Fully Informed Jury Association

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Jury Nullification | 26 Jul 2011

Perry’s “Free Speech” Zones Unconstitutional


Judge Belvin Perry’s Free Speech Zones Unconstitutional (YouTube video)

Man Found Guilty Of Violating Anthony Free Speech Zones

An Orange County man who believes jurors can ignore laws they disagree with was sentenced to jail time for his efforts to spread the word about his beliefs.

Judge Belvin Perry found Mark Schmidter guilty of contempt of court charges.

Man who distributed fliers during Casey Anthony trial is sentenced

Roofing contractor Mark Schmidter learned the hard way Tuesday what can happen when you defy the administrative orders of Orange-Osceola Chief Judge Belvin Perry.

Following a trial Tuesday, Perry found Schmidter guilty of “indirect criminal contempt” for violating two such orders. One deals with handing out pamphlets outside the courthouse aimed at influencing jurors. The other prohibits First Amendment activities outside specially designated “free-speech zones.”

Perry sentenced Schmidter, 64, to roughly five months in the Orange County Jail — 141 days for violating his first order, regarding jury pamphlets, and 151 days for his second order, regarding free-speech zones. The sentences are concurrent. Perry also handed him a $250 fine for each violation.

Unfortunately, Schmidter was sentenced to 5 months in jail out of a maximum possible 6 months.

We encourage everyone to obey the unconstitutional orders as long as they are in force, to challenge them through appropriate channels, and to share FIJA’s message with everyone in Orlando and the rest of Florida except for Perry’s tiny turf.