Friends and Fans — I have retired from my work as a public intellectual, so Philosophy in Action is on indefinite hiatus. Please check out the voluminous archive of free podcasts, as well as the premium audio content still available for sale. My two books — Responsibility & Luck: A Defense of Praise and Blame and Explore Atlas Shrugged — are available for purchase too. Best wishes! — Diana Brickell (Hsieh)


Juries

  • Q&A: Jury Nullification: 29 May 2014, Question 1
  • Question: Should juries nullify bad laws by refusing to convict? Imagine a criminal case of drug possession, tax evasion, or prostitution – meaning, where the law is wrong because the outlawed activity doesn't violate rights. Should (or might) a juror concerned with individual rights refuse to find the defendant guilty? Does a juror exercise a rightful check on government power by refusing to convict? Or would acquitting the defendant be contrary to the rule of law and even anarchistic? Basically, should the juror use his own mind not merely to judge the evidence, but also to judge the morality of the law?

    Tags: Crime, Ethics, Juries, Law, Rights, Rule of Law

  • Q&A: The Presence of Juries at Trials: 15 May 2014, Question 2
  • Question: Should juries be present at trials? In fictional portrayals of trials, the jury is often told to disregard certain statements. Also, interruptions in the form of objections are common. Wouldn't it be easier for the jury to be absent from the trial itself, then presented with all and only the admissible evidence and testimony afterward? In fact, the jury need not see the parties in question, nor even know their names. Wouldn't that eliminate the possibility of racial discrimination and other irrelevant judgments?

    Tags: Communication, Contracts, Crime, Epistemology, Honesty, Juries, Law, Torts

  • Interview: Stephen Bailey on Limiting Government by Constitutional Amendment: 20 Mar 2013
  • Summary: Could an amendment to the US Contitution provide an effective check on government power? Stephen Bailey, a Republican congressional candidate in 2010, has a proposal for a constitutional amendment that deserves consideration.

    Tags: Activism, Free Society, Government, Juries, Law, Politics, Rights

  • Q&A: Subpoenas in a Free Society: 22 May 2011, Question 1
  • Question: Why are subpoenas justified but not compulsory juries? In your 15 May 2011 webcast, you contrasted your position on jury duty with that of Dr. Peikoff's, saying that compulsory jury duty constituted the initiation of force. My understanding is that Ayn Rand's position was that subpoenas and the jury selection process are entirely consistent with justice, as Peikoff mentions in this podcast. Juries are selected using subpoenas. How would you reconcile being for subpoenas but against compulsory jury duty? And, does this also mean that you disagree with Ayn Rand's view of justice?

    Tags: Free Society, Juries, Justice, Law, Objectivism, Objectivism, Politics, Rights

  • Q&A: Compulsory Juries: 15 May 2011, Question 4
  • Question: Are compulsory juries moral? Is it necessary and/or proper to compel citizens to serve on a jury? If not, what is the best way to ensure the right to a trial by a jury of your peers, rather than trial by government agents? Should a free society have professional volunteer juries like the military?

    Tags: Free Society, Government, Juries, Law, Military, Objectivism, Politics, Rights, Taxes


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