Fully Informed Jury Association

Are you fully informed about jury nullification?

Media Catalog | 06 Dec 2012

Give the Gift of Freedom this Holiday Season

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Still looking for holiday gifts? You can support FIJA’s efforts to protect everyone’s human rights while spreading the message to those on your list! All of these items can be ordered from our online Media Catalog or by clicking on the item names listed below.

Citizens Rule Book

Citizens Rule Book
The popular Citizens Rule Book makes an inexpensive stocking stuffer or other gift. It is a handy, pocket-sized booklet written to educate us about our rights and responsibilities as American citizens, including a Handbook for Jurors as Section 1. We’ve also printed up bookmarks with the FIJA message on them and tucked them inside. These can be ordered individually or in quantity, with discounts starting at quantities of 10.

 

 

 

10-Pack of Assorted Bumper Stickers

10-Pack of Assorted Bumper Stickers
Another great gift item for freedom lovers in your life! We sell our bumper stickers in packs of 10 assorted stickers, including the popular “No Victim, No Crime” design. You can give someone the entire pack, or break them up into smaller batches. Given individually, these are very affordable stocking stuffers! These are a great way to spread FIJA’s message far and wide, along with our toll-free number or URL so that people can learn more about their right and responsibility to refuse to enforce unjust laws.

 

 

 

John Adams Mugs

John Adams Mugs
For the coffee, tea, hot chocolate, or hot cider fan in your life, we have our John Adams mug. The likeness of American Founding Father John Adams appears on one side and one of his notable quotes the power of the independent juror appears on the other. The quote reads, “It is not only the juror’s right, but his duty… to find the verdict according to his own best understanding, judgment, and conscience, though in direct opposition to the direction of the court.”

 

 

 

The Lysander Spooner Reader

The Lysander Spooner Reader

The Lysander Spooner Reader– ON SALE NOW!
We are currently offering The Lysander Spooner Reader at a 25% discount off our normal price. For just $15 plus shipping, you can give someone this compilation of historic Lysander Spooner works including Spooner’s complete essay Trial by Jury, Natural Law, Vices Are Not Crimes, selections from his No Treason series of pamphlets, and other works. This paperback edition includes an inspiring introduction by George H. Smith and Benjamin Tucker’s posthumous tribute to Spooner published in the May 28, 1887 edition of Liberty.
 

 

 
2013 Freedom Calendar and Freedom Calendar Gift Packs

2013 Freedom Calendar

2013 Freedom Calendar

2013 Freedom Calendar Gift Pack

We still have limited quantities of our 2013 Freedom Calendar and Freedom Calendar Gift Packs. FIJA’s 2013 Freedom Calendar Gift Pack contains one 2013 Freedom Calendar, a copy of Harvey Wysong’s essay The Jury’s Business is Justice, a copy of the Citizens Rule Book, and an assortment of FIJA brochures. All of these goodies are packaged in a white envelope suitable for mailing to friends and family.

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Function of Juries & Jury Nullification | 03 Dec 2012

Nullification and Secession?

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In this commentary on the The Washington Times Communities website, author Tom Mullen compares three ideas for protecting individual rights: secession, state nullification, and jury nullification. Compared with secession and nullification as exercised by state governments, Mullen points out that jury nullification is the most peaceful option and that it “gives us the home court advantage.”

Nullification and Secession? Juries can nullify Obamacare and the Drug War with much less drama

There is nothing the judge, the federal marshals or even the president and his army can do if the jury acquits. It doesn’t matter how overwhelming the evidence was against the defendant. It doesn’t matter what the judge’s instructions were to the jury. Once the jury votes to acquit, the defendant walks. The jury is dismissed. The government can only do one thing. It can pound sand.

Jury nullification is the most peaceful means to settle what everyone claims are deep, political divisions within our federal republic. It doesn’t require violence. It doesn’t require civil disobedience. It only requires one thing. For Americans to start acting like Americans again and refuse to do what they believe is wrong just because some lawyer in a government costume tells them to.

Click through to read the entire article.

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Jury Nullification & Volunteer | 30 Nov 2012

FREEDOM FRIDAY: FIJA ACTIVISM IN FORT WORTH

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This week’s Freedom Friday video features Fort Worth activist Justin briefly describing FIJA outreach efforts by local activists as they hand out our Your Jury Rights: True or False brochure. If you haven’t done sidewalk work before, this is a great introduction in just a minute and a half. Justin gives some handy tips on maximizing outreach effectiveness while minimizing risk of getting hassled by government officials. He reports that in about an hour, the group he was with distributed approximately 140 FIJA pamphlets in Fort Worth, TX.

We love to feature activists doing FIJA outreach! If you have an outreach video you’d like us to share, please send us e-mail at aji@fija.org.

And remember, you can get all of our brochures at subsidized prices with additional quantity discounts either by ordering printed hard copies from our Media Catalog, or by downloading our FREE masters to print them yourself.

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Function of Juries & Jury Nullification | 29 Nov 2012

Sharon Letts: Nullify It!

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Sharon Letts of The Arcata Eye gives her readers a lesson on jury nullification this week in an article on the local cannabis industry in Humboldt County, California.

Sharon Letts: Cannabis Subsidizes Humboldt County

So, what to do when supply and demand is high, the people are healing, the state says A-OK, but the feds say no-go?

The concept of jurors judging the law, as well as the facts, is called jury nullification, and is an important part of American jurisprudence and its history.

The best example of this occurred during the time of slavery, when those who aided in escape were tried under federal law for violation of the “Fugitive Slave Act.”

But when Northern jurors opposed to the law sat in judgment of these “criminals,” they would often acquit, even when defendants admitted guilt. Legal historians credit these cases with advancing the cause of abolition of slavery.

Click through for the entire article.

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Jury Nullification | 27 Nov 2012

Letter to the Editor: How the Public Can Protest Our Insane Policy on Pot

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The people of numerous states have voted to legalize medical marijuana in their communities, and two more have voted to legalize it for other uses as well. Other communities have voted to make enforcement of victimless marijuana violations the lowest law enforcement priority in their areas. But Richard B. Stofberg of Baltimore, MD reminds us in this letter to the editor to The Baltimore Sun that we ALL already have the power to protect our neighbors from being harmed for their peaceful, victimless activities.

How the public can protest our insane policy on pot

Not only does the government waste precious resources arresting, prosecuting and incarcerating those involved with marijuana, it ruins the lives of millions of our fellow citizens by making them criminals.

Since politicians are always the last to change course due to their fear of being labeled “soft on drugs,” the public can do something right now through the process known as jury nullification: If called to serve on a jury, simply refuse to convict anyone charged with marijuana possession

Click through for the entire letter.

Many thanks to Mr. Stofberg for getting the word out about the full authority of jurors!

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Function of Juries | 26 Nov 2012

U.S. Attorney Seeks Forfeiture of Assets from Defendants Acquitted by Jury

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Many thanks to Eapen Thampy, from Americans for Forfeiture Reform, who alerted us to this news item.

Federal Ambulance Asset Forfeiture?

In Abingdon, Virginia, U.S. District Attorney Janine Myatt is seeking the forfeiture of ambulances and other squad vehicles from a volunteer rescue services organization:

A federal judge is considering whether the Saltville Rescue Squad has to give up cash and property to cover the cost of a health-care fraud scheme, even though a jury has exonerated the volunteer group of the crime…

Louthian’s defense attorney, Michael Khouri, pointed out that most of the targeted assets belong to the squad.

“The forfeiture issues are the squad’s problem and not Mr. Louthian’s,” he told the judge while reading the prosecution’s list.

Neither the squad nor its lawyers appeared at Monday’s hearing because they have not been considered a party to the case ever since they were acquitted at the September trial.

Yet, a motion filed Sunday shows that prosecutors are eyeing $330,616 from the squad’s bank account, three ambulances, several trucks and emergency equipment.

Thampy comments on this attempt to circumvent the jury’s verdict: “This action by the US Attorney implies that no corporate asset is safe from forfeiture even in the event of a jury acquittal. It also implies that the US Attorney has a theory of justice that is far more expansive than that of judge (who might set a criminal sentence including restitution from Mr. Louthain) or a jury (which found the Saltville Rescue Squad corporation innocent of the fraud).” As Thampy points out, “it’s probably hard for the US Attorney to be impartial here: the proceeds from the bank account and fleet of vehicles will be disbursed to the US Attorney’s Asset Forfeiture Fund.”

This conflict of interest is one of the reasons why independent juries are built into our justice system. Government officials stand to profit from rulings against defendants in many ways, from continuing to ensure an artificial “demand” for their employment to being rewarded financially through confiscation of property under the auspices of asset forfeiture. Standing to gain personally from favoring negative rulings against defendants is a clear conflict of interest which biases and corrupts the legal process.

The independent jury exists to help protect defendants from such bias and corruption. Independent jurors do not stand to profit from their service based on the outcome. They are paid very little, often barely enough to cover their parking and lunch on a day of service, and their compensation is the same regardless of which side prevails. Because their service lasts only the length of a case, recurring at most just a few times in their lives, jurors’ livelihoods do not depend on a steady flow of defendants through the court system or confiscation of their property.

The US Attorney’s pursuit of asset forfeiture- a process which takes place without impartial review by a jury -against defendants who have been found not guilty by an independent jury is an act that thwarts our system of justice and corrupts the process of law.

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Freedom Friday & Jurors Doing Justice & Jury Nullification | 23 Nov 2012

FREEDOM FRIDAY: TRIALS THAT MADE JURY HISTORY

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In this week’s Freedom Friday video, Jerry Dixon gives a Toastmasters talk on “Trials That Made Jury History”. Many FIJA Activists who are interested in practicing or improving their public speaking skills use Toastmasters both as a forum in which to practice and to spread the FIJA message as well!


Please take a moment today to post this to your social networks and e-mail it to your friends and family. 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.

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Media Catalog | 22 Nov 2012

Now Available: Freedom Calendars and Calendar Gift Packs

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You can support FIJA’s educational efforts while informing family and friends this holiday season by giving the gift of a 2013 Freedom Calendar or our special Freedom Calendar Gift Pack.

2013 Freedom Calendar Gift Pack

FIJA’s 2013 Freedom Calendar Gift Pack contains one 2013 Freedom Calendar, a copy of Harvey Wysong’s essay The Jury’s Business is Justice, a copy of the Citizens Rule Book, and an assortment of FIJA brochures. All of these goodies are packaged in a white envelope suitable for mailing to friends and family. This makes a great gift for anyone!

Our Freedom Calendar Gift Packs sell for $20 plus shipping and individual calendars alone are just $10 each plus shipping. They can be ordered from our online Media Catalog. Limited quantities are available, so order soon!

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Jury Nullification | 20 Nov 2012

State by State, a Nullification Domino Effect

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State by State, a Nullification Domino Effect

The first indicator that some of the dominos were going to fall happened during the 1990s, when people began buying and selling marijuana for medicinal use. Starting with California in 1996, a number of states even partially decriminalized the banned plant when they realized that containment would be ineffective. Over the course of the next decade eighteen states and the District of Columbia passed legislation that meant medical marijuana users would be left alone. That is to say the state governments wouldn’t harass users, but the Feds kept up the pressure, and continued with their futile attempt to control that sector of the economy.

And then the people of two states, Colorado and Washington, decided to up the ante. Earlier this month they passed legislation that would allow pot smokers to freely use marijuana without the threat of kidnapping and prosecution from state bureaucrats. Almost overnight prosecutors in Colorado and Washington began dropping cases that solely involved possession charges.

Now, all of this is to be celebrated, for sure. But the really good news is just around the corner. Already legislators in four states, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont, have indicated they will present similar legislation in the coming session to follow Colorado and Washington. It was two years before another state joined California, and four years before six states had partially decriminalized marijuana.

Said Robert Capecchi, who works with the Marijuana Policy Project, “With these thoughtful legislators in at least four states planning on introducing sensible proposals to remove criminal penalties and regulate marijuana… it’s clear that ending marijuana prohibition is gaining momentum.” Truly, the dominoes are falling.

Click through for the entire article.

Just as jury nullification was one of the elements in reversing Prohibition, each juror who refuses to convict a defendant accused of a victimless marijuana-related crime is not only protecting the defendant, but is also contributing to cultural change in which government punishing people for harmless activity is less and less tenable. As it becomes less effective to try these victimless cases before juries, prosecutors have less incentive to bring the cases to trial in the first place, law enforcement officials have less incentive to harass people on these charges, and legislators have less incentive to try and maintain and expand these laws against peaceful activity.

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FIJActivist & Volunteer | 16 Nov 2012

Faces of FIJA Needed!

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We are working on the next edition of our newsletter, The American Juror. In this edition, we will be featuring “Faces of FIJA”, and we are asking for your participation.

FIJA invites all of our state contacts, speakers, and activists, to submit photos of themselves along with their names and locations. We hope you will participate! Simply e-mail us a good quality digital head shot photo of yourself which we can print in the newsletter. It should be approximately 2 inches by 3 inches. Color is preferred, but black and white is fine.

We’d also like to know about FIJA activities in which you have been involved. Please send us a few sentences letting us know of any presentations, literature distribution, interviews, and anything else you’ve been involved with at any time up to now.

The due date is 1 December 2012. Simply attach your photo to an e-mail and send it along with your activities to aji@fija.org for inclusion in the newsletter.

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Freedom Friday & Jury Nullification | 16 Nov 2012

FREEDOM FRIDAY: ED FORCHION ON BLACK TALK RADIO

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Earlier this year, Ed Forchion was interviewed on Black Talk Radio regarding jury nullification and the importance of fully informed jurors in opposing racist laws and prosecutions. He provides information that potential jurors need to know to make it through voir dire, such as that disclosing a distrust of law enforcement, disagreement with the laws, and so on during voir dire will almost certainly assure an individual friendly to the defendant will be eliminated from the jury. Remember, your best shot at ensuring a fair trial and a just verdict is to get on the jury!

Please take a moment today to post this to your social networks and e-mail it to your friends and family. 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.

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Interviews | 09 Nov 2012

FIJA Director Iloilo Jones Live Interview Saturday Morning

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FIJA director Ilo Jones will be doing a live interview with Michael Evans tomorrow morning, Saturday, November 10 from 6-8 AM Mountain Time. She will be discussing how independent jurors can stop the march of tyranny by refusing to convict harmless people who have merely broken some statutory law that was passed by corrupt politicians, administered by greedy bureaucrats, and enforced by agents paid by government. She will discuss the conflict of interest in judges imposing fines and jail time on behalf of their employers, and the conflict of interest of law enforcement employees who collect commissions for their “asset confiscation” efforts.

Live streaming listening is available at http://americasvoicenow.org/. Listen in!

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Jury Nullification & Volunteer | 09 Nov 2012

U.S. Juries Can Ignore Unjust Laws

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Many thanks to Nathan Sween for getting the word out about jury nullification in Merced, California with his letter to the editor published in the Merced Sun-Star this week!

LETTERS: Sometimes U.S. juries can ignore unjust laws

Jury nullification embodies several principles that are crucial to the success of our constitutional republic, including checks and balances, separation of powers, and the social contract.

More importantly, it takes these philosophical ideas and puts them into action at the grass-roots level. In a nutshell, jury nullification is the right of jurors to judge the law as well as the defendant.

In other words, the jury can acquit a defendant who is technically guilty of violating a law if they consider the law itself to be unfair or unjust. Perhaps the most well-known examples of jury nullification occurred before the abolition of slavery with the acquittal of individuals who had violated the federal fugitive slave laws.

Unfortunately, this is not taught so much in elementary schools, high school government classes, or even college political science courses. In fact, most judges today instruct jurors to reach a decision under the assumption that the law is always right. We know this isn’t true.

Fulfill your civic duty. Learn about jury nullification. Be a well-informed juror.

NATHAN SWEEM

A letter to the editor is a simple way to get the word out in your community without spending any money. You can write in to discuss the relevance of nullification to a local issue of interest to you; to point out its relationship to a particular day such as Jury Rights Day (5 September), Bill of Rights Day (15 December), Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (third Monday in January), etc.; or as a general comment anytime. You can check our online Library for quotes and other material to use in a letter to the editor.

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Function of Juries & Jury Nullification & Volunteer | 09 Nov 2012

FREEDOM FRIDAY: COOK COUNTY COURTHOUSE OUTREACH

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In this week’s Freedom Friday video, activists Mike Kalas and Dreadsen discuss their outreach efforts near the Cook County Courthouse in Chicago, IL. They explain the basics of jury nullification and its importance in protecting defendants from punishment under unjust or unjustly applied laws. Thanks to everyone who helped educate the residents of Cook County!

Please take a moment today to post this to your social networks and e-mail it to your friends and family. 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.

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Jury Nullification | 06 Nov 2012

End the War

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Thank you very much to Floyd Everett Harshman for the following letter to the editor published in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner and to Alaska state contact Frank Turney for letting us know about it:

End the war

To the editor:

If you are tired of the war on marijuana, the war on drugs and the waste of lives and taxpayers’ dollars, you have the power to stop it. Our Founding Fathers knew our government would make mistakes and eventually become self-serving. This is why they gave us grand juries and juries; to protect ourselves. Our government cannot bring us to trial without the OK of our fellow citizens: grand juries. Our government cannot punish us for not following their arbitrary and unjust laws without the OK of our fellow citizens: trial by jury.

Jury nullification can best be described as a constitutional doctrine that allows juries to acquit defendants who are technically guilty, but who do not deserve punishment. When a jury disregards the evidence and follows its own conscience, acquitting an otherwise guilty defendant, it has practiced jury nullification. The jury is saying that the law is unfair, either generally or in this particular case.

Jury nullification is perfectly legal and has a long history — indeed, the framers of the Constitution intended its use to protect us from bad laws, tyranny and governmental oppression. Having themselves suffered under unfair and oppressive laws, they wished for us, their children, to retain our liberty and freedom from governmental interference. Thanks to our forefathers’ forethought and our Constitution, when it comes to acquittals, jurors have the last word. There is nothing that our government or their judges can do to prevent jurors from nullifying bad laws.

The idea that jurors should judge the law, as well as the facts, is a proud part of America’s history. The concept that jurors decide justice became an important part of American jurisprudence.

It is time that we, the people, remember this and use jury nullification to end the unjust and costly war on drugs.

Floyd Everett Harshman

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