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Fw: New FIJA bill in Montana

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  • Jon Roland
    As the bill is worded, those arguments would have to be made in the presence of the jury. Just making sure you have thought it through, and anticipated
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 24, 2010
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      As the bill is worded, those arguments would have to be made in the
      presence of the jury. Just making sure you have thought it through, and
      anticipated opposition arguments.

      On 12/24/2010 12:13 AM, ROGER ROOTS wrote:
      > My take regarding exclusion of evidence is that trials could still
      > proceed much as they do now, with pretrial (or midtrial) hearings with
      > juries outside the courtroom on such matters as coerced confessions,
      > illegally seized evidence, etc.. Of course, there would be many fewer
      > hearings on legal questions, such as hearings on definitions of terms.


      -------- Original Message --------
      Subject: Re: New FIJA bill in Montana
      Date: Fri, 24 Dec 2010 00:03:15 -0600
      From: Jon Roland <jon.roland@...>
      Reply-To: jon.roland@...
      Organization: Constitution Society
      To: ROGER ROOTS <rogerroots@...>



      The language of the bill seems vaguely familiar. :-)

      However, I don't notice your point about excepting legal argument on
      evidence that could not be made without disclosing evidence properly
      excluded. Did you not find a good way to express that?

      It would seem it should be a constitutional amendment. Here is mine for
      the U.S. Constitution:
      *Fully informed jury*
      In all trials in which there are mixed questions of law and fact,
      including all criminal jury trials, and all jury trials in which
      government officials or agents, whether general, state, or local,
      shall be a party, parties shall have the right not to have decisions
      by the bench made before all arguments can be made before the jury,
      excepting only arguments on defense motions in /limine/ that cannot
      be made without disclosing evidence properly excluded. Jurors shall
      receive copies of all applicable constitutions, statutes, court
      precedents, and legal arguments, including those of intervenors and
      /amici curiae/, and access to an adequate law library in which they
      can do research.

      -------- Original Message --------
      Subject: New FIJA bill in Montana
      Date: Thu, 23 Dec 2010 22:46:07 -0700
      From: ROGER ROOTS <rogerroots@...>
      To: jon.roland roland <jon.roland@...>



      By the way, Jon:

      We are working on a new FIJA bill that will be introduced in the Montana
      legislature as soon as it begins (Jan. 2). This might be the best
      written bill ever. (I wrote it, along with help from a couple others).
      Let me know what you think. Also, hope all is well with you. Have a
      Merry Christmas.

      --Roger Roots


      A BILL FOR AN ACT ENTITLED: �THE FULLY INFORMED JURY ACT,� CREATING NEW
      SECTIONS AND REPEALING SECTIONS 25-7-102, 26-1-201, AND 46-16-103, MCA.



      BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:

      *NEW SECTION. Section 1. Title.* This act shall be referred to as the
      "Fully Informed Jury Act."


      NEW SECTION. Section 2. Legislative intent. The Legislature
      recognizes that the authority for trial jurors to judge the law as
      well as the facts provides protection for freedom and is consistent
      with the historic intent for the right to jury trial, and that
      jurors may not be prevented from, punished for, or excluded for
      knowing about or exercising this historic prerogative.
      NEW SECTION. Section 3. Jury�s right to Nullify. In all jury
      trials, the parties shall have the right to argue to the jurors that
      a law is unconstitutional, unconstitutional as applied, or should be
      nullified for any other reason. Upon request by any party, the
      court in any jury trial shall inform the jurors that the jurors may
      judge both the facts and the law in the case. Any denial of such an
      instruction is reversible error.


      NEW SECTION. Section 4. Jury�s absolute right to acquit in good
      conscience. In all criminal jury trials, the court shall inform the
      jurors that the jurors may vote their conscience to acquit an
      accused in spite of technical guilt. Any denial of such an
      instruction is reversible error.

      *NEW SECTION. Section 5. **Jurors� Right of Access to Legal Materials.*
      In all jury trials, jurors may not be prevented from having access to
      the State and Federal Constitutions and any statute books a juror might
      request. Any obstruction of this section is reversible error.

      *NEW SECTION. Section 6. Jury�s Right to Be Informed of Sentencing.*
      Juries in all criminal trials shall be informed of the relevant
      sentences or sentencing ranges that will be applied if an accused is
      convicted. Juries may, if they choose, offer sentencing recommendations
      within these ranges if they render any verdicts of guilty. Any
      obstruction of this section is reversible error.

      *Section 7.* Section 25-7-102, MCA, is repealed

      *Section 8*. Section 26-1-201, MCA, is repealed.

      *Section 9.* Section 46-16-103, MCA, is repealed.

      *Section 10.* Codification instruction. These amendments are intended to
      be codified as an integral part of Title 25, chapter 7, part 1.







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