Fully Informed Jury Association

Are you fully informed about jury nullification?

Jurors Doing Justice | 28 Jun 2011

Tom Knapp Reports on Jury Duty


Tom Knapp was recently called for jury duty. Read up on his story for handy tips on how to deliver justice as a juror even as the court attempts to stack the deck in favor of the government.

Out of the Pool

The little handbook they gave us was a bit roundabout, but did manage to work in the lie that jurors only get to judge the “facts” and that they must follow the court’s instructions with regard to matters of “law.”

That settled one matter in my mind — if they can lie to me about jurors’ power to acquit in the teeth of the law, then I can lie to them about whether or not I’ll swear to follow their instructions on the matter.

I didn’t proselytize nullification or anything. For one thing, I didn’t want to get pinched on some “contempt of court” bit. For another, I at least half-hoped to be selected for a jury on a case that might allow me to, ferinstance, set some pot-smoker free.

Certain kinds of people tend to find each other, though, and usually they do so in the smoking area. I went to lunch with a guy I’d been small-talking with, and it turned out he had nullification in mind too. He’d once been nabbed on a possession charge, and since scales were involved, they’d upped it to felony intent to distribute. He’d spent two years and several thousand dollars managing to plead it down to a misdemeanor, and was likewise hoping he could help pitch a walk to someone who’d harmed nobody else.

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