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tp.jpg“A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right” –  Thomas Paine 

Headline: March 9.2008 –

 The Wire’s War On The Drug War – HBO’s “The Wire” has amassed a serious audience during its’ five year run and now its’ writers have taken a serious stance on the show’s main subject – our modern prohibition, the ” War on Drugs” – A statement from five of the show’s writers:

“No longer can we collaborate with a government that uses nonviolent drug offenses to fill prisons with its poorest, most damaged and most desperate citizens.” 

The effect of the drug war on inner-city neighborhoods and community; racial disparities in America’s huge prison population; the corrupting effect on law enforcement and politicians –  topics that provided themes for the drama and compelling reasons for the show’s writers to take an extraordinary action – and they hope you do, too!

“If asked to serve on a jury deliberating a violation of state or federal drug laws, we will vote to acquit, regardless of the evidence presented.  Save for a prosecution in which acts of violence or intended violence are alleged, we will — to borrow Justice Harry Blackmun’s manifesto against the death penalty — no longer tinker with the machinery of the drug war.”

The writers go on to talk about jury nullification – more on that below. For now, a video re-cap of “The Wire“s first season:The Wire Season 1 Recap

Column: A ‘Wire’ War vs. the Drug War – Chicago Tribune columnist Clarence Page has written about the creators of “The Wire” and their efforts to jolt Americans out of complacency regarding our modern prohibition. As the show was set in Baltimore, Mr. Page refers to its’ former Mayor Kurt Schmoke and his belief in decriminalization and treatment as preferable to the “lock-em-up” approach. 

In this video from the Drug Truth Network, Mayor Schmoke presents his views, along with Judge Arthur Burnett, director of the National African American Drug Policy Coalition and Howard Wooldridge of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition:DTN and LEAP Report: NAADPC Conference

The creators of “The Wire” are giving something back to the communities they portrayed, reminding Americans that they have a duty to actively assert their rights as enumerated in our Constitution and to assert the rights of others when obvious injustice is perpetrated against them. Our “Founding Fathers” regarded a sitting jury to be our “Fourth Branch of Government” – that could judge how laws are implemented and even judge the law itself. Groups like the Fully Informed Jury Association have endeavored to educate the public on their rights and duties as jurors – information that has been suppressed in modern American courtrooms.

path.jpgWhy do we love this trial by jury?  Because it prevents the hand of oppression from cutting you off…This gives me comfort–that as long as I have existence, my neighbors will protect me.
Patrick Henry

In this video, “Power to the Jury”, from At Issue,  a TV show hosted a few years ago by Rep. Ron Paul (currently running for President of the U.S.), the historical roots of jury nullification are outlined – “our last defence against tyranny”:Ron Paul presents “Power to the Jury” At Issue (NEFL) – Part 1 of 3

I consider trial by jury as the only anchor ever yet imagined by man by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution.
Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to Thomas Paine, 1789


One Comment

  1. thats for sure, man

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