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Function of Juries & Jurors Doing Justice | 11 Mar 2012

Jury Nullifies in Favor of First Amendment in Another Occupy Case


Another jury—this time in Polk County, Iowa—has nullified a state-imposed curfew that conflicted with the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. In a strange twist, the prosecutor reportedly asked the jury to nullify the First Amendment in favor of the local restriction, but the jury chose to uphold the higher law.

Jury Reaches Verdict In First Occupy Protester Case

Fallon was charged with trespassing on the Statehouse grounds. He was one of the Occupy Iowa protesters who refused to leave the grounds after authorities said they violated an 11 p.m. curfew.

Juror Aimee Mairs told KCCI’s Amanda Lewis that the decision was a matter of putting the U. S. Constitution above a state imposed curfew. She said four jurors were on board right away, but it took some time to convince the other two jurors.

Mairs said the jury decided Fallon was justified in being on the grounds for the purpose of exercising his First Amendment rights.

“We just came to the agreement that Mr. Fallon was exercising his right to peaceably assemble. He wasn’t breaking any other laws. He had a right to be on public grounds,” said Mairs.

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See our previous post on Occupy L.A.: A Case of Jury Nullification for another case in which an Occupy protester was acquitted through a jury’s exercise of the people’s veto.

We remind all our activists that we have an Occupy the Courthouse! Be a Juror! label template available for those who would like to customize our Fresh Air for Justice brochure or other literature for outreach to or by Occupy groups.