Associated Press Story:
NY judge tosses out jury nullification charges
By LARRY NEUMEISTER
From that article, quoting:
NEW YORK (AP) — A federal judge threw out charges Thursday against a man who urged jurors in multiple East Coast cities from Florida to New Hampshire to sometimes disregard the law and vote their conscience.
U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood in Manhattan tossed the case against Julian Heicklen, saying the First Amendment protects speech concerning judicial proceedings as long as the speech doesn’t prevent fair and impartial justice. She noted that the essence of the First Amendment is that falsehoods are better exposed through discussion than through suppression.
Heicklen, a retired chemistry professor, was arrested and charged with a misdemeanor for repeatedly handing out pamphlets to people outside a lower Manhattan courthouse near the World Trade Center site between October 2009 and May 2010, urging a practice known in legal circles as jury nullification.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Rebecca Mermelstein had reminded Wood during oral arguments last month that Heicklin also has regularly distributed pamphlets in front of federal courthouses in Philadelphia, Boston, Tampa, Fla., Alexandria, Va., Concord, N.H., Springfield, Mass., Hartford, Conn., and Albany and White Plains in New York state. She called him a “significant threat” to the integrity of the judicial system.
Wood wrote that Heicklen did not violate the law by handing out pamphlets discussing the role of juries in society and urging jurors to follow their consciences regardless of instructions on the law. She said the law would be violated only if Heicklen tried to influence the action or decision of a juror on a specific case pending before that juror.
A letter from Julian Heicklen himself:
Hi Tyranny Fighters:
Today, I was notified by Sabrina Shroff, my federal defender stand-by counsel and by Ben Weiser, the federal court reporter for the New York Times that the jury tampering case against me in the U. S. District Court in Manhattan, NY Has been dismissed. This means that the jury has the right, actually the duty, to judge the law as well as the facts. I have not yet seen either the dismissal order nor the court opinion.
This is a great victory for the country and will keep me out of federal prison. However all the federal judges in the United States should be removed from office and tried for perjury with the intent to obstruct justice, since they all instruct the jury that it must uphold the law as they give it. This is a double lie. If the jury decides to uphold the law, it must be the law in the written statute. If the judge does not provide the jury with the written statute, the jury MUST find the defendant not guilty, because of reasonable doubt.
On Monday, April 23, 2012, I will be distributing jury nullification literature on the plaza in front of the U. S. Federal Courthouse at 500 Pearl Street, Manhattan, NY 10007, from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm. You all are invited to join me. At 1:30 pm there will be a victory luncheon for everyone who wishes to attend at their own expense at one of the best Chinese restaurants in near-by China Town. Please send me your suggestion for which restaurant you prefer.
The luncheon will to thank Sabrina Shroff and Steven Statsinger, my federal defender stand-by counsels, for their invaluable work to bring the case to a successful solution. I hope to see as many of you as possible at either the distribution or the luncheon, or both. If you plan to attend the luncheon, let me know, so that I can notify the restaurant of how many of us there will be.
One small step for a shabby old man, but a giant leap for justice and our country. On to Orlando on Tuesday, May 8, 2012.
Yours in freedom and justice—Julian
Heicklen is doing our labor, and we owe him a debt of gratitude. Vintage video:
First Amendment appropriately upheld.
Originally via Oathkeepers.org