In the face of many such pressing problems as suppression of drugs, ethno-centric politics, and economy control, leaders in both major political parties are systematically degrading the legal and traditional rights which protect the private citizen from misuse of civil power by the corrupt or overzealous in government.

This is being done largely to make possible the levels of regulation, surveillance, and conviction necessary to impose unwilling control upon every citizen over such social forces as popular personal activities, lucrative covert enterprise, and ethnic rivalry. Tragically, the levels of government presence and power necessary are exactly equivalent to those of a high-security prison.

Among the greatest safeguards bequeathed to us by our founders against such usurpation of civil power is the Jury Trial. Its strength is that the juror has the right, power, and responsibility to render judgement according to his own reason and conscience in the individual case being tried, not only upon the facts determining whether a law has been violated, but also upon whether the law is being justly applied, and also upon whether the law itself is just.

This means neither the court nor the state can impose upon the juror the mandate to render judgement according to its instructions. However, this fact is not generally told to jurors. Many are deliberately instructed to "stick to the admissible evidence," and remember "the law is not on trial."

In several states there are movements to make it mandatory that all jurors be informed of their right and power, under the general banner of "fully informed jury" proponents. Such a requirement would greatly help to safeguard the power of the indIvidual citizen as juror to resist the encroachment upon privacy and freedom by both deliberate seizure of power and the mindless machinations of the established bureaucratic system. However, that power is contingent upon one’s being a juror, and selection for jury duty is contingent upon voter registration. Those who would most like to be able to exercise this "power of the people" which we Americans still possess are encouraged to recognize this as another good reason for registering to vote.

We are encouraged to remember that civil freedom is not to be taken for granted, but must be won and then defended constantly. Our forbears fought a military revolution to obtain our civil freedoms, and they wrote a libertarian constitution to institute them. However, we cannot rest upon their laurels, but must seek out every opportunity to defend and exercise the rights we love.

Simple 'Siris wants to know!