keep this as an inner dialog and decision... if jury nullification is an option important to consider in other words.

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Response to Agony (Reply #35)

Sun Jan 1, 2012, 09:30 PM

36. lol

you can keep a clean conscience by recognizing that most Americans who take an oath on a bible don't know what's in it anyway.

I've never gotten to the point at which I would have to swear an oath. I guess I would just visualize a constitution on top of a bible b/c that's what matters for truth in democracy. iow, I've never seen the bible as an impediment for unethical behavior, most esp. among those who claim they represent it.

I guess I would never go into any trial assuming I already knew the outcome but I most certainly would have existing opinions, as does everyone else who is called to jury duty.

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Sun Jan 1, 2012, 07:53 PM

33. not unusual

that jurors won't convict, however the media is not regularly reporting this from other cities, wonder why that is?

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Response to tooeyeten (Reply #33)

Sun Jan 1, 2012, 08:07 PM

34. really? do you have some real world examples? n/t

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