Fully Informed Jury Association

Are you fully informed about jury nullification?

FIJA in the News | 07 Jul 2011

FIJA Correction to Erroneous Orlando Sentinel Article


An article appeared in the Orlando Sentinel this week which erroneously states that an individual who was arrested for allegedly violating a court order is affiliated with FIJA. Newspaper staff have been contacted by telephone requesting a correction in the article, but despite repeated follow-up notices of the error, the Orlando Sentinel has (as of the time of this blog post) failed to remove the false information from the article.

An initial followup to the telephone call was sent by e-mail to the reporter responsible for the error:

——– Original Message ——–
Subject: Mark Schmidter not associated with FIJA
Date: Thu, 7 Jul 2011 08:58:30 -0600
From: Fully Informed Jury Association
To: apavuk@tribune.com

Pursuant to an earlier telephone message left with your service, I wish to reiterate the following:

It was incorrectly reported in the Orlando Sentinel that Mark Schmidter is affiliated with FIJA. Mark is not affiliated with FIJA. Anyone can order literature through the fija.org/aie653l website. Doing so does not establish an affiliation.

More than a month ago, it was also made it completely clear to Mark that he had no affiliation with FIJA, and that if he chose to hand out FIJA literature at the Orlando Courthouse, he was doing so against the wishes of FIJA, Florida FIJA supporters, and against our stated policy of NOT violating standing court orders.

Please correct your statement to the contrary, which is in the second paragraph of your news article.
Thank you for your prompt attention to correcting this erroneous reporting.

For Justice and Liberty for All,
Iloilo Marguerite Jones
Fully Informed Jury Association (FIJA)

The reporter replied as follows, failing to issue the necessary correction:

On Jul 7, 2011, at 9:41 AM, Pavuk, Amy wrote:

Dear Ms. Jones,

Thank you for emailing and calling with your concern. As the article states, we did not say Mr. Schmidter is a member of FIJA. We simply said he is affiliated, as he does distribute your fliers outside the courthouse and he was also instrumental in introducing us to Julian Heicklen.

I am going to be traveling this afternoon to cover breaking news and will not have immediate access to email. If you wish to discuss this further, please contact my editor, who is copied on this email.

Thank you,

Amy Pavuk
Orlando Sentinel

A followup was sent to the reporter and her editors, pointing out her failure to comprehend her error and requesting a correction for a third time:

——– Original Message ——–
Subject: Re: Mark Schmidter not associated with FIJA
Date: Thu, 7 Jul 2011 09:53:09 -0600
From: Fully Informed Jury Association
To: Pavuk, Amy , Guido, Michelle , Colarossi, Anthony

Dear Reporters and Editors:
The mere fact that a person hands out our literature in no way creates an affiliation with our organization. That is an erroneous assumption. Our literature can be ordered by anyone. Handing out literature does not create either an affiliation nor an association, as any competent and logical individual would understand.

Further, Julian Heicklen is not associated or affiliated with FIJA, either. He hands out FIJA literature, but he does not do so under the aegis of FIJA. While you may consider this a distinction without a difference, we have specific guidelines for our educational efforts which both of these individuals have refused to follow. Thus, they have no affiliation or association with FIJA.

Nor did I accuse you of writing that Mr. Schmidter was a member—that is a red herring of your own creation, and further brings into question the veracity of your reporting. Are these the tactics you were taught in journalism school? I doubt it.

There is a specific administrative order concerning the Orlando Courthouse complex, which FIJA is challenging through the courts, while sharing our literature everywhere else in Florida except the locations under the administrative order. Mr. Heicklein and Mr. Schmidter have independently taken it upon themselves to violate the administrative order against FIJA policy.

Again, neither of these individuals are associated with or affiliated with FIJA.

Please issue a correction. Thank you.
Iloilo M. Jones