Fully Informed Jury Association

Are you fully informed about jury nullification?

FIJA in the News & Jurors Doing Justice & Jury Nullification | 18 Sep 2012

New Hampshire Jury Nullifies Felony Marijuana Case

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It’s interesting how widely ignored last week’s New Hampshire jury nullification has been in the mainstream media so far. However, we have found several more mentions of it in various news sources on the web. We will continue to post links to coverage of this case as we come across them.

New Hampshire Jury Nullifies its First Felony Marijuana Case, PR Web
EXCLUSIVE: Juror in Cannabis Nullification Case Speaks Out!, Free Keene
Jury Nullifies Felony in Cannabis Grower’s Trial!, Free Keene
Doug Darrell Acquitted Of Marijuana Charges Through Jury Nullification In New Hampshire, The Huffington Post
New Hampshire Jury Nullifies Felony Marijuana Case, Opposing Views
Should Religious or Medicinal Marijuana Users Be Prosecuted?, Bedford Patch
Jury Nullifies Evidence Against Barnstead Pot Grower, The Laconia Daily Sun

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Jurors Doing Justice & Jury Nullification | 14 Sep 2012

New Hampshire Jury Acquits Pot-Growing Rastafarian

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Jacob Sullum of Reason.com reports on a notable case of jury nullification yesterday in New Hampshire:

New Hampshire Jury Acquits Pot-Growing Rastafarian

A jury unanimously acquitted Doug Darrell, a 59-year-old Rastafarian charged with marijuana cultivation, after his lawyer, Mark Sisti, argued that a conviction would be unjust in light of the fact that Darrell was growing cannabis for his own religious and medicinal use. More remarkably, Judge James O’Neill instructed the jury that “even if you find that the State has proven each and every element of the offense charged beyond a reasonable doubt, you may still find the defendant not guilty if you have a conscientious feeling that a not guilty verdict would be a fair result in this case.”

That is New Hampshire’s model jury instruction on the nullification issue, but each judge has discretion whether to give it.

The jury, which deliberated for six hours on Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning, twice asked to hear the instruction again. Sisti, who has been practicing law for 33 years, says this is the first time he has persuaded a judge to tell jurors they have the power to vote their consciences. He hopes the new law will make such instructions more common, if not standard.

Defendant Doug Darrell’s case involved no victim. In spite of being offered a way out with no jail time or fine, he insisted on taking his case before a jury, even at the risk of significant time in prison:

The Belknap County Attorney’s Office, evidently eager to get rid of a case that involved just 15 plants and no distribution, offered Darrell a series of increasingly lenient plea deals, culminating in an offer that entailed a misdemeanor guilty plea with no jail time or fine. Darrell turned all the offers down, Sisti said, because “he didn’t think he was guilty of anything; it’s a sacrament in his religion.” Instead he went to trial on a charge of manufacturing a controlled drug, a Class B felony that carries a penalty of three and a half to seven years in prison. Darrell’s first trial ended in a mistrial last November due to prosecutorial error. His second trial ended in yesterday’s acquittal.

Click through for the entire article.

We applaud and thank both Mr. Darrell for his courage in insisting on a jury trial rather than taking a plea deal and his jurors for returning a just verdict in this case.

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Jury Rights Day | 12 Sep 2012

Food Freedom USA Celebrates Jury Rights Day

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Food Freedom USA featured an extensive article on Jury Rights Day on its website, including a variety of quotes and videos. The organization also featured on its home page FIJA’s Jury Rights Day web banner and a link back to our site.

9-5 Jury Rights Day

Today is Jury Rights Day in America, educate a friend about their rights and how to invoke those powers.

Click through for the entire article.

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Volunteer | 07 Sep 2012

Call for Volunteers for Constitution Day (12 Sept) in Birmingham, AL

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Are you in or near Birmingham, Alabama? FIJA is looking for volunteers to share FIJA literature on the University of Alabama at Birmingham campus on Wednesday, 12 September for Constitution Day. If you would like to volunteer that day, please e-mail us at aji@fija.org or give us a call in the office at (406) 442-7800.

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FIJA Calendar & Jury Nullification | 06 Sep 2012

A Fully Informed Jury – What the Judge Doesn’t Tell You

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The Libertarian Party of West Michigan presents
A Fully Informed Jury – What the Judge Doesn’t Tell You

September 11, 2012
7 – 9:30 PM

Grand Valley State University
Eberhard Conference Center 2nd floor
301 Fulton St W
Grand Rapids, MI

Attendees of this event can park for free at GVSU lot # 15, just south of the Eberhard Center Grand Valley State University Pew Campus. Anyone with a disability who needs a special accommodation to attend this program must contact Andrew Hall at 616-443-2409 at least 72 hours in advance of this event.

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Interviews & Jury Rights Day | 06 Sep 2012

FIJA on HempRock Radio Today Celebrating Jury Rights Day

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HempRock Radio will celebrate Jury Rights Day today! Kirsten Tynan will be on at 5:00 pm Eastern discussing jury nullification. HempRock Radio airs in the Cincinnati, OH area at 95.7 FM or you can listen live from anywhere online at WVQC Radio Free Queen City.

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Jury Rights Day | 05 Sep 2012

Maui County Citizens for Democracy in Action Celebrates Jury Rights Day

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Maui County Citizens for Democracy in Action celebrates Jury Rights Day with this short 3 minute video. Please share it with your family, friends, and neighbors!

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Jury Rights Day | 05 Sep 2012

New Hampshire Governor Proclaims September 5 Jury Appreciation Day

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Many thanks to FIJA activist and state contact Dick Marple for providing us with this Jury Appreciation Day proclamation signed by New Hampshire Governor John Lynch!

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Jury Rights Day | 02 Sep 2012

New Hampshire Governor Lynch and Jury Nullification

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NEWS RELEASE – from http://www.rumormillnews.com/cgi-bin/forum.cgi?read=251292

Governor Lynch has, for several years, recognized the Honor due all citizens who have served as jurors, by his Proclamation celebrating September 5, 2012 as “Jury Appreciation Day”.

This annual national event commemorates the trial of William Penn. His jurors refused to convict him even though he had violated the government statute by preaching a religion not approved by the state. The judge imprisoned the jurors and they suffered deprivation of food and water, as inhumane coercion was inflicted by the judge. The jurors stood firm and refused to convict Mr. Penn until a higher court subsequently ruled that the jurors could not be prosecuted for their verdict, and the principle of “Jury Nullification” became firmly established in law.

On June 18, 2012 Governor Lynch signed HB 146 legislation which placed the “Fully Informed Jury” into statute as “Chapter 0243 Effective 01/01/2013.” We invite all to join with us in celebrating September 5, 2012 as Jury Rights Day in the “Live Free or Die” State.

The need for jurors to be fully informed is self evident, as jurors are the conscience of the community and hold such nullifying power by authority enumerated in Article Eight, New Hampshire “Bill of Rights”, wherein “All Power” is reserved to the people to nullify the acts of overzealous prosecutors, judges, and legislators.

New Hampshire now has the celebrity of being the first state in the union to enjoy such legislation. More information may be viewed at http://www.fija.org or you may dial 1-800-TEL-JURY and ask for information to be sent to you free by mail.

Submitted by:
Dick Marple
FIJA Representative for New Hampshire
11 Dartmouth Street
Hooksett, New Hampshire Republic
603-627-1837

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Function of Juries & Jury Nullification | 21 Aug 2012

Seattle Weekly Comment of the Day: Vote to Acquit!

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A comment left on another article is featured today as Seattle Weekly’s Comment of the Day. The subject? Jury nullification!

Comment of the Day: Vote to Acquit!

If you sincerely believe that prohibition is a dangerous and counter-productive policy, then you must stop helping to enforce it. You are entitled to act according to your conscience: Acquit the defendant/s if you feel that true justice requires such a result. You, the juror, have the very last word!

* It only takes one juror to prevent a guilty verdict.

* You are not lawfully required to disclose your voting intention before taking your seat on a jury.

* You are also not required to give a reason to the other jurors on your position when voting. Simply state that you find the accused not guilty!

* Jurors must understand that it is their opinion, their vote. If the Judge and the other jurors disapprove, too bad. There is no punishment for having a dissenting opinion.

We must create what we can no longer afford to wait for: PLEASE VOTE TO ACQUIT!

Click through for the entire comment.

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Jury Rights Day | 16 Aug 2012

Jury Rights Day Opportunity- Public Service Announcements

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More free stuff for Jury Rights Day outreach, plus a chance to win free stuff for you!

Are you unable to get out in your community to d outreach on or around Jury Rights Day? Still want to participate? We have a quick, easy, and FREE opportunity for you- Public Service Announcements.

We have brief PSA text scripts as well as audio and video PSAs available that you can submit to local media outlets, or include in your own podcasts or videos. They can all be downloaded here: http://fija.org/document-library/public-service-announcements/

I especially encourage you to check out the text PSAs, which we just added this week and which has a special Jury Rights Day PSA. Text is the format in which a lot of community and public radio stations want public service announcements submitted. Rather than running pre-recorded announcements, their on-air staff read them during breaks in regular programming.

At the top of the Text PSAs page, I’ve included a quick 3-step process I’ve used to submit the Jury Rights Day PSA to both KGLT community radio (serving Bozeman and Helena, Montana) and KUFM (Montana Public Radio). Basically, you find the radio station’s website, look for a page on which to submit a PSA, and then submit a short form into which you copy and paste the PSA text.

If you submit jury nullification PSAs to any radio stations, please comment here, send us a message, or e-mail kirsten@fija.org. We may include an article on our website or in our newsletter about this outreach effort so we’d like to find out where PSAs have been submitted and give credit to those who did so.

ADDED BONUS: If you let us know which PSA(s) you submitted to which media outlet(s), I will include you in a drawing for one of our vintage T-shirt designs (M, L, XL) OR a 10-pack of our bumper stickers including the popular NO VICTIM, NO CRIME sticker! I need to hear from you by comment, by Facebook message, or by e-mail to kirsten@fija.org on or before 31 August for you to be included in the drawing.

Let’s get the word out in our communities with these PSAs!

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FIJActivist & Volunteer | 15 Aug 2012

Volunteers Needed for Paulfest in Tampa, Florida

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Are you attending Paulfest in Tampa, Florida, 24-26 August? FIJA is looking for volunteers to help host an outreach table. We will provide all the materials. You will just be there to hand them out and discuss jury nullification with people. If would like to help out for a few hours during Paulfest, please contact us in the office at (406) 442-7800 or e-mail kirsten@fija.org.

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FIJA in the News & FIJActivist | 13 Aug 2012

Protesters hand out leaflets during jury selection in CopBlock.org wiretapping case

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Protesters hand out leaflets during jury selection in CopBlock.org wiretapping case

About two dozen protesters were outside Hillsborough County Superior Court North Monday morning, greeting potential jurors in next week’s trial of Adam Mueller, 30, who is accused of recording telephone conversations with a police officer, high school principal and school secretary without their consent.

“Good Jurors Nullify Bad Laws” read one homemade sign.

Others carried bright yellow signs, with wording in bold black saying: “Jury Duty? NHJury.com 1-800-TEL-JURY.”

Click through for the entire article.

We remind everyone that FIJA does not advocate for or against any particular case. FIJA activists do general outreach wherever they are handing out brochures, giving material to anyone who would like it.

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Function of Juries & Jury Nullification | 13 Aug 2012

New Hampshire Formally Recognizes Jury Nullification

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William N. Grigg discusses how jury trials are becoming increasingly rare as the American legal system has become Sovietized. He reports that one reason prosecutors are so eager to bully defendants into taking a plea bargain is that juries have the power to nullify bad laws and abusive prosecutions by refusing to convict.

New Hampshire Formally Recognizes Jury Nullification

In contemporary America, however, trial by jury has been all but abolished in practice. Reviewing recent Supreme Court rulings, legal commentator Adam Liptak of the New York Times observes that in its just-completed term, the High Court “has turned its attention away from criminal trials, which are vanishingly rare, and toward the real world of criminal justice, in which plea bargains are the norm and harsh sentences commonplace.” (Emphasis added.)

The fact that the right to a trial by a jury of one’s peers, which is supposedly sacrosanct, has become all but extinct illustrates the extent to which the U.S. “justice” system has become Sovietized.

After the Bolsheviks seized power in 1917, the jury system — which had been established under Czar Alexander II in 1864 — was abolished and replaced with “People’s Courts” composed of a judge and a panel of two to six Party-appointed “assessors” who heard all of the evidence and decided all questions of both fact and law. The assessors “became known as `nodders’ for simply nodding in agreement with the judge,” wrote federal Judge John C. Coughenour in an article published by the Seattle University Law Review. “People’s assessors virtually always agreed with judges; acquittals were virtually nonexistent…. [U]nlike our adversarial system, the Soviet inquisitorial criminal justice system neither prioritized nor emphasized the rights of individual defendants, but instead paid homage to the interests of the state.”

One very telling measure of the Regime’s fear of citizen juries – especially those informed of their right to nullify unjust laws – is found in the efforts expended by prosecutors to prevent cases from going to trial.

Click through for the entire article.

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FIJA in the News & FIJActivist | 13 Aug 2012

Jury nullification education still barely ‘legal’ in USA, rules judge

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Jury nullification education still barely ‘legal’ in USA, rules judge

U.S. District Court Judge Kimba Wood said 80-year-old Julian Heicklin, who was arrested by FBI agents for passing out pamphlets marked “Jury Info” from an organization known as the Fully Informed Jury Association to an undercover agent, was within his legal rights under law to do so. Prosecutors had argued that Heicklin was in violation of U.S. law, which prohibits influencing jurors through written communication.

“Heicklen advocates passionately for the right of jurors to determine the law as well as the facts,” Wood wrote. “The pamphlets state that a juror has not just the responsibility to determine the facts of a case before her on the basis of the evidence presented, but also the power to determine the law according to her conscience.”

Judge Wood distinguishes between general juror education and attempting to influence the outcome of a particular case:

“The statute thus prohibits a defendant from trying to influence a juror upon any case or point in dispute before that juror by means of a written communication in relation to that case or that point in dispute,” the 27-page order says.

“It also prohibits a defendant from trying to influence a juror’s actions or decisions pertaining to that juror’s duties, but only if the defendant made that communication in relation to a case or point in dispute before that juror,” the order continues. “The statute therefore squarely criminalizes efforts to influence the outcome of a case, but exempts the broad categories of journalistic, academic, political, and other writings that discuss the roles and responsibilities of jurors in general, as well as innocent notes from friends and spouses encouraging jurors to arrive on time or to rush home, to listen closely or to deliberate carefully, but with no relation to the outcome of a particular case.”

We remind all activists that FIJA outreach is general outreach. FIJA activists give literature to anyone who is willing to accept it without regard for whether or not they are or are not involved in a case. This is our standard protocol whether we are distributing brochures at fairs and festivals, at meetings, on the sidewalk, near a courthouse, or anywhere else.

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