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RE: [dvd-discuss] [OT] elcomsoft/sklyarov jury denied text of law?

IMHO, there is a major problem with a system that doesn't trust its citizens to read and understand a law but expects the citizens to obey and even pass judgment on others based upon those laws.

This reminds me of history that I've read concerning the Catholic Church and the Bible.  The lay people couldn't be trusted to read and understand it themselves; the Church believed that to avoid misinterpretation (read - not agreeing with Church doctrine), the priests would read it and explain what it meant.  Universal literacy is such a bitch; good thing the literacy rate is falling, isn't it?

-----Original Message-----
From: James S. Tyre [mailto:jstyre@jstyre.com]
Sent: Thursday, December 19, 2002 2:54 AM
To: dvd-discuss@eon.law.harvard.edu
Subject: Re: [dvd-discuss] [OT] elcomsoft/sklyarov jury denied text of

David, I agree with you; except that I'm not willing to rely on an 
ambiguous news report to conclude that the judge only answered questions.

What the story does not say is whether the jurors were given written copies 
of the jury instructions.  In federal court it is typical practice (though 
not mandatory) that the judge give the jury the instructions in writing, 
their own set to take into the deliberation room.[1]  As the jury needed to 
decide whether ElcomSoft violated DMCA, the jury instructions (whether 
given orally or in writing) necessarily would have included the precise 
language of the relevant portions of DMCA.

So, if the judge gave the jury the instructions in writing, then the judge 
in fact did what you suggest; if the judge gave the jury instructions only 
orally, then I would be troubled also.

[1] As a general rule, the more complex the case, the more likely the judge 
will give the jury a full written set of the jury instructions.  Here, the 
facts were nor complex, but the law which had to be applied to the facts is.