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Function of Juries & Jury Nullification | 15 Apr 2013

-Jury Nullification Sought by Marijuana Activist


RichPaulMore on the Rich Paul trial, which takes place tomorrow:

Activist Facing 81 Years Admits to Selling Pot, Seeks Jury Nullification

Rich Paul, the founder of the New Hampshire based 4:20 Foundation, is facing four felony charges for selling marijuana.

The trial is set to start on April 16th, 2013 at Cheshire Superior Court in Keene, NH. Paul has admitted to the selling the pot and is going to be seeking jury nullification; the common-law right of juries to acquit a guilty defendant when the law is unjust or misapplied. Add the Federal Bureau of Investigation to the mix and the story gets much more interesting.

On May 31st, 2012 Paul was arrested in Keene, NH by Keene Police. When he arrived at the Keene Police Department he was interviewed by Federal Bureau of Investigation Agent Phillip Christiana, assigned to the joint terrorism task force out of the Manchester, New Hampshire office. Agent Christiana alleged that an informant had made multiple purchases of controlled substances from Paul and indicated that the maximum sentence he would face was 81 years in prison.

Agent Christiana then offered to make the charges against Rich “go away”. If Rich would agree to wear a wire into the Keene Activist Center, surreptitiously record the other activists, and persuade them to sell drugs to Paul, the charges would disappear.Rich doesn’t recall being asked if anybody at the KAC even sold illegal drugs.

Rich Paul took a heroic stand, rejecting the offer and instead informing his fellow activists of the Agent Christiana’s request. Rather than fleeing the State or the Country, Paul has elected to fight the charges in his own way.

Click through for the entire article.

One correction to the article: Jurors in New Hampshire have always had the legal rights to judge the law as well as the facts in a case at hand and to refuse to enforce unjust or unjustly applied laws. The law passed in New Hampshire in 2012 with regard to jury nullification did not, therefore, legalize jury nullification as incorrectly stated in the article. What New Hampshire HB 146 did was to “perpetuate and reiterate the rights of the jury” by requiring that “In all criminal proceedings the court shall permit the defense to inform the jury of its right to judge the facts and the application of the law in relation to the facts in controversy.” In other words, the change made by the New Hampshire law was to require that the defense be allowed to inform the jury of the rights it already had to judge the law as well as the facts of the case and to refuse to convict if justice requires it even though a law may have technically been broken.