Juries, not judges are foundation of judicial system

By The Madison County Record | Dec 27, 2009

To the editor:

I commend the jury for finding Samson Shelton not guilty of aggravated battery in his recent trial in St. Clair County.

Equity (fairness) takes precedence over statutes of law, opinions of judges, stare decisis, the authority of courts and the instructions given to a jury by a judge.

I have no sympathy for Shelton, but this trial was as much about equity as it was about a question of aggravated battery. It was not equitable to prosecute Shelton for battery when he is serving a 20 year prison sentence that is associated with the alleged battery.

All too often judges and courts contribute to the convictions of innocent persons by the way evidence and information are handled in denying juries the opportunity to hear pertinent evidence or information. Juries have the power to hear all evidence or information that they believe to be pertinent, not just evidence that is spoon fed to them by a judge.

Do not convict any person if you believe that a judge or court is withholding pertinent information or evidence.

Juries are the foundation of our justice systems, judges and courts are not.

Chief Judge John Baricevic should learn something from this trial.

Charles Sullivan

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