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Ballot Issue 1 and what it means

As American citizens we are guaranteed certain rights. One of which is a trial by jury. But wouldn’t legislation that ties the hands of a jury on the judgment concerning the amount of compensation allowed in their verdict be a violation of these rights? Opponents to Ballot Issue 1 say that it will.

As written, Ballot Issue 1 limits the amount of financial compensation to $500,000 given to families in the event of a wrongful or neglectful death. More or less it puts a price tag on the value of a human life. In essence it protects corporations from having to give the financial compensation that is due for the death of a person.

Jerry Cox was the speaker Friday morning in Mena for The Family Council Action Committee against Issue 1.

Cox, who is a native of the Dierks/De Queen area, is on a statewide tour to raise awareness about Ballot Issue 1 for the group. The group is currently on a 30 city, 3,000 mile tour.

The Family Council Action Committee is a conservative organization based in Little Rock that operates from a Biblical perspective and they try to evaluate social, moral and economic issues through that perspective.

Cox said that in their organization’s view Ballot Issue 1 is a moral issue because it affects the ability of average citizens to obtain justice when they go to court if they’ve been injured.

“We know that the Bible has a lot to say about justice and especially justice for the poor, justice for the orphan, justice for the widow and Issue 1 unfortunately tips those scales of justice against those very people. It tips those scales in favor of the very powerful corporations and we think that is a miscarriage of justice.”

Cox said that Ballot Issue 1 will effect how lawsuits are handled in Arkansas and that it will be in favor of powerful corporate interest.

“It puts a price tag on human life because it effects the poor, the disabled, stay-at-home moms, little children-it adversely effects them if they are injured by some wreckless act by some big corporation, a hospital, a nursing home, a daycare facility, or some big company that makes cars or tires,” said Cox.

Cox continued to state, “This is a huge overreach on the part of the legislature and powerful interests really to put a price tag on innocent human life.”

While a judge in Little Rock has removed Ballot Issue 1 from the Arkansas November ballot at the moment, it was immediately appealed to the Arkansas Supreme Court and may be brought back to voters. With no guarantees on the status of Issue 1 the group continues to travel the state educating the public on what exactly they feel the issue means.

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