Fully Informed Jury Association

Are you fully informed about jury nullification?

Jury Rights Day | 10 Aug 2011

Post a Jury Rights Day Graphic on Your Website

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How will YOU be celebrating Jury Rights Day?

Here’s something simple you can do RIGHT NOW to help celebrate Jury Rights Day and get the word out about the juror’s authority and responsibility in delivering justice.

Add one of our Jury Rights Day graphics to your website and link back to our site. Be sure to email us at aji(AT)fija(DOT)org to let us know where you have posted it.

Use one of these banners to show your support for Jury Rights Day. Please don’t link directly to the image. Download the image and upload it to your own website.

Jury Rights Day - yellow Jury Rights Day - blue

Jury Rights Day - dark blueJury Rights Day - white

Jury Rights Day - white

Jury Rights Day - white banner

For those who have an event or activity scheduled, please let us know! You may e-mail aji(AT)fija(DOT)org with the details and we will be happy to help get the word out through our social media circles. We would also appreciate it if you would send a write-up on your event, with pictures if you have them, after it takes place to be featured on our website or in our newsletter. If you post video from your event, please send us those links as well!

For more ideas and resources for your outreach events and activities, please visit our Jury Rights Day page.

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Jury Rights Day | 09 Aug 2011

Celebrate Jury Rights Day with Educational Postcards

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Jury Rights Day falls on 5 September in commemoration of the William Penn case in 1670 which firmly established protection for the jury, and firmly established the right of the jurors to refuse to accept bad government laws. FIJA Activists across the country will be conducting educational outreach on this day to help raise awareness of this important protection for free people against government tyranny.

How will YOU be celebrating Jury Rights Day?

For those who do not yet have plans, we will be posting a variety of suggestions in the next few weeks to help you out. For those who have an event or activity scheduled, please let us know! You may e-mail aji(AT)fija(DOT)org with the details and we will be happy to help get the word out through our social media circles. We would also appreciate it if you would send a write-up on your event, with pictures if you have them, after it takes place to be featured on our website or in our newsletter. If you post video from your event, please send us those links as well!

This week we want to let you know about a very simple Jury Rights Day promotion that anyone can do. If you will be out of town for Jury Rights Day, which happens to coincide with Labor Day this year, you can still participate! For the first time, we are offering Jury Rights Day announcements in postcard size this year:

These 4.25″ X 5.5″ cards come in assorted colors, all with a glossy finish. The front of the card shows our Jury Rights Day logo, website, toll-free number, and the following text:
FIJA Activists
-Inform potential jurors of their traditional, legal authority to refuse to enforce corrupt laws;
-Inform potential jurors that they cannot be required to check their conscience at the courthouse door;
-Inform potential jurors that they cannot be punished for their verdict;
-Inform everyone to protect human rights against government tyranny.
That is FIJA’s message.

The back side of each card is blank so you can address and stamp them to mail to people or print your local organization’s information on the back to hand out at events. These cards are great for announcing Jury Rights Day events. The date is marked on the cards with no year specified. Since Jury Rights Day is on September 5th each year, if you have cards leftover this year, you can still put them to use next year.

Jury Rights Day announcement postcards can be ordered online through our Media Catalog, or you can give us a call in the office at (406) 442-7800 to order by phone. For more ideas and resources for your outreach events and activities, please visit our Jury Rights Day page.

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Function of Juries & Jury Nullification | 03 Aug 2011

The Sentence: A Take on the DeChristopher Case

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An editorial on the recent sentencing in the Tim DeChristopher case and ways the system was manipulated to tilt the playing field in favor of the prosecution:

The Sentence: A Take on the DeChristopher Case

I’m not suggesting that Benson wears jackboots, but the treatment DeChristopher got wasn’t much better than what he’d have received in a Third Reich tribunal. He was prevented from testifying—to any significant degree, anyway—that his motivation was to halt crimes against the environment, to thwart a land grab in which public-land leases were being sold at a fraction of their value (there are no “minimum bids,” and a good-old-boy system may exist among drillers), that he was prevented from later buying the properties he’d won, or that the Interior Department later invalidated most of the leases because environmental-impact studies had not been done and some parcels were within eyeshot of prized national parks.

Another example of unfairness was that the prosecution’s key witnesses said he’d been sent and read a regular flow of press clippings about DeChristopher and his group Peaceful Uprising. The content of those items, however, was never made available to the jury.

I attended the July 26 sentencing hearing expecting more of the same. I was pleasantly surprised, however, that DeChristopher and his attorneys were finally allowed to say what they would have been able to present at trial if we didn’t live in an age when judges can pre-censor exactly what a jury hears and deprive it of material facts needed to come to a fair verdict. The jurors’ historical options should have included the power to void the charges altogether due to the unfairness of the law itself … a basic principle of Common Law called jury nullification.

I won’t go into the details of DeChristopher’s eloquent address, but I thought it had fallen on completely deaf ears since Benson’s remarks that followed were a sermon on the necessity for all citizens to bend to the rule of law and operate only within the system to work for change.

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Function of Juries | 27 Jul 2011

Is Grand Jury Tampering Rooted In Fed’s Psychological Disorders?

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Is Grand Jury Tampering Rooted In Fed’s Psychological Disorders?

Is the tampering of Nevada’s Federal Grand jury rooted in psychological disorders? That is a question being asked by Network CEO Phil Stimac after a recent ruling by U.S. District Judge Robert Jones that he and not the grand jury has the right to weigh and act upon grand jury evidence.

Click through for entire article.

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Jury Nullification | 26 Jul 2011

Perry’s “Free Speech” Zones Unconstitutional

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Judge Belvin Perry’s Free Speech Zones Unconstitutional (YouTube video)

Man Found Guilty Of Violating Anthony Free Speech Zones

An Orange County man who believes jurors can ignore laws they disagree with was sentenced to jail time for his efforts to spread the word about his beliefs.

Judge Belvin Perry found Mark Schmidter guilty of contempt of court charges.

Man who distributed fliers during Casey Anthony trial is sentenced

Roofing contractor Mark Schmidter learned the hard way Tuesday what can happen when you defy the administrative orders of Orange-Osceola Chief Judge Belvin Perry.

Following a trial Tuesday, Perry found Schmidter guilty of “indirect criminal contempt” for violating two such orders. One deals with handing out pamphlets outside the courthouse aimed at influencing jurors. The other prohibits First Amendment activities outside specially designated “free-speech zones.”

Perry sentenced Schmidter, 64, to roughly five months in the Orange County Jail — 141 days for violating his first order, regarding jury pamphlets, and 151 days for his second order, regarding free-speech zones. The sentences are concurrent. Perry also handed him a $250 fine for each violation.

Unfortunately, Schmidter was sentenced to 5 months in jail out of a maximum possible 6 months.

We encourage everyone to obey the unconstitutional orders as long as they are in force, to challenge them through appropriate channels, and to share FIJA’s message with everyone in Orlando and the rest of Florida except for Perry’s tiny turf.

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Function of Juries | 25 Jul 2011

“Not Guilty” Isn’t “Innocent”

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“Not Guilty” Isn’t “Innocent”

An indication of the sad state of journalism is how often when people show support for the Casey Anthony verdict they are labeled as Casey Anthony supporters. But they could very well be supporting just one thing. That would be to accept the “not guilty” verdict. It is, after all, the result of an arguably elaborate jury trial in what is supposedly an entirely legitimate court of law. Once the jury reached its verdict, Anthony and any other accused person must be regarded not guilty as charged, in her instance primarily of murder. She wasn’t judged innocent, which would require omniscience on the jury’s part. Like her or not, believe what you will, the process that one must go through in this kind of situation resulted in “not guilty.”

It is odd that standing up for the result once it is reached is considered supporting Casey Anthony. Only in one respect is it a kind of “support.” That is, that within the framework of the criminal law, the case against the accused wasn’t made successfully. She wasn’t shown guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Click through for the full article.

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FIJA Calendar | 22 Jul 2011

FIJA Michigan Coordinator to Speak Before Jackson County Tea Party

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Press Release: FIJA Michigan Coordinator to be guest speaker at Jackson County Tea Party on Monday, July 25th, 2011.

From:
Mark A. Hiselman
Michigan Coordinator
Fully Informed Jury Association
2231 Manchester Rd
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Tel: +1.734.973.0925
Cell: +1.734.657.5439
www.fija.org/aie653l

Mark A. Hiselman from the Fully Informed Jury Association of Michigan of Michigan (www.fija.org/aie653l) will speak on the topic of Jury Nullification on Monday, July 25th, 2011 at Steve’s Ranch Restaurant, 311 W Louis Glick Hwy, Jackson, MI 49201. He will be the guest speaker at the Jackson (Michigan) Tea Party, which meets from 6:00 p.m. until 8:30 p.m.

The primary function of the independent juror is not, as many think, to dispense punishment to fellow citizens accused of breaking various laws, but rather to protect fellow citizens from tyrannical abuses of power by government.

The Constitution guarantees the right to trial by jury. This means that government must bring its case before a jury of The People if government wants to deprive any person of life, liberty or property. Jurors can say no to government tyranny by refusing to convict.

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Jury Nullification | 11 Jul 2011

Three Cheers for the Casey Anthony Jurors

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by Butler Shaffer

Every once-in-awhile events occur that provide some optimism that real people – rather than the sock-puppets who speak on behalf of institutional interests – have a firm grip on reality. The jury in the Casey Anthony trial did precisely what they were directed to do by the court: deliberated on the evidence presented to them, and concluded that there was not the requisite degree of certitude to allow them to find this woman guilty of the murder charges brought against her.

This was more than the percaled agents of “justice” could take. They know a “guilty” person when they see one: it’s whoever is charged with a crime by the state! The cable-TV bobbleheads – let’s call them Dennis Dullard and Amelia Airhead – began screaming for vengeance, . . . not so much against Ms. Anthony, but against the jurors! Their screeches of rage were echoed by other lobotomized voices, one of whom urged doing away with the jury system altogether. Charles Dickens’ Madame Defarge was resurrected! Another shrieked at the “idiots on the jury,” while another asked the most irrelevant question as it pertained to this defendant: “who killed Caylee then?”

Read more at LewRockwell.com

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Jury Nullification | 08 Jul 2011

Lessons From the Casey Anthony Trial

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by Ryan McMaken

Recently by Ryan McMaken: Privatize Marriage Now

Perhaps not since the feds hanged Mary Surratt for Abe Lincoln’s assassination have so many been so happy at the thought of seeing a woman lynched. To the outrage of bloodthirsty, bleary-eyed couch potatoes from sea to shining sea, Casey Anthony was found not guilty of the murder of her daughter.

The case itself is far less interesting than the reaction to it. In spite of all the drama that the despicable “news” media attempted to inject into it, the actual trial was humdrum. In typical fashion, the prosecution built its case on mostly circumstantial evidence and on character assassination. The jury concluded that the prosecution had not proven guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. A not-guilty verdict was returned. Case closed.

This is exactly how the legal system is supposed to work. People are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty, and guilt must be established beyond a reasonable doubt. We’re not supposed to convict people of capital crimes because we find them distasteful or annoying.

None of that matters to the great American lynch mob, which, not even being present at the trial, finds itself so magnificently insightful and so morally pure, that its shrill cries for justice echo with unparalleled histrionic fervor down the virtual halls of Facebook and Twitter.

But of course, we all know that Anthony was guilty because Nancy Grace told us so. Nancy Grace! Here’s a woman who makes Father Coughlin look like a man possessed of great reason and tolerance. Trotting up endless trains of “experts” who assured us of Anthony’s guilt, and never tiring of providing the most shallow analysis of every moment of the trial, CNN made it clear that had it been around to report on Anne Hutchinson’s trial in 1637, the network would have ensured that no penalty short of public disemboweling would have been suitable for such a loathesome instrument of The Devil. Indeed, Grace herself assured us that “the devil is dancing” over the Anthony verdict. May the gods have mercy on anyone forced to endure Thanksgiving dinner with a woman so shrill and maudlin as this.

And it is the reaction to the verdict that is, by far, the most interesting part of this national carnival of self-righteousness. Following the verdict, celebrities – many of whom are apparently famous for nothing more than being famous – made their solemn pronouncements about the sheer injustice of the trial.

D-List celebrity Vivica Fox, that modern heir of both Cicero and Solon, declared on Twitter that “My heart is ripped apart! How dare those idiots on that Jury not see the truth? That b—- killed her kid! Who the hell killed Caylee then?” Fourth-rate comedian Kevin Nealon said things almost as brilliant.

The pronouncements from the moralists among the non-famous were essentially identical in their moral indignation and in their metaphysical certitude that Anthony is, in fact, the most guilty person since Osama bin Laden. And, since Americans were perfectly fine with killing him when unarmed and in captivity, we surely can find it in our hearts to give Casey Anthony the same treatment.

The moralizing is even more intolerable when considered from a larger context, and the American ideal of “justice” in this case is enforced so selectively as to give even the most cynical observer pause.

The contradictions are so glaring, in fact, that even Rush Limbaugh, for the first time since Bill Clinton left office, said something insightful when he pointed out that had Casey Anthony – assuming she’s guilty – simply killed Caylee five minutes before giving birth to her, Anthony would be hailed as a hero by virtually everyone at CNN.

And of course, how many toddlers have been incinerated by American bombs or poisoned by American depleted uranium in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past decade? Who cares? Those toddlers didn’t even have the decency to be cute Anglo-Saxons.

But, before we throw a noose over a tree branch for Casey Anthony, there are a few lessons we can first learn from the trial:

Number One: We should take nothing we see in the media at face value: In spite of decades of evidence to the contrary, many people still think that they can make well-informed decisions about things based on what they’re given through television “news” programs. In fact, we the viewers are purely at the mercy of what the anchors and produces want us to see. All of the Americans who think that they followed the case “closely” still have access to only a fraction of the information available to jurors. Even someone who watched every single minute of the trial via live video feed can still only see what the camera is showing at any given minute, and can only hear what the microphones pick up.

In addition, the government has much greater access to the media than the defendant in most cases. From day one of an investigation, the media will generally, without criticism, repeat whatever is said by the police about the suspects. Once the case passes to the hands of the district attorney, the media will then dutifully report whatever is said by the prosecutors. The accused meanwhile is shown to the public through mug shots and in video of being shuttled from jail to the courthouse.

Number Two: Government prosecutors are not to be trusted. Does this point even need to repeated? Prosecutors routinely make prosecutions for political reasons. Cushy political appointments, elected offices and jobs as state and federal judges are at stake. The Duke Lacrosse Team, Tim Masters, and Lisl Auman can tell you all about it. In addition, prosecutors are virtually never held accountable for anything. The disbarment of Michael Nifong is a rare case of this, and his punishment amounts to little more than a slap on the wrist compared to what he wanted to do to the accused.

Number Three: We don’t know how we would react if one of our children ended up dead. The prosecution’s case rested heavily on using Casey Anthony’s strange and distasteful public behavior following the death of her daughter to paint her as a callous murderer. The moralists all declared that “we would never act that way.”

Yet, in real life, people do strange things when under enormous levels of stress, shock, and dismay. Some honest people might willingly admit, that if their children turned up dead, they might go on a three month bender unparalleled in the history of drunkenness. That’s what an honest person might admit, anyway. All of Anthony’s accusers, on the other hand, would no doubt show up to work on time the next morning and swing by the church on the way home and calmly light a candle.

What sort of person would act strangely and erratically following the untimely death of a child? A normal one.

Number Four: Intellectually honest atheists and Christians (and probably many others) agree: There is no true justice in this world. For the Christians, justice comes after this life. For the atheists, there’s no justice in any life, since we’re all just headed for oblivion, and Hitler and Sophie Scholl both ultimately met the same fate.

Thus the public rending of garments and the calls for justice, no matter what the cost, is both dangerous and unrealistic. History is filled with unsolved murders; many of them horrific. They’ll never be solved. The killers will never be brought to justice. Once we include wars in the analysis, the prospects for justice are even more bleak.

The jury felt there wasn’t enough evidence to convict. Should they have convicted anyway so that they could feel good about themselves? Any decent legal system should preclude the possibility of conviction in the face of insufficient evidence. This is why the ancient Jews required that at least two witnesses must agree on what happened. Nothing less could bring convictions. Anything else amounts to heaping one injustice upon another. One of the few commentators on this case not calling for the immediate execution of Casey Anthony noted that:

This case is good for the criminal-justice system and here’s why: if people actually read the jury instructions about reasonable doubt, there would be a lot more acquittals…What this verdict does is demonstrate that unless the prosecution is able to show us how, why, when, and where the crime was committed, a jury is not going reach a decision that could end up sending a defendant to his death.

Unfortunately, the jury members will need to defend themselves from the moral outrage of the likes of Nancy Grace, but they can take heart in the fact that everyone will forget about them once something more interesting comes on TV.

July 8, 2011

Ryan McMaken [send him mail] teaches political science in Colorado.

Copyright © 2011 by LewRockwell.com. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.

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Function of Juries | 07 Jul 2011

Reminder of the Function of the Jury in the Wake of the Casey Anthony Trial

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In the wake of the Casey Anthony trial, we have gotten a number of calls regarding the case. While we do not have a comment on the details of this particular case, we remind everyone that guilt is determined by evidence and not the heinousness of the allegations against the defendant.

The primary purpose of the jury is not to dispense punishment or uncritically to rubber stamp allegations made by the government against the accused. Rather, the jury serves as a body of independent individuals with no vested interest in a particular outcome of the case, responsible above all for delivering justice. We are all protected when juries consistently refuse to convict defendants in cases where the prosecution fails to convince them of the defendant’s guilt.

William L. Anderson explains how the jurors in the Casey Anthony case upheld this high standard which protects us all from malicious prosecution and abuse by government employees looking to score wins in the courtroom rather than to deliver justice. (Click through for the entire article.)

The Casey Anthony Verdict: Jurors Did the Right Thing

Yet, what I see is a jury that did its job. Prosecutors demanded that jurors engage in speculation, and the jurors refused to do that, and I applaud them for their integrity. Maybe Casey Anthony did murder her daughter, but the prosecution never proved it, and jurors are supposed to acquit when that happens. And it happened.

We thank these jurors for their integrity, service, and cool-headedness under substantial pressure both in the courthouse and following the trial.

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FIJA in the News | 07 Jul 2011

FIJA Correction to Erroneous Orlando Sentinel Article

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An article appeared in the Orlando Sentinel this week which erroneously states that an individual who was arrested for allegedly violating a court order is affiliated with FIJA. Newspaper staff have been contacted by telephone requesting a correction in the article, but despite repeated follow-up notices of the error, the Orlando Sentinel has (as of the time of this blog post) failed to remove the false information from the article.

An initial followup to the telephone call was sent by e-mail to the reporter responsible for the error:

——– Original Message ——–
Subject: Mark Schmidter not associated with FIJA
Date: Thu, 7 Jul 2011 08:58:30 -0600
From: Fully Informed Jury Association
To: apavuk@tribune.com

Pursuant to an earlier telephone message left with your service, I wish to reiterate the following:

It was incorrectly reported in the Orlando Sentinel that Mark Schmidter is affiliated with FIJA. Mark is not affiliated with FIJA. Anyone can order literature through the fija.org/aie653l website. Doing so does not establish an affiliation.

More than a month ago, it was also made it completely clear to Mark that he had no affiliation with FIJA, and that if he chose to hand out FIJA literature at the Orlando Courthouse, he was doing so against the wishes of FIJA, Florida FIJA supporters, and against our stated policy of NOT violating standing court orders.

Please correct your statement to the contrary, which is in the second paragraph of your news article.
Thank you for your prompt attention to correcting this erroneous reporting.

For Justice and Liberty for All,
Iloilo Marguerite Jones
Fully Informed Jury Association (FIJA)

The reporter replied as follows, failing to issue the necessary correction:

On Jul 7, 2011, at 9:41 AM, Pavuk, Amy wrote:

Dear Ms. Jones,

Thank you for emailing and calling with your concern. As the article states, we did not say Mr. Schmidter is a member of FIJA. We simply said he is affiliated, as he does distribute your fliers outside the courthouse and he was also instrumental in introducing us to Julian Heicklen.

I am going to be traveling this afternoon to cover breaking news and will not have immediate access to email. If you wish to discuss this further, please contact my editor, who is copied on this email.

Thank you,

Amy Pavuk
Orlando Sentinel

A followup was sent to the reporter and her editors, pointing out her failure to comprehend her error and requesting a correction for a third time:

——– Original Message ——–
Subject: Re: Mark Schmidter not associated with FIJA
Date: Thu, 7 Jul 2011 09:53:09 -0600
From: Fully Informed Jury Association
To: Pavuk, Amy , Guido, Michelle , Colarossi, Anthony

Dear Reporters and Editors:
The mere fact that a person hands out our literature in no way creates an affiliation with our organization. That is an erroneous assumption. Our literature can be ordered by anyone. Handing out literature does not create either an affiliation nor an association, as any competent and logical individual would understand.

Further, Julian Heicklen is not associated or affiliated with FIJA, either. He hands out FIJA literature, but he does not do so under the aegis of FIJA. While you may consider this a distinction without a difference, we have specific guidelines for our educational efforts which both of these individuals have refused to follow. Thus, they have no affiliation or association with FIJA.

Nor did I accuse you of writing that Mr. Schmidter was a member—that is a red herring of your own creation, and further brings into question the veracity of your reporting. Are these the tactics you were taught in journalism school? I doubt it.

There is a specific administrative order concerning the Orlando Courthouse complex, which FIJA is challenging through the courts, while sharing our literature everywhere else in Florida except the locations under the administrative order. Mr. Heicklein and Mr. Schmidter have independently taken it upon themselves to violate the administrative order against FIJA policy.

Again, neither of these individuals are associated with or affiliated with FIJA.

Please issue a correction. Thank you.
Sincerely,
Iloilo M. Jones

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Function of Juries & Jury Nullification | 06 Jul 2011

Jury can send message on medical marijuana law

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The following letter to the editor, submitted by Thomas DeLaTorre of Pinckney, MT, was recently published in the Livingston Daily in Livingston, MT:

Jury can send message on medical marijuana law

Being on a jury can be one of the greatest experiences of citizenship. It is a duty that you should not take lightly or try to dismiss. As a juror, you have the power to send a message regarding unjust laws. The name for this is jury nullification.

Click through to read the entire letter.

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Function of Juries | 04 Jul 2011

Michigan Pilot Jury Program

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Rose Lear brings us news of a pilot jury program in Michigan:

Jurors discuss Springer trial, decision – Part of Michigan Pilot Jury Program

The ability of jurors to question witnesses is part of a pilot program in Michigan that’s been under way since 2008.

Under the experimental program, the 14-member Springer jury receives copies of reports and other evidence as it is introduced.

Jurors may discuss evidence in the jury room while the trial is in progress as long as all members are present.

The program is being tried in several circuit courts and district courts. At the end of the experiment this year, the state Supreme Court will decide if any changes could be implemented in courts statewide.

Click through for more details of the case.

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FIJActivist & Volunteer | 30 Jun 2011

FIJA Reiterates Outreach Policy

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Misinformation has been circulated through the internet—by someone not affiliated with FIJA—regarding the status of Belvin Perry’s order banning distribution of FIJA literature at the Orlando and Orange County courthouse complex in Florida. We remind all activists that this order has not been removed. It is being legally challenged, but it is still enforceable until such time as a ruling is issued.

An individual, ignoring FIJA’s policy against violating any court order, was arrested yesterday, for allegedly violating the court order. The individual may have been relying on misinformation spread on the internet.

FIJA reiterates its outreach policy—clearly articulated since the order was imposed—of peaceful forbearance. As FIJA stated in February, nobody serves the interests of FIJA, human rights, justice, or free speech by violating this order, although the order clearly violates our human rights. FIJA reminds activists that inaction by government servants does not mean they will forgo enforcement of an order at another time. This is called personal discretion.

As long as Perry’s order has legal standing, it can be enforced at any time. Government servants use personal discretion in their enforcement of the laws. Police, prosecutors, and judges use personal discretion in deciding when to enforce many laws, especially statute laws. FIJA encourages all free and independent people to educate everyone about the right to individual discretion of jurors.

FIJA strongly discourages anyone from violating Perry’s order. Avoid that small spot of ground occupied by the Orlando and Orange county court complex. There are thousands of other places in Orlando and Florida to educate free people.

FIJA educates all free and independent people that they have that same right to exercise discretion that government servants exercise everyday. FIJA reminds everyone to be familiar with and follow FIJA guidelines (.pdf).

For the current status of FIJA’s challenge to this order, please visit the FIJA website. More information on FIJA’s ongoing challenge to the illegal order issued by Judge Perry:
16 February 2011- FIJA Retains ACLU and Walters to Challenge Order Quashing Free Speech
2 March 2011- ACLU Challenges Courthouse Ban on Protected Speech
7 April 2011- Thoughts on the Actions of a Public Servant
15 April 2011- ACLU and First Amendment Center respond

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Jurors Doing Justice | 28 Jun 2011

Tom Knapp Reports on Jury Duty

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Tom Knapp was recently called for jury duty. Read up on his story for handy tips on how to deliver justice as a juror even as the court attempts to stack the deck in favor of the government.

Out of the Pool

The little handbook they gave us was a bit roundabout, but did manage to work in the lie that jurors only get to judge the “facts” and that they must follow the court’s instructions with regard to matters of “law.”

That settled one matter in my mind — if they can lie to me about jurors’ power to acquit in the teeth of the law, then I can lie to them about whether or not I’ll swear to follow their instructions on the matter.

I didn’t proselytize nullification or anything. For one thing, I didn’t want to get pinched on some “contempt of court” bit. For another, I at least half-hoped to be selected for a jury on a case that might allow me to, ferinstance, set some pot-smoker free.

Certain kinds of people tend to find each other, though, and usually they do so in the smoking area. I went to lunch with a guy I’d been small-talking with, and it turned out he had nullification in mind too. He’d once been nabbed on a possession charge, and since scales were involved, they’d upped it to felony intent to distribute. He’d spent two years and several thousand dollars managing to plead it down to a misdemeanor, and was likewise hoping he could help pitch a walk to someone who’d harmed nobody else.

Click through for the entire post.

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