Saturday, March 08, 2008

Integrity Matters

Radley Balko and Patterico have had a long-running debate about the validity of jury nullification. My own (legally ignorant) views are here. Patterico responds to Balko's argument that potential jurors should deceive courts during voir dire so that their own pro-nullification views are hidden:

Questioning designed to identify such jurors is not a “perjury trap” — it’s the only responsible way to select jurors willing to perform their duties as required by law. Those who, under oath, deliberately seek to mislead the court about their intent to nullify — these people aren’t honorable citizens.

They’re just liars — plain and simple. They’re no different from the penny-ante con artist on the street, who distorts the truth because it suits him to do so. Or perhaps the better analogy is to the cop who lies about probable cause, because he knows the perp is guilty. If you support dishonesty in support of The Greater Good, then surely you support cops who lie to put away the bad guys . . . right? Bueller? Bueller?

Is asking cops about probable cause a “perjury trap”?

The next time I read a piece by someone who openly advocates dishonesty in the pursuit of his views, I’d really have to ask myself: why should I ever trust a single thing this person says? If he would lie to a court — I’m sorry, deliberately misdirect a court — in support of his political views . . . then why wouldn’t he deliberately misdirect me?

Emphasis in original. This reminds me of a previous conversation that we've had. Integrity is more than just avoiding outright, direct falsehoods about an issue. It's about not even attempting to deceive anyone. As Jesus said:

But let your statement be, 'Yes, yes' or 'No, no'; anything beyond these is of evil.

HT: Instapundit

3 comments:

cometothewaters said...

Have you stopped beating your wife?

Yes or no?

:)

John said...

Depends.

bob said...

I've been studying proverbs lately,Being a false witness, distorting the truth/justice have come up frequently as something God detests. So I would say God wouldn't approve trying to trick ones way off a jury