The power of III

Summum ius summa iniuria--More law, less justice

28 February 2011

Jury Nullification advocate indicted by feds; clear 1st Amendment violation

"Since 2009, Mr. Heicklen has stood there and at courthouse entrances elsewhere and handed out pamphlets encouraging jurors to ignore the law if they disagree with it, and to render verdicts based on conscience.

That concept, called jury nullification, is highly controversial, and courts are hostile to it. But federal prosecutors have now taken the unusual step of having Mr. Heicklen indicted on a charge that his distributing of such pamphlets at the courthouse entrance violates a law against jury tampering.

Mr. Heicklen was arraigned on Friday in a somewhat contentious hearing before Judge Kimba M. Wood, who entered a not-guilty plea on Mr. Heicklen’s behalf when he refused to say how he would plead. During the proceeding, Mr. Heicklen railed at the judge and the government, and called the indictment 'a tissue of lies.'"

NYT article here


This is a clear violation of the first amendment right to freedom of speech.  If a person can encourage violence and murder as long as the people he encourages have time to consider their actions, and have their right to free speech protected by court precedent, how much more so for the idea of jury nullification?  Jury nullification represents the trump card of the sovereign people against unjust laws.  There is a long history of jury nullification in Anglo-American history.  

As to Heicklen's being charged with jury tampering, that is BS because he never targeted any specific jury, only jurors in general. 

We should consider the right of jury nullification among our ninth amendment rights, and assert these rights whenever possible. 

Do not tell a judge or lawyer in voir dire before trial that you wont follow instructions. If you do, you will be dismissed:  

I was summoned for jury duty some years ago, and during voir dire, the attorney asked me whether I could obey the judge's instructions. I answered, "It all depends upon what those instructions are." Irritatingly, the judge asked me to explain myself. I explained that if I were on a jury back in the 1850s, and a person was on trial for violating the Fugitive Slave Act by assisting a runaway slave, I would vote for acquittal regardless of the judge's instructions. The reason is that slavery is unjust and any law supporting it is unjust. Needless to say, I was dismissed from jury duty.
Walter Williams, 11 July 2007

Get on the jury and plant seeds in the other jurors minds without getting overt about the idea of nullification (only when the law or prosecution is unjust, in your judgement, obviously).

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