"I know of no method to secure the repeal of bad or obnoxious laws so effective as their stringent execution."
Ulysses S. Grant
(1822-1885) 18th US President
Inaugural Address, 4 March 1869
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Reader comments about this quote:
 -- Mike, Norwalk      
So, by this standard we're not (yet) applying the P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act stringently enough?
 -- Edward E., Portland, Oregon, US     
    Jury nullification works pretty well but too bad that 99% of juries have no knowledge of it. Most lawyers have never heard of it, just ask the next one you meet. In any trial, the defendent and the law are both to be judged. If the law is bad, the jury can vote not guilty and thus effectively nullify that law. Your chance of ever hearing a judge mention this at a trial is roughly the same as winning the lottery. Give a man a gavel and a black robe and he thinks he's God.
     -- jim k, Austin,Tx     
    I absolutely agree with this "you wanted it, you got it" approach. It would set the stage to eliminate bad law entirely by shocking the asleep electorate into action. Jury nullification may work in individual instances on a case-by-case basis, but the bad law remains in place. Better to repeal entirely, and then maybe our senators and representatives would actually read laws before they pass them.
     -- Robin, Spokane     
    Spoken like a stringent executor. If he is stringent enough, who is going to be left or foolhardy enough to bitch? Lincoln knew how to pick them. Spoken like a true hatchet man.
     -- Destry, Pago Pago     
    Robin and jim k, Thank you for getting the word out about jury nullification--one post at a time! Isn't it interesting how frequently laws that empower the citizenry are swept under the rug?
     -- Byron, Fort Collins, CO     
    this law needs to be scrubbed http://www.wsbtv.com/video/25764282/index.html
     -- Abigail, Newport     
    True to an extent. Prohibtion comes to mind. But with a strong statist government that depends less and less upon the approval of the populace, it definitely gets harder. I wonder how Grant would apply this to the Constitution and the right of the People to alter or abolish it? It would sure be nice to see stringent execution of the Constitution! The Drug War still rages despite its overwhelming failure and corruption. Habeas corpus is still suspended -- I guess Obama doesn't want the People the right to protest any more than Bush did. Think of all the bad laws being stringently executed today -- it hasn't really killed them has it?
     -- E Archer, NYC     
    E Archer--I am not aware of very many laws being stringently executed today. Seems there's always a loophole for some excuse or some group of people or anyone well connected enough. Can you give me an example? I agree our representatives get in there and don't listen to us, and that's why we shoudn't re-elect them.
     -- Robin, Spokane     
    Yes, Robin, you have a point. If the drug laws were indeed executed stringently half the populace would be criminals. The best way to repeal bad laws is for the jury to refuse to convict people of them -- that is the primary reason Prohibition was repealed. I cannot think of ANY bad laws being repealed in decades -- can you?
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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