Archive for November 25th, 2022

Most people I know try to avoid serving on a jury, but I might enjoy the experience if I had the opportunity to engage in “jury nullification.”

For those not familiar, jury nullification occurs when jurors decide that a defendant is “not guilty” simply because they don’t agree with the underlying law.

In my case, I would never vote to convict someone charged with victimless crimes such as drug possession, gun ownership, or prostitution.

Or the supposed crime of using common sense when raising a child.

That’s apparently now a criminal offense in Waco, TX, as documented by Lenore Skenazy for Reason.

Heather Wallace’s oldest son, 8-year-old Aiden, was driving his two brothers crazy in the car as they all returned from karate one afternoon in October 2021. Wallace asked Aiden to walk the rest of the way home—half a mile in quiet, suburban Waco, Texas—so that he could calm down. For this she was arrested, handcuffed, and thrown in jail. She was charged with endangering a child, a felony carrying a mandatory minimum of two years in prison. …She is finally able to speak out after completing a six-month pretrial diversion program to get the charges dropped. But her arrest remains on the books—easily searchable by employers—which is disastrous for someone with a Bachelor’s degree in education. …A woman one block away had called the cops to report a boy walking outside alone. That lady had actually asked Aiden where he lived, verified that it was just down the street, and proceeded to call nonetheless. …Child services had the family agree to a safety plan, which meant Wallace and her husband could not be alone with their kids for even a second. Their mothers—the children’s grandmothers—had to visit and trade off overnight stays in order to guarantee the parents were constantly supervised. …if she went to trial and lost, she faced a minimum of two years behind bars and a maximum of 20. So she took the plea deal.

As you can see from the above excerpts, in this case there was no chance for a jury to engage in nullification.

The possibility of being locked up for a minimum of two years led the mother to cut a deal.

I can understand her choice, but if there’s another episode like this in the future and a parent resists a plea deal, I would very much hope that a Waco jury would do the right thing and immediately come back with a not-guilty verdict.

I’ll close by inviting readers to choose the worst person from this incident.

  • Was it the Karen who called the cops in the first place?
  • Was it the cop who arrested the mother?
  • Was it the local prosecutor who did not immediately drop charges?

All three deserve to be tarred and feathered. Figuratively speaking, of course.

Events like this remind me that every decent human being should be a libertarian.

P.S. On a related issue, civil disobedience against unjust laws also should be applauded.

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