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Function of Juries & Jury Nullification | 02 Jul 2013

-Jurors’ Reactions to Tim O’Shea Prosecution

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Cannabis Training University / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-3.0

Cannabis Training University / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-3.0

Good news yesterday on the conclusion of the Tim O’Shea case from Terrie Best of San Diego Americans for Safe Access. Last week a jury deadlocked 9 Not Guilty, 3 Guilty in this case, and we were awaiting news of whether a retrial would be held. Terrie reports on Judge Rogers’ response to the prosecutor’s intent to refile:

Tim O’Shea Medical Marijuana Case Update – Motion to Dismiss Granted!!

He felt another trial, of course, would be burdensome to Tim O’Shea and explored the possible purposes a new trail might serve. One purpose would be for a resulting punishment in the case which did not seem appropriate to the judge. The preservation of public safety was another possible outcome and his honor did not find that applicable either. Further, Judge Rogers could not find any valuable purpose for re-trying Tim and felt Tim had not broken the spirit of the Compassionate Use Act or the Medical Marijuana Program Act.

Further, the judge reminded La Touche that her case was NOT one of 7,800 grams of medical cannabis but was, without the stalks, a mere couple hundred grams.

Judge Roger’s pointed to the fact that three quarters of the jury had voted not guilty, and he himself did not think it was a strong case for sales therefore he doubted a unanimous guilty verdict would ever be reached against Tim. Judge Roger’s granted with prejudice Mark Bluemel’s motion to dismiss in the interest of justice the people’s case against Tim O’Shea, thereby ending District Attorney and failed Mayoral candidate, Bonnie Dumanis’ torture of this kind-hearted citizen.

This is a HUGE victory in a climate where defendants are regularly punished without conviction, simply by being hounded relentlessly by overzealous prosecutors funding their career ambitions at taxpayer expense while quickly draining the hard-earned dollars of their victims.

Terrie also gives us a glimpse into the minds of the jury:

I had the privilege of speaking a full hour with another juror (I had already spoken with one directly after Thursday’s deadlock and reported on that previously in my 8th day update) who called me over the weekend. She told me the entire jury felt very sad for Tim. They did not understand why the police would exaggerate evidence and many felt angry the case was prosecuted since there was no egregious behavior, no selling to kids or blatant misuse of the CUA or MMPA.

None of the jurors had a problem with marijuana and felt it would be legalized soon and all of this would be a moot point. They were angry that eight days of their time and public employee time had been wasted prosecuting this case.

Click through here for her entire report.

Congratulations to everyone who contributed to this major accomplishment, and a BIG THANK YOU to all on the jury who maintained their Not Guilty votes until the end. This case is a shining example of why we at FIJA emphasize that a hung jury is ALWAYS a better outcome for the defendant than jurors allowing their convictions to be worn down during deliberations and eventually going along with a guilty verdict against their better judgment. Remember: there is no requirement for a jury to return a unanimous verdict either way. This case clearly demonstrates that maintaining a Not Guilty verdict and hanging the jury may in the end be just as valuable as a unanimous acquittal!

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