Paul Grad for Oregon Governor: Abolishing Jury Duty Slavery

As the Libertarian Nominee for Governor of Oregon, I will, if elected, seek to abolish the heinous Crime of Jury Duty Slavery.paul 19

If there is one evil that Libertarians stand squarely against, it is involuntary servitude, or slavery. Slavery might be defined as forcing a person to work for no wages, or forcing a person to work for a wage which they would not accept under the Free Market.

Compulsory Jury Service differs very little from Conscription. Liberals have long been vocal against the draft or slavery, but they seem to be completely silent when it comes to the Crime of Jury Slavery. They’re quite vocal when it concerns the minimum wage, but are silent as the grave when it comes to the injustice of dragooning Free Citizens into working an entire day for $10 (the Oregon State compensation rate for the first two days of jury duty, which increases to $25/day after that. Mileage compensation is an inadequate 20 cents/mile.)

It should be clear that there is little difference between compulsory Jury Duty and Slavery. The Individual is forced to perform tasks on the State’s behalf and at the State’s bidding, at slave wages. If he refuses to comply with his enslavement, he can be fined $750. In some trials, he can be locked away for weeks and forbidden to read newspapers. This is obviously prison and slavery for non-criminals, something forbidden by the Thirteenth Amendment. Yet this vile Crime has continued unabated in Oregon for decades, with Republican and Democrat Governors completely ignoring it. It shall be ignored no longer under my Administration.

But some might object that Jury Duty is a very important civic function, and insures that defendants will receive a fair trial before a jury of their peers, instead of trials and verdicts being conducted and declared by judges, especially since the judge is part of the State, and could be used by the State to silence its critics.

Very true, but this objection only highlights the pressing need for jurors who will gladly serve voluntarily. Obviously, the same claims for the virtue of serving on a jury at slave wages could also be made for the judge and the district attorney, but you will note that they are not paid $10 for a day of their life. No judge or D.A. would serve for less than minimum wage, unless they were gladly volunteering their services, nor would the public expect the quality of people in those positions to be of the highest if they were dragooned and coerced into serving at slave wages.

If we wouldn’t expect judges and D.A.s to serve at slave wages, why do we expect jurors to serve at those wages? And obviously, the quality of those juries suffers greatly when we have disgruntled jurors chaffing at the way they are being exploited as slaves. How many innocents have been sent to Oregon State Prisons because the jurors were in a hurry to bring in a verdict and get home to their televisions? We’ll never know.

Obviously, if we want jurors to serve gladly and voluntarily, we should pay decent compensation.

If elected Governor of Oregon, I will mandate that jurors must be paid at least minimum wage for all hours they are forced to be confined in court or the deliberation room, except for the lunch hour when they are free to leave the court building, thus making the State of Oregon compliant with the Thirteen Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

If we paid our Oregon jurors somewhere between minimum wage and $20/hr. we would have far better juries making far better decisions.

Let’s abolish the heinous Crime of Jury Slavery in Oregon.

Paul Grad, Libertarian, for Oregon Governor.


21 thoughts on “Paul Grad for Oregon Governor: Abolishing Jury Duty Slavery

  1. If Libertarians don’t like or want Jury Duty, then you better hope you don’t end up in a court of law. Without jury duty of our peers, we can’t or won’t get a fair trial. That’s the whole point of jury duty.

    1. I never contested the value of jury duty in my post. I even pointed it out. What I object to is Involuntary Servitude, better known as slavery. Libertarians don’t believe jurors should be slaves. Maybe you think they should?

      1. So to read this comment I have to see an ad from Kraft (lunchables) and of course I had to click on it which just gave you revenue from Google. Does this count as receiving donations from large Corporations? On your next page you have an ad from IBM again another large corporation. On your post you could not go because a sponsor of an event who is not giving you money you count as a corporate bribe, but on your site LARGE corporation are directly giving you money and that is not a bribe. This does not seem to fit with your stated values.

      2. Dustin Riggs – You say that on my site Large Corporations are directly giving me money. That is completely false. I am not accepting any donations. Perhaps you’re referring to the wordpress requirement that they can place ads on ones site (occasionally they claim)as part of the deal for letting you use wordpress to publish your posts. There’s nothing I can do about that except not use wordpress, which would practically guarantee me no readers when I post a political piece. I can’t avoid that. But I have not received a penny from any corporations, and am still not accepting donations, nor will in the future. If you’re referring to another site that have ads, like facebook, there again I can do nothing about their policy of placing ads on ones page. The alternative would be my silence and absence from the campaign.

      3. Dustin Riggs – In short, when you click on those corporate ads, any revenue generated goes to wordpress, or facebook, not to me.

      1. Time for enlightenment!

        The “social contract” or political contract is a theory or model, originating during the Age of Enlightenment, that typically addresses the questions of the origin of society and the legitimacy of the authority of the state over the individual.

      2. “Social Contract” also a false concept in political philosophy, so why bring it up again? It’s a lie, and someone who is trying to convince you of a lie is a Propagandist.We already showed in the blogpost why it’s a clearly invalid, collectivist idea. If there is one Anarchist or Religious person within that territory who refuses to sign that “social contract” it’s not a valid contract, and doesn’t have to be “honored”. So please don’t keep bring up the false when we’re trying to get to the True. The Rousseau=Hobbes-Locke-Jefferson progression on the false “social contract” doesn’t have to get in the way of the True Lockean-Jeffersonian concepts of Inalienable Natural Rights inherent in All Men. That’s the truly radical notion that leads to a Free-Market society with Private Property, like was generally the rule in America before the 20th century. But Collectivists must have the notion of the “social contract” to continue their cozenage.

  2. Why not turn it around, and require the state to pay jurors what they’re worth? That would make people LIKE jury duty by providing an incentive. That would be a much stronger position.

    Jury duty is part of the responsibility of the citizen. Everybody is big on rights, but not so big on responsibilities. And juries have power–especially grand juries.

    1. Christopher Shelley – Ain’t that what I’ve been saying? Did you actually read what I wrote? By the way, there’s nothing in the Declaration about Responsibilities, only Inalienable Rights. And what do you think jurors are worth?

  3. But that’s not what you argued–you argued for abolishing jury duty. And the Declaration is not the issue here. The long Anglo-American history and tradition of juries made up of average citizens is what’s at stake. Notice all the mention of juries in the Constitution, including the Bill of Rights. As for what jurors are worth–I don’t know; $100 a day? $20 an hour? It should be reasonable.

    And do you really believe that citizens have no responsibilities to to society? To ensuring that the government can function properly and do its job of protecting its citizens?

    1. No. I didn’t argue against jury duty, or rather “compulsory jury service”. I argued against involuntary servitude when the person is paid nothing, or less than they would accept on the Free Market. Oregon pays jurors $10 for the first day. That’s wage slavery. The 13th Amendment says, “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall be duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.” Oregon is within the United States. What crime did the juror commit? None. Therefore, they cannot be dragooned into serving as slaves for the State according to the 13th Amendment. Additionally, that “society” you talk about doesn’t really exist.It’s a mental phantom. Obviously, there are only relationships between individuals, and all those billions of individual relationships every day is called society, but all I know of “society” are the people I come in contact with every day. Additionally, the Constitution does not mention “Responsibilities”, only Rights, and “Unalienable” means no man or group of men can take them away from you. Libertarians believe the only responsibility is to not aggress against the person or property of any individual.

  4. Well, that’s unfortunate, because some of your other ideas are interesting. But there’s no way I vote for a candidate who doesn’t believe in the Social Contract. It is one of the ideas the Founders believed in, and while times change and the Founders and their ideals shouldn’t be worshiped, the Social Contract is a rock-bottom principle of this republic.

    1. The Social Contract is a false concept, and one of the big flaws in Hobbes and Rousseau. Obviously, for the “Social Contract” theory to be valid, every single person within a territory would have to explicitly agree to such a contract. If there is one Anarchist in that territory who does not agree to it, it’s obviously invalid. Nor has the 14-year-old who cannot vote agreed, but he must live by the laws the voters pass. As you know, in law, for a contract to be valid, it must be signed and agreed to. Native-born Americans never sign or agree to such a contract (though the oath Naturalized Citizens take might be viewed as such a signing and agreeing). Therefore, the Social Contract theory of government is invalid. The correct approach is through Natural Law Natural Rights, which consist of inalienable Rights, as listed in the Declaration plus a few more like the Right to Contract, the Right to the Quiet Enjoyment of Ones’ Property, etc., and alienable Rights, when I willingly transfer ownership of my property to someone else. Natural Law Property Rights are the only rock-solid foundation to a government which does not violate the Inalienable Rights guaranteed in the Declaration and Bill of Rights. It is the only just approach to “Individual Justice”, and if you always have “Individeual Justice”, then and only then do you have “social justice”.I guess we agree to disagree on this very fundamental issue.

    2. Negative. Please show me this social contract. I don’t recall signing it. I don’t recall reading about it in any document, by any founder, EVER!. If you learned how to read, you would have read (red) that jurors do so voluntarily in his proposition. Wake up, slave!

      1. “If you learned how to read…” “slave.”

        Really? You’re just going to troll with backhanded insults here? I was engaged in a discussion with the candidate. Mr. Grad and I disagree, but we do so with respect. Is this your typical level of sophistication in political debate?

      2. Yes, let’s keep this civil. These problems are too serious to let anger take over and distort our judgment.

    1. Ky, it sounds like your reaction was identical to mine when I first read these arguments. The originality of this idea really belongs to Prof. Murray Rothbard, the founder of the Libertarian Party in the US, and one of the major Austrian School Economists. In “For a New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto” he discusses this issue as well as a whole list of political problems from his Libertarian perspective. Things like shouting fire in a crowded theater, jury duty, police forces, conscription and the draft, etc. You can download the book, and a lot of his other stuff free at “The Ethics of Liberty” is also a good discussion of “just” property rights. Since property rights are so important in Libertarianism, it’s very important to define who has the “just” property right in any situation, like, who gets the last seat on the life raft when two passengers reach it at exactly the same time: an old man of 80 or a young woman of twenty?

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