The Power Of Juries

People often talk about the supposed system of checks and balances that exists within the various levels of government in the United States. Their claim is that the judiciary keeps the legislature in check and vice versa. In reality the system of checks and balances more accurate mimics a circlejerk. If a check and balance system exists in this country it is the jury. Unfortunately too many people have fallen for the bullshit that juries must rule on the letter of the law but sometimes a jury will still recognize its power, which stems from the fact jurors cannot be punished regardless of what their ruling is, and rule against a government goon on a power trip:

Last week a West Virginia woman who stood between her dog and a state trooper intent on killing him was acquitted of obstructing an officer by a jury in Wood County. It took jurors just half an hour to acquit 23-year-old Tiffanie Hupp after they watched the video of the incident that Hupp’s husband, Ryan, shot with his cellphone.

Trooper Seth Cook came to the Hupps’ house on May 9, 2015, in response to a dispute between a neighbor and Ryan’s stepfather. There Cook encountered Buddy, a Labrador-husky mix who was chained outside the house. The dog, whom Hupp describes as “a big baby,” ran toward Cook, barking, and Cook backed up. Even though the dog had reached the end of his chain and Cook was not in any danger, he drew his pistol. “I immediately thought, ‘I don’t want him to get shot,'” Hupp, who was in the yard with her 3-year-old son, told the Charleston Gazette-Mail. The video shows her stepping in front of Cook, at which point he grabs her, throws her to the ground, picks her up, leans her against his cruiser, and handcuffs her.

Stepping in front of a homicidal cop when he’s about to get his murder fix by blasting a dog was a brave move on Tiffanie’s part. Part of me is actually surprised she got through the encounter without being shot herself.

I’m glad to see the jury acquitted her since she did nothing wrong and, in fact, saved an innocent dog’s life. It’s too bad that this officer will likely face no repercussions though. Officer Cook is obviously a dangerous man and should not be trusted with any amount of authority. He should be fired immediately less he kills a dog or kidnaps another person who was only guilty of saving an innocent life.