Another case of God being above the law? Mark probably just didn't have enough cash for a 2-1/2 ton monument in the courthouse rotunda.
Answer to God, Official Tells Potential Jurors
GOLDEN, Colo. ? A county treasurer is handing out booklets to potential jurors saying they are answerable "only to God almighty" and not to the law when it comes to deliberations.
Jefferson County Treasurer Mark Paschall (search), a former state lawmaker known for his anti-abortion and pro-gun views, said the booklets are "my personal gift to the people." He said the booklets, many stamped with his name and elected title, were bought with $500 to $600 of his money and that of two political allies who work in the treasurer's office.
The 61-page booklets promote "jury nullification" (search) -- a concept promoted by conservative groups that say juries have the right to not only decide guilt or innocence, but also whether laws are just and adhere to God's law.
"You are above the law!" the booklet says. "As a juror in a trial setting, when it comes to your individual vote of innocent or guilty, you truly are answerable only to God almighty."
Said Paschall: "I want people to understand the form of government that we have and the rights and freedoms that went before. If it raises eyebrows, I think it perhaps ends up waking people up."
Some questioned whether Paschall has a right to distribute the material at a government office, and County Attorney Bill Tuthill (search) said he was looking into the issue.
"I don't think it is appropriate to pass these out in the treasurer's office in the county building," County Commissioner Pat Holloway said.
Added Cal Johnston (search), chairman of the Jefferson County Democratic Party: "What is the county treasurer doing handing out books like that?"
"He is using his office as a pulpit for his conservative opinions," Johnston said.
During last year's campaign, Paschall vowed to speak out on Second Amendment (search) issues.
"I have said from the very beginning I was not going to be like any other treasurer," he said. "I'm a passionate man, and I'm willing to stand up for the things I believe in."
While the conservative concept is relatively new, juries have always in effect practiced nullification from time to time. Juries refused to convict people who harbored runaway slaves before the Civil War, sold alcohol during Prohibition or resisted the draft during the Vietnam War.