Fully Informed Jury Association

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Function of Juries & Jurors Doing Justice & Jury Nullification | 10 Feb 2011

Jurors Say NO to Abusive Prosecution and Pledge Their Jury Pay to Defendant

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Jurors so upset about case brought against 19-year-old that they will give the defendant their jury pay

Jurors are so convinced that a Cleveland teen should not have been charged with assaulting another teen that they’ve gone beyond acquitting him. A few are writing angry letters to police and intend to donate their jury pay to him.

McCloud was charged with leading a gang of teens that beat a Martin Luther King Jr. High School student and threatened him with a gun Oct. 13 a little after 1 p.m. as the student walked home from the Shaker Square rapid station. McCloud had been in jail since that night awaiting trial.

Jurors said the case against McCloud on charges of kidnapping and felonious assault quickly evaporated in the courtroom of Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Michael Astrab.

As they were leaving the courthouse, jurors Ana de Freitas Boe, an English professor at Baldwin-Wallace College; Jeanne Knotek, an obstetrician and gynecologist; and alternate juror Richard Nagin discussed ways to help McCloud.

The three have committed to donating their jury stipend to a fund for McCloud. Boe said the amount is too small to compensate McCloud for his jail time, but the jurors intend it as a “show of support.”

Apparently, this defendant isn’t the first in the area to have suffered malicious and abusive prosecution by government officials:

Last November, The Plain Dealer reported that Cuyahoga County Prosecutor William Mason had pursued criminal charges against hundreds of people over the last 10 years with little or no evidence against them.

Juror nullification happens any time a jury refuses to enforce a misguided prosecution, a bad law, or a misapplied law. Nullification can happen in any instance when jurors exercise their authority to protect someone from any over-reaching government action. We applaud these jurors for not only protecting this defendant from abusive prosecution, but for going the extra mile to restore him at least partially.

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