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Freedom Friday & Function of Juries & Jury Nullification | 12 Apr 2013

-FREEDOM FRIDAY: Rich Paul Looking for Jury Nullification in New Hampshire Trial


Today’s Freedom Friday features Keene, NH marijuana activist Rich Paul, who was arrested for victimless drug-related offenses. Paul states that he was targeted because of his political associations by FBI agent Philip Christiana, who Paul says tried to blackmail him with the threat of 81 years incarceration in an effort to coerce him to spy for the government on the pro-liberty movement in New Hampshire. In Paul’s own words:

Christiana spoke with me about what he intended for me to do. He wanted me to return to the KAC wearing a hidden transmitter, and to lie about the reason for my arrest, and to determine how people reacted, and who questioned my story. This was clearly not the actual intent of the whole operation. He repeatedly told me “You are going to have to do things that you don’t want to do”. I asked him “Like what?”. He said that some of my friends would be selected, and I would be expected to lure them into felonious drug transactions with me, in order that they could be blackmailed in the same way. I told him that if I knew anybody who was making a bomb or planning violence that I would have come to him, rather than waiting for him to come to me. He did not seem to care. He veered from solicitous to aggressive, at one point suggesting that “nobody had to go to prison”, but at another saying that “somebody was going to go to prison, it was all about who”. I answered that it was not about that, it was about right and wrong.

Paul is now charged for victimless crimes related to sales of just about a pound of marijuana over the course of a few months. His trial begins Tuesday, April 16th at Cheshire County Superior Court in Keene, NH. He has refused to take a plea deal, instead opting for a jury trial. Just last year New Hampshire passed legislation specifically allowing defendants to make the case for jury nullification before their juries. Keene, New Hampshire activists also have a history of years of consistent juror education outreach in Cheshire County, especially at Cheshire County Superior Court.

More on Paul’s situation and what he experienced at the hands of the FBI can be found via CopBlock and via Free Keene.

If you would like to recommend a jury-related video for Freedom Friday, let us know in the FIJA forum or by sending an e-mail to us at aji(at)fija.org.