We can all think of times where breaking the law seems perfectly acceptable and even beneficial, yet according to the law you are still in the wrong and thus should be punished. I am of course referring primarily to Civil code.
Civil code is basically a long list of codified laws that have a direct cause and effect relationship if you are caught breaking them. But would it be beneficial to have something similar to Jury nullification? We all know that police choose when to enforce Civil code, but what if judges could as well?
For instance this article tells of a man using his phone as a GPS not to talk or text.
Unfortunately, this is not the original article that I read and as such fails to mention that he was in a dead stop traffic jam and seeking an alternative route. So the facts are 1) he is not moving 2) he is not talking or texting. Should the ticket stand?
I would argue against it.
Here is a link to the CVC in question
More Specifically he was cited under this subsection
But we can all think of other hypothetical situations where enforcing certain laws seem pointless. For instance, if i Jaywalk at 10 o’clock at night on main street of my hometown where the speed limit is 25 should i be ticketed? Would it matter if there were no cars in sight? I would argue that the context in which the law is being applied means everything. Another hypothetical, it is 3 AM and you are on the freeway with no other cars in sight. Should you be ticketed for going faster than 65 even though there is clearly no danger posed to anyone?
I would like to see Judges applying Civil law by what it is meant to prevent, not every minute infraction. I also believe that the burden should be on the citing officer that there was indeed a clear and present danger presented by said act, not simply that the act was prohibited.