From the October 2000 Idaho Observer:

South Dakota to amend Constitution in 2002

Justice Unlimited seeks return of justice to state courts

HERMOSA, SD -- Justice Unlimited, a group with a philosophical foundation inspired by The Fully Informed Jury Association, submitted 33,800 signatures to the South Dakota secretary of state July 26, 2000. The signatures were attached to a petition requesting that the state Constitution be amended in a manner that would allow justice to return to the courtroom.

“In all criminal prosecutions the accused shall have the right to defend in person and by counsel; to demand the nature and the cause of the accusation against him; to have a copy thereof; to meet the witnesses against him face to face; to have compulsory process served for obtaining witnesses in his behalf; and to a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury of the county and district in which the offense is alleged to have been committed; and to argue the merits, validity, and applicability of the law, including the sentencing laws.” (Strikethroughs denote language to be stricken, underlined words denote proposed changes to existing language).

The jury sytem was designed to preserve the right of the accused to argue the merits, validity and applicability of the law itself as a perpetual check against the passage of unjust or absurd laws. That check is no longer in place as an appearance in a modern statutory court is only to determine guilt or innocence of the alleged crime. The courts excuse themselves from hearing arguments attacking the validity or applicability of the law by stating that such is the territory of the legislature.

Unless we are able to return to the courtroom the right to argue the merits and applicability of the law, there will be no end to the passage of unjust and absurd laws. Conversely, if that right is returned, we can begin repealing the thousands of unjust and absurd laws which are choking the life out of the people of this nation.


For further information:

Justice Unlimited

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