To the editor:
Last week, my one sleepy eye noted a letter to the editor, penned by a Simon Morse, Center Grove, (“Jury of peers the wrong, imperfect system,” June 24) who extols the virtues of having disputes settled by a panel of educated judges. This maneuver is, I guess, hailed as progress, so I must congratulate Mr. Morse as he, with one stroke of his mighty pen, struck down one of the most (if not the most) pillar of individual freedom in all of history; the 1215 Magna Carta.
And, as collateral damage of his mighty blast, he destroyed the Biblical St. Paul, who wrote in Luke 12, verse 52: “Woe unto you, lawyers for you have taken away the key to knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered.”
He did not spare the mighty bard who said: Kill ALL lawyers prior to the 1215 Runnymede/Magna Carta, the King (establishment) appointed all prosecutors and judges, and (surprise! surprise!) he lost very disputes — like 3,648 to zero.
In the American Republic (NOT a democracy), our liberties depend on elected officials, and the grand jury (to indict corrupt elected officials), but the most powerful hand is given to the petit jury to this unit (WE, the people) is given the absolute and final judgement/monitoring on all laws, to the most humble and (as expressed by Mr. Morse) the dumbest: jury nullification.
Congressional laws, presidential executive orders, bureaucratic “administrative” decrees can all be overturned, but the verdict of the petit jury cannot. Cannot this fact protect Americans from bad or corrupt laws and oppression from other citizens and thereby makes possible peaceful settlement of any dispute? This power should NEVER be given up. Over the years, many Americans have fought and died for this beacon of freedom.
Mr. Morse, seemingly, would put our liberties “lives, fortune and sacred honor” in the hands/minds of Harvard graduates who struggle with the simple “shall not be infringed” phrase in the Second Amendment, Bill of Rights, U.S. Constitution.
Let us not go “forward” to 1214 A.D., but stay with some dumb Americans, such as —
Kenneth R. DeVoe