"Once you walk into a courtroom, you've already lost. The best way to win is to avoid it at all costs, because the justice system is anything but" Sydney Carton, Attorney. "There is no one in the criminal justice system who believes that system works well. Or if they are, they are for courts that are an embarrassment to the ideals of justice. The law of real people doesn't work" Lawrence Lessig, Harvard Law Professor.
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Manhattan, NY- An elderly activist has the right to pass out literature outside courthouses urging jurors to reach verdicts based on their consciences, even if the findings contradict the letter of the law, a federal judge ruled.
The concept of nullification allows jurors to acquit criminal defendants who are technically guilty if they believe the person does not deserve to be punished. It dates back to 17th century England and is also accepted in the U.S. Constitution.
Prosecutors believe, however, that promotion of this right to jurors constitutes a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1504, which prohibits influencing a juror by writing.
From October 2009 to May 2010, 80-year-old Julian Heicklin stood outside the federal courthouse in Manhattan with a sign that said "Jury Info," handing out pamphlets from the Fully Informed Jury Association.
The FBI indicted Heicklen for criminal jury tampering after he handed the form to an FBI agent posing as a juror.
U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood transcribed the alleged conversation while dismissing the indictment Thursday.
Court Ruling: http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/04/23/SDNY%20-%20Jury%20Nullification.pdf
Fully Informed Jury Association
Posted by mapi at 8:02 AM