In 2007, Marc Carpenter, a quiet, unassuming attorney, who was also a lifetime cyclist, was run over and killed on Highway 67 at the intersection of Poway Road. The motorist was never even investigated. See ya! Ta-ta!
On December 2 of this year, Ed Costa, a 30-year-old self-employed construction worker, father of two (he worked with his family at Costa Construction), was run over and killed in Alpine by a hit-and-run driver, allegedly Travis Weber. Only after family members saw the alleged offender pull into a local bar, the Liars’ Club, right across the street from the accident site two days later, during a candlelight/ prayer vigil at the accident site, did the San Diego County sheriff — whose brand-spanking-new $4 million office complex sits next door — act and arrest Mr. Weber. Weber also had been in an accident earlier on December 2, just down the road on Alpine Boulevard, and was reported to the sheriff as a drunk driver. The San Diego County sheriff knew he was likely the driver/murderer involved and chose not to arrest him. I won’t get into Weber’s criminal record, including DUIs, but suffice it to say that he had to be the primary suspect. What I heard from a DEA agent on December 13 is that the victim, Ed Costa, was “suspected” of being a drug runner, so both the DEA and the San Diego County sheriff considered his death a positive. While taken aback, that attitude did not surprise me.
I have been hit or nearly hit on my bike by offending motorists a dozen times in the last five years, and not once has an SDPD officer or San Diego County sheriff intervened or cited the offending driver. Several of these incidents have actually been witnessed by sheriff’s deputies. The response is always the same — a laugh, a wink, a nod, as if to say, “Too bad, buddy. Why the hell are you riding a bike, anyway?”
They’re too busy writing registration violations and seat belt tickets (revenue!) to bother with helping to preserve the lives of citizens.
The December 4 “Judge for Yourself” (Local Events) interview with retired judge Norbert Ehrenfreund was enriching, and he should be commended and congratulated for his comments — honest comments about the jury and the jurors’ unlimited rights and independence; accountable to no one for their verdict, for whatever reason they choose, such as voting “no conviction” against an unjust law tried against a guilty defendant is acceptable.
The Founders saw the jury as the last peaceful barrier against malicious prosecution and tyranical government, thus granting juries complete independence from a judge’s instructions (jury tampering) or any other outside influence.
Knowledge of your unlimited rights as a prospective juror should never be revealed to a judge or prosecutor during the juror-seating process or you will be removed, for prosecutors’ and all lawyers’ first allegiance is to the court bench, not the client or accused. Justice is what you can afford.
Never reject jury duty. Your one “no” vote could save an innocent individual from incarceration when tried under atrocious or stacked nonrelevant charges. Jury duty is how we protect each other from malicious government (potential liars), promotion-seeking cops, judges, and prosecutors.
To fortify Judge Ehrenfreund’s assertions, consider the following:
John Jay, first chief justice, U.S. Supreme Court: “The jury has a right to judge both the law as well as the fact in controversy.”
Samuel Chase, U.S. Supreme Court Justice, 1796: “The jury has the right to determine both the law and the facts.”
“All laws that are repugnant to the Constitution are null and void.” Marbury v. Madison (1803).
Alexander Hamilton, 1804, quoted by Joe Sax: “Jurors should acquit even against the judge’s instruction…(if) exercising their judgment with discretion and honesty they have a clear conviction that the charge of the court is wrong.” Sometimes called “jury nullification” or jury lawlessness by judges and prosecutors.
Harlan F. Stone, 12th chief justice, U.S. Supreme Court, in 1941 stated: “The law itself is on trial quite as much as the case which is to be decided.”
U.S. v. Moylan, Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals (1969): “If the jury feels that the law under which the defendant is accused is unjust, or that exigent circumstances justified the actions of the accused, or for any reason which appeals to their logic or passion, the jury has the power to acquit, and the courts must abide by that decision.”
U.S. v. Dougherty, D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals (1972): “The jury has an unreviewable and irreversible power…to acquit in disregard of the instructions on the law given by the trial judge.”
Norton v. Shelby County: “An unconstitutional act is not a law; it confers no rights; it imposes no duties; affords no protection; it creates no office; it is, in legal contemplation, as inoperative as though it had never been passed.”
Pass on to friends.
In The No-Win Zone
This letter is in regards to the lead article in the November 20 issue. First off the bat, “Welcome to Weedmart” was a pretty cheese-ball title for your article regarding the perils of obtaining medical marijuana. Obviously, obtaining marijuana is not as easy as driving down to Walmart to obtain the latest and greatest in overseas-made discount what have you.
Second, those who grow their medicine obviously do so at their peril. Not just from Johnny Law but also from those who will stop at nothing to poach your plants for their nonmedicinal use. This is why most growers not only invest in decent security systems but also sometimes have to resort to keeping loaded firearms handy.
Third, when it comes to medical marijuana, the market is such that being charged way above market prices is pretty much the norm. It is like how Big PhRMA members run their corporations — they have the meds if you have the cash.
Unlike Big PhRMA, however, there are no low-income or medically necessary discount programs when it comes to medical marijuana. If you want your medicine, it is cash on the barrelhead or go without! What you have is about the same type of deal that you get from your local street peddler, really.