How People in 1968 Used Jury Nullification to Block Unreasonable Arrests

David Boaz:

In a series of retrospectives on 1968, NPR reports on a sort of jury nullification that took place in Long Island and created a pre-Stonewall victory for gay rights and sexual freedom. In the summers, gay men would come out from New York City and elsewhere for sunbathing, house parties, and in some cases anonymous sex in a wooded area between the towns of Cherry Grove and Fire Island Pines.

As I wrote elsewhere, we need to protect all of our rights, negative rights, that is. Our rights are not items on a menu from which you choose. You get all of them. The trick is to define an actual negative right. You don’t have a right to healthcare, for example. That’s a positive right. Don’t get hung up “negative” being a bad thing and “positive” being a good thing.

They are for every citizen, applicable in the given situation, not to privileged classes.

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