Tuesday, February 4, 2014

it's called "jury duty", yes and it's also our right

This link to a piece by Natasha Lennard in Salon made me do a double take. My first reaction was sympathy with the concept of non-cooperation with a grand jury investigation, but as I read on common sense overwhelmed my knee-jerk reaction. The story deals with people who refuse to cooperate with any grand jury because of anarchist principles. My synapses took me to two memories related to a time I was called for regular jury duty. I listened to a man pleading with a court officer for release from duty because he feared retaliation from the family of the accused. Furthermore, he made the case that all people of his race should be excused from juries in trials of fellow Navajos. (I name the race because it seems to leave it out would result in an assumption of the incorrect race.) One could easily make the argument that no group of people should try to be left out of trials involving one's peer group! Only those who do not understand the nature of criminal justice in America's reservation borderlands could think that all trials involving Native Americans should be handled by native laws, people, and traditions.
I told the arguments of this man to a coworker who is also a Native American. She agreed with him, but specifically stated a fear that all reasonable people should have of retaliation and, furthermore, she stated an implicit trust in law enforcement. "If they are brought before a grand jury, they must have done something"
I see this woman's argument as the polar opposite of anarchy - fascism. Both are dangerous to our freedoms. Both are stupid.
Jury duty is both a duty and a right in our democratic system. When any juror feels pressured to change his/her mind and s/he relents, that person is a moral coward. Whereas in many places in many times, freedoms have been brutally seized from the people, it is a sickening fact that Americans willingly give up our freedoms at the least hint of trouble.
The exact case that the hero of Lennard's blog refused to cooperate in was a "small, victimless explosion of an incendiary device at a Times Square army recruitment center in 2008." Oh, well, let us praise the anarchists who apply the concept of "nobody talks, everybody walks" to the terrorist threat, Natasha. In fact, the entire concept is so stupid that it reminds me of the perversions of protest that grew out of the activist '60s, the Weathermen for instance. These anarchic perversions of what is right and just do great harm to the cause of justice and freedom. They twist the simple-minded into lumping anarchists with socialists, non-violent demonstrators with molotov cocktail - throwing revolutionaries.
Ms. Lennard, are you a revolutionary or are you a CIA/FBI plant? Is Salon practicing journalism or pandering to the ignorant masses? Are we as a people still capable of analytical thought or are we programed? 

No comments:

Post a Comment